It doesn’t matter if you gravitate toward fiction, nonfiction, or poetry when cracking open a new issue of literary magazine—the Spring/Summer 2019 Concho River Review has you covered.
John Blair kicks off the issue with “The Glass Mountain,” a piece that drips dark energy. Ray’s young, troubled niece moves in with him and his wife after her mother dies. Sexual and violent tension build throughout the story, finally culminating in an explosion of darkness.
In nonfiction, Brandon Daily revisits a dark time in his own life in “A Moment In Our Life, Again,” an intimate taste of the turmoil a couple feels when trying for children and experiencing multiple miscarriages. Daily gives the point of view of the father in the heartbreaking scenario, his pain orbiting his wife’s. The piece takes place as Daily waits outside the bathroom door, waiting for bad news, and then moves backward to shed light on the years and previous miscarriages that led up to this one, the moment suspended, hanging over readers like a shadow.
The issue concludes with twenty-seven poems by twenty-seven poets. Some of my favorites include “Migratory Bird Count” by Walter Bargen, a light piece on perception; “Some Good News” by Grant Clauser who points out the little bits of human kindness and comfort we can cling to; “AX” by Timothy Krcmarik, a small study on the speaker’s five-year-old son; and “Hunger” by Elena Lelia Radulescu, wives’ tales exploring the delicate balance of loneliness. Regardless of which poem a reader decides to start with, all are straight forward narratives telling stories in clear voices.
Both poetry and prose in this issue of Concho River Review promise readers a satisfying selection.
Review by Katy Haas