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The Florida Review – Fall 2004

Billy Collins’ gracing the opening of this issue with three wonderful poems is almost an added bonus, because The Florida Review is already filled with outstanding writers whose names may not be recognizable but whose work is surely a sign of things to come.

Billy Collins’ gracing the opening of this issue with three wonderful poems is almost an added bonus, because The Florida Review is already filled with outstanding writers whose names may not be recognizable but whose work is surely a sign of things to come. “Unfound” by Matthew Sullivan is one of the best short stories I’ve yet encountered in the little magazines: a work of mystery, romance, culture shock, and family secrets that transcends all genres. What does one strange photograph mean to Ricket, an American with one friend dying in California and another with a hidden past in New Zealand? Once Sullivan grabs you with the image, it’s hard to stop reading. The six additional short stories in this issue include “Camouflage Fall” by Adam Schuitema and “The Hunter” by Jubal Tiner, both hunting narratives that use different perspectives to achieve pathos. I enjoyed the poetry of Jolene Heathcote for its fascination with history, with the genesis and exodus, it seems, of civilization. “[W]hen I rest, my body / dreams itself an embankment / of gunfire and shrapnel / and electromagnetic radiation,” she writes in “Euphrates River Valley,” appealing to both the historical and the contemporary modes of warfare, perfectly relevant without being political. Also included: three poems by Dionisio D. Martinez, whose bold stanzas run off the page. And for creative nonfiction lovers, Timothy Bascom’s memoir “And I’ll Fly Away” is a must. If you like your lit without the academic criticism and polemic, be sure to add The Florida Review to your reading list. 

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