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Tiferet – 2004

Ignore the over-sized, cursive drop caps that begin each piece (inelegantly in their aggressive elegance) and concentrate on the larger-than-life sized prose in this issue. When I think of “spiritual literature,” I think first of poetry, and there certainly are some memorable poems here (most notably work by Rachel Hadas, Kathleen Graber, and ellen), but it’s the prose that, surprisingly and delightfully, commands my attention above all.  Ignore the over-sized, cursive drop caps that begin each piece (inelegantly in their aggressive elegance) and concentrate on the larger-than-life sized prose in this issue. When I think of “spiritual literature,” I think first of poetry, and there certainly are some memorable poems here (most notably work by Rachel Hadas, Kathleen Graber, and ellen), but it’s the prose that, surprisingly and delightfully, commands my attention above all. This issue is worth the steep price alone for an amazing, heartbreaking, and inspiring story by Marie Sheppard Williams who strikes a difficult balance between humor and pathos in a story that takes up the subject of homelessness in the harsh Minnesota winter, “Jeane 49 Duluth.” This story was so good, I’d buy any journal where Sheppard Williams appears in the Table of Contents. Liz Rosenberg’s “Eden” deserves special mention, too. In both stories it’s the unusual tone (casually deliberate or deliberately casual) that makes the pieces so successful. All in all, there are ten fine pieces of short fiction here, two dozen poems, and five essays that range from literary criticism to Biblical exegesis to Greg Cook’s thoughtful essay on the origins of the word “walking” and its literal and metaphoric role in our lives as spiritual beings. [Tiferet, PO Box 659, Peapack, NJ 07977-0659. E-mail: [email protected] Single issue $14.95. www.tiferetjournal.com] – SR

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