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Manoa – Winter 2007

This volume of Manoa, edited by Frank Stewart and Barry Lopez, is dedicated to the theme Maps of Reconciliation: Literature and the Ethical Imagination. This journal includes many types of work: oratory, essays, poetry, fiction, photographic essays, an interview, and even a play. It’s uncommon to see a journal include all of these genres, and the Table of Contents divides them by genre, so it’s easy to navigate.

This volume of Manoa, edited by Frank Stewart and Barry Lopez, is dedicated to the theme Maps of Reconciliation: Literature and the Ethical Imagination. This journal includes many types of work: oratory, essays, poetry, fiction, photographic essays, an interview, and even a play. It’s uncommon to see a journal include all of these genres, and the Table of Contents divides them by genre, so it’s easy to navigate.

It’s certainly a timely issue as it explores how we are to “imagine a future of mutual tolerance, respect, and justice,” as the back cover explains. The editors have been marvelously inclusive in terms of the nationality of authors; it’s a multicultural, multinational group gathered here. Eight of the works were published elsewhere first, a fact which bothered me not at all.

I found the three photographic essays, all by Franco Salmoiraghi, most accessible; the pictures gave me a quick route into the material, a route which wasn’t always easily found with some of the other work in the issue. Likewise, I found Barry Lopez’s interview with Oren Lyons to offer fascinating insights in a way that the creative works didn’t always offer.

While I’d have enjoyed more poetry, I’m always happy when a journal dedicates so many pages to works like essays and fiction that take up a lot more space than a single poem or two. And to see a play is such a rare event in current literary journals that it can’t help but cheer me up. Readers willing to read the whole journal will find a window into worlds they won’t find in other parts of popular culture.
[manoajournal.hawaii.edu]

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