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TriQuarterly – 2005

Guest editor Kimiko Hahn has compiled a collection of poems and stories based on research, paintings, photographs, and other source materials, several essays about writers’ relationships to influences and original sources, and lengthy contributors’ notes describing the writers’ processes and approaches. Hahn provides an introduction to the issue in a poetry/theory style, “Notes Re: Trawl/Troll,” and includes two poems of her own in the issue. As a reader who is partial to research-based writing, I was especially interested in this issue, but I am confident that readers with no particular connection to this type of work will find a great deal to appreciate here.

Guest editor Kimiko Hahn has compiled a collection of poems and stories based on research, paintings, photographs, and other source materials, several essays about writers’ relationships to influences and original sources, and lengthy contributors’ notes describing the writers’ processes and approaches. Hahn provides an introduction to the issue in a poetry/theory style, “Notes Re: Trawl/Troll,” and includes two poems of her own in the issue. As a reader who is partial to research-based writing, I was especially interested in this issue, but I am confident that readers with no particular connection to this type of work will find a great deal to appreciate here. Most exciting, perhaps, is the range of work presented, from responses to poems of Pablo Neruda by Patricia Spears Jones, to Laurie Sheck’s “Removes” (early American captivity narratives), to Wing Tek Lum’s poem, “A Young Girl in a Cheongsam,” based on a photograph from James Yin and Shi Young’s The Rape of Nanking: An Undeniable History in Photographs. Two prose poems by Ray Gonzalez titled “Findings” mimic the process of writing from research, the way one fragment of data or information may lead to another, associated, yet unrelated. Gonzalez also contributes one of the most eloquent and moving poems in the issue, “El Paso.” Finally, Carol Frost’s explanation of the way in which research influences her language is instructive and inspiring: “…research also gives me the sounds I want for a poem. I research, write down a lot of phrases and words, combine and recombine them for the quality of sounds as much as for the meaning and emotion.”

[www.triquarterly.org

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