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Room of One’s Own – 2005

I found this volume of Room of One’s Own to be a fifty-fifty combination of really good and then really disappointing poetry and prose. The good stuff was so good that I would be doing a great disservice not to recommend the magazine, but the bad stuff was so predictable and bland that I have to temper my recommendation with reservations. I found this volume of Room of One’s Own to be a fifty-fifty combination of really good and then really disappointing poetry and prose. The good stuff was so good that I would be doing a great disservice not to recommend the magazine, but the bad stuff was so predictable and bland that I have to temper my recommendation with reservations.  On the good side I highly recommend Natalie Pepa’s “The Signs of Love,” a wonderful story told from a child’s point of view as her parents struggle to cope as post-war immigrants in Argentina. I also loved Ami McKay’s “Christ on a Bike,” a funny, and quirky take on sexual awakening. Likewise, I loved Pam Galloway’s prose/poem “Orange—Segments From A Life,” an experimental piece that somehow wonderfully worked. On the poetry side I liked Kathryn Kirkpatrick’s “My Students Read A Doll’s House,” which begins with the wonderful lines “Nora has hidden her macaroons. / Torvald has produced no miracle. // A young man twists his baseball cap, / speaks of his mother / as if the door Nora slammed, / shut on him too.” Joanna M. Weston’s poem “Under A Yew,” ends with a heartbreaking twist, and Angela Hibbs’ series of tongue in cheek poems were a true delight to read. Unfortunately, the other prose pieces were well-written but somehow fell short of being spectacular for me, and the greater portion of the poetry was too simplistically anger motivated, too “feminist” in the shallow, flippant, and derogatory use of that word. Hopefully the next issue of Room of One’s Own will be a little more quality consistent. Judging by the best of this volume, the potential for a great magazine is definitely there. [www.roommagazine.com] – Mary Baken

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