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Fourteen Hills – Summer/Fall 2005

Published by the creative writing department of San Francisco State University, Fourteen Hills might just as aptly be titled “Fourteen Styles,” such a broad spectrum of approaches to narrative and poetics does it present, at least in this summer/fall issue. In the realm of fiction I found myself very taken with the short story “Three Girls” by Anne Clifford, which so deftly utilizes first, second, and third person perspectives, shifting from one to another and back with a spot-on rhythmic agility. Published by the creative writing department of San Francisco State University, Fourteen Hills might just as aptly be titled “Fourteen Styles,” such a broad spectrum of approaches to narrative and poetics does it present, at least in this summer/fall issue. In the realm of fiction I found myself very taken with the short story “Three Girls” by Anne Clifford, which so deftly utilizes first, second, and third person perspectives, shifting from one to another and back with a spot-on rhythmic agility. “They call this a group home,” the story begins, “but we aren’t a group and none of us think for a minute that this is home.” Also impressive is Aurora Brackett’s story “Cold War,” set a few decades back, in which a young girl temporarily obsessed with the Soviet Union begins to comprehend the precarious, often reckless nature of her parent’s—namely her mother’s—hippy drugs&sex lifestyle. A funny-sad-meditative story by Jack Pendarvis called “The Golden Pineapples” gives good reason to anticipate his forthcoming story collection, “The Mysterious Secret of the Valuable Treasure.” Mitch has been laid off, and has become inexplicably bewitched by a pair of squirrels in his yard: “The next day began Mitch’s raking period, as well as his disregard of, casual amusement about, growing fascination with, comforting by, sneaky dread of, unpleasant feelings around, glum resignation to, eventual disillusionment with and cold disgust over the punctuality of the squirrels.” Experimental poetry abounds in this issue too, as well as some pleasing black and white photography by various artists and a glossy full-color mini portfolio of urban pen drawings by artist Spain Rodriguez, whose work is also featured on the cover. [www.14hills.net] –Mark Cunningham

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