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Tampa Review – 2006

This is my favorite issue of this handsome annual yet. It’s smartly edited, with a collection of pieces that seem very much to belong together and to belong in exactly the order in which they appear. The issue opens with a silver print by Jerry N. Uelsmann of a sky inside a hand holding up both a house and a naked shadowy figure looking to one side, but approaching the house. On the facing page, Kathleen Spivack’s poem, “Seeming to Happen,” concludes “I, who thought myself ‘indecisive,’ find indeed I was only waiting: / waiting for you, for me, for a path, for a way to walk into this / painting.”

This is my favorite issue of this handsome annual yet. It’s smartly edited, with a collection of pieces that seem very much to belong together and to belong in exactly the order in which they appear. The issue opens with a silver print by Jerry N. Uelsmann of a sky inside a hand holding up both a house and a naked shadowy figure looking to one side, but approaching the house. On the facing page, Kathleen Spivack’s poem, “Seeming to Happen,” concludes “I, who thought myself ‘indecisive,’ find indeed I was only waiting: / waiting for you, for me, for a path, for a way to walk into this / painting.” The whole of the issue is thoughtfully put together in much the same way. (My only complaint is that the Table of Contents does not classify the offerings by genre and in this age of confused realities, I would like to know which prose works should be read as “fiction” and which as “nonfiction.”)

As always, The Tampa Review features both established and lesser known writers with prose and poetry that tends toward the polished and sophisticated. Standouts for me include poems by Myronn Hardy, Peter Meinke, and John McKernan, a terribly clever story by Jessica Shattuck, and a short essay about writing by Tom West. The artwork this issue is spectacular, too, and the Review concludes the way it began, with a silver print and story perfectly paired, Timothy Kennedy’s gorgeous and haunting “Ktozebue, Alaska” and John Fairweather’s tender story “Eskimos.”
[www.tampareview.edu]

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