Volume 42 Number 4
It’s a hard journal to gauge from the cover—a photo of, presumably, Shanghai, with a KFC billboard, Col. Sanders smiling from long past the grave, interrupting the Asian aesthetic.
It’s a hard journal to gauge from the cover—a photo of, presumably, Shanghai, with a KFC billboard, Col. Sanders smiling from long past the grave, interrupting the Asian aesthetic. Turn to the contributor notes, however, and if you’ve any fondness for writing in this country at all, you are near guaranteed to find someone whose work you enjoy or, if not that, someone who will surprise you. As ever, any journal with a Bob Hicok poem is automatically worth the cover price, and in this case Hicok isn’t alone: Carl Phillips, Jay Wright, and Reginald Shepard all have work in the Michigan Quarterly, tucked between a mesmerizing interview (between Alex Stein and Lorna Dee Cervantes), and a subtle—as in you nearly have to hold your breath, be that silent, to be with the work—story by Margaret McMullan. The work within is aesthetically pleasing and as direct as an arrow’s flight—mad word games and the bang-your-head-against-the-wall (no matter the fun) poetry of some great contemporaries are both absent, leaving room in this journal for solid, balanced work, start to finish. [Michigan Quarterly Review, University of Michigan, 3574 Rackham Bldg., 915 East Washington St., Ann Arbor, MI 48019-1070. Single issue $7. http://www.umich.edu/~mqr/]