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The Kenyon Review – Spring 2004

This issue of Kenyon Review might help a newcomer to the literary world learn who’s who; there are so many well-established poets and writers here: Alice Hoffman, Stanley Plumly, Marvin Bell, Carl Phillips, David Lehman…and the list goes on.

This issue of Kenyon Review might help a newcomer to the literary world learn who’s who; there are so many well-established poets and writers here: Alice Hoffman, Stanley Plumly, Marvin Bell, Carl Phillips, David Lehman…and the list goes on. This Ohio-based journal may not hold many surprises, but it does contain a good deal of excellent writing, including a long poem (a form sadly often neglected in page-miserly lit mags) by Beth Ann Fennelly called “Telling the Gospel Truth.” Here are a few lines from Alice Hoffman’s lyrical “The Witch of Truro”: “Witches take their names from places, for places are what give them their strength. The place need not be beautiful, or habitable, or even green. Sand and salt, so much the better. Scrub pine, plumberry and brambles, better still. From every bitter thing, after all, something hardy will surely grow.” The reviews and essays here are also intelligent and probing, especially Kim McMullen’s “New Ireland/Hidden Ireland: Reading Recent Irish Fiction” and Thomas Gardner’s essay “Restructured and Restrung, Charles Wright’s Zone Journals and Emily Dickinson.” 

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