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The Meadow – 2007

While the title may give the impression of wide open spaces, this publication is anything but in its content. A mere 87 pages is packed with over 30 contributors of artwork, poetry, prose (fiction/non-fiction? can’t always tell), and an interview with Ellen Hopkins (author of the poetry novel Crank). The authorship range is varied, with contributions coming from Truckee Meadows Community College students to such well knowns as Suzanne Roberts and Lyn Lifshin (“I Remember Haifa Being Lovely But” reprint). Part of the Hopkins’s interview focuses on the Ash Canyon Poets, some of whose work is featured. Hopkins agrees with the interviewer that the poets’ focus on place is “fed mostly by this stunning place where we live.”

While the title may give the impression of wide open spaces, this publication is anything but in its content. A mere 87 pages is packed with over 30 contributors of artwork, poetry, prose (fiction/non-fiction? can’t always tell), and an interview with Ellen Hopkins (author of the poetry novel Crank). The authorship range is varied, with contributions coming from Truckee Meadows Community College students to such well knowns as Suzanne Roberts and Lyn Lifshin (“I Remember Haifa Being Lovely But” reprint). Part of the Hopkins’s interview focuses on the Ash Canyon Poets, some of whose work is featured. Hopkins agrees with the interviewer that the poets’ focus on place is “fed mostly by this stunning place where we live.”

The same could be said for the content of much of this issue of MeadoW. The two opening poems, Ben Gotschall’s “Idaho” and Taylor Graham’s “Selling the Saddle,” immediately sweep the reader into wide open plains and onto dusty trails. Just as strongly, Lowell Andrew Warbingon’s prose piece “Portland Stories” envelopes the reader in the damp of the northwest, and the many hopeful spirits that region has no doubt dampened. Jim Lamoreux’s poem “It Is Done With Them” offers an understanding of nature’s ability to shatter hope through his recounting of the westward trail taken by so many pioneers, and lives lost in the pursuit of dreams. Although, place can be as simple as the space under a bed, as Jo L. Gerrard shows in her prose “The Comfort of Dark Spaces.” The prose in this issue is generally strong but quiet. No great epiphanies or grinding tensions, but thoughtfully crafted progressions that leave strong images with the reader. There are inconsistencies with the selections that could be more carefully developed by the editors, though the overall flow of the journal from one piece to the next is tight, which is no easy task when dealing with only one piece from each author. The art is well worth the color spread, though again here, medium identification would help. Definitely room to grow in this MeadoW, and under the guidance of Lindsay Wilson, formally of Fugue, I think this journal shows great promise. [http://www.tmcc.edu/meadow/]

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