The always excellent Stephen Dixon leads off the seventeenth issue of Meridian with “Going Back,” the story of Meyer, a writer who gets his best ideas for stories right after he’s had sex with his wife.
The always excellent Stephen Dixon leads off the seventeenth issue of Meridian with “Going Back,” the story of Meyer, a writer who gets his best ideas for stories right after he’s had sex with his wife. Faced with a bad case of writer’s block, he tries to seduce his wife over and over in an attempt to get some work done. Luckily for us, the writers who inhabit this issue of Meridian were apparently faced with no such blockages (or at least conquered them more successfully than Dixon’s Meyer does). The stories and poems included in this issue show an amazingly wide range of styles and, more impressively, voices. From the faux-historical narration of Daniel A. Hoyt’s “Maria” to the confessional whisper of Bob Thurber’s “Cinderella She Was Not” (winner of the 2006 Meridian Editor’s Prize for Fiction), each of this issue’s stories are entirely distinct in their choices of subject matter and guiding aesthetics. The issue also contains new poetry from over a dozen poets, including Elizabeth Gold, whose standout “The Juggler Is Tired Now” is full of exhausted longing and fantastic imagery—”He would like to be / that woman out there squeezing / cantaloupes without thought / of how many she could hurt / and catch without / dropping.” With so many literary magazines switching to themed issues or settling into comfortable stylistic preferences, it’s exciting to see Meridian take a chance on so many different writers working in a variety of genres and aesthetic movements. Running the gamut of contemporary styles and subjects, Meridian guarantees not to disappoint anyone’s taste, while at the same time offers an opportunity for new literary experiences that shouldn’t be missed by any interested in the future of American writing. [www.readmeridian.com]