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Bateau – 2007

“We’re trying to take you somewhere.” Isn’t that every writer’s goal? To take the reader from their comfy couch or their little corner and place them into a scene to which they can relate. Or maybe it’s to put them in a situation they’ve never been in, but affects them in some way.

“We’re trying to take you somewhere.” Isn’t that every writer’s goal? To take the reader from their comfy couch or their little corner and place them into a scene to which they can relate. Or maybe it’s to put them in a situation they’ve never been in, but affects them in some way.

This magazine is very successful in that goal. I was constantly reminded of my own experiences from poem to poem, taking in the senses and picturing the images. I especially loved Sarah Sloat’s “Used Books.” There’s nothing more amazing than going to the library and getting books with silent history. As she says “dog-eared and lawn soft” comparing the hems of the pages to the “wallpaper of a motel / nicotine-thick with confessions.”

Another poem that stuck out, not only for content but for structure, was Joshua Marie Wilkinson’s “from The Book of the Umbrella.” Each small section is separated, and I found myself reading it in my head, juxtaposed and split, like a water droplet would fall, the spacing representing the movement.

A few others to point out would be “notes on origami” by Britton Shurley, in which the author describes origami as “an intricate process through negation” continuing on to step-by-step instructions much more poetic than a how-to book. In “Today” by Lindsay Coleman, the author wonders how all the sea horses in the world are doing, what they’re doing, asking them to forgive her for not thinking about them the day before. It’s a wonderful concept that could be related to numerous other things besides seahorses.

Don’t let the small format of this magazine fool you. There are plenty of places to be taken, each poem trying its best to accomplish the goal of the magazine.
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