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Tar River Poetry – Spring 2005

Something about a Southern poetry journal, especially one with cream-colored pages and chapbook binding, makes the day pass by slowly. Tar River Poetry is never morbid, never too light, often ironic, often chatty like a friend sitting on the porch during a barbecue. I love, for example, the assonance of William Trowbridge’s “Foolish Tears”: “Tonight, Fool’s sobs / blort through the dark as dog’s bark and big rigs / blast across the overpass.” Something about a Southern poetry journal, especially one with cream-colored pages and chapbook binding, makes the day pass by slowly. Tar River Poetry is never morbid, never too light, often ironic, often chatty like a friend sitting on the porch during a barbecue. I love, for example, the assonance of William Trowbridge’s “Foolish Tears”: “Tonight, Fool’s sobs / blort through the dark as dog’s bark and big rigs / blast across the overpass.” I like how a poem can jump out at me with “more than arms / up its sleeves,” as Tom Hansen’s self-aware “To Whom it May Concern” seeks to do. Thomas Reiter’s journeys through the Caribbean and the sound of the local dialect (“‘Dom-in-EE-ca be how we call this island’”) make for discovery and adventure; anyone interested in Reiter will want to read the review of his latest book included at the end. And coming full circle is Cindy Hunter Morgan in “Preparedness,” where she observes the seasons in Michigan and wonders if the end of life “will look familiar when it comes, / like basil after the first frost / or like the thin, withering vines / of tomatoes in late September.” It’s a shame this mag only comes out twice a year; Tar River Poetry is affordable and more than accessible. [Tar River Poetry, Department of English, Bate Building, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858-4353. E-mail: [email protected]Single issue $6.50. www.ecu.edu/english/journals] – Christopher Mote

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