Death of the New West?
This is the premiere issue of an annual published with support from the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Program for Writing and Rhetoric. This is the premiere issue of an annual published with support from the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Program for Writing and Rhetoric. “[D]ivide,” writes editor Steven Wingate, “as its name suggests, is not about orthodoxy; it is about bifurcations, about separations, about schools of thought that do not run parallel to one another.” As each issue is thematic, Issue 2, “Pax Americana,” will explore the role of the U.S. in a post-9/11 world, while Issue 3, “Class and Caste,” will tackle questions of money and society. Issue 1, “Death of the New West?” was of particular interest to me, a recent transplant to the American West. As that question mark after “West” suggests, the region is constantly re-making itself and the tensions that go along with the upheavals are not easily resolved. The fiction, essays, poetry and photos of this issue of divide, while not presuming to provide answers, do provoke thought. There’s an insightful interview with Richard Rodriquez, and rancher/writer Linda Hasselstrom explains the intricacies of fence maintenance and fire-awareness in an epistolary harangue addressed to the would-be owner of a ranchette. Also of note are Gifford Ewing’s winter photos of buffalo, which avoid the usual kitsch of nature pics with their attention to space and line and subtle gradations of black and white; an interview with well-known Western scholar Patricia Nelson Limerick; a terrific long poem by Ai; as well as much more that promises divide will continue to be a magazine well worth a reader’s time. [Divide, The Program for Writing and Rhetoric, University of Colorado at Boulder, UCB 317, Boulder, CO 80309. E-mail: [email protected]. Single issue $8. www.colorado.edu/journals/divide/] –KL