This is an unassuming bi-annual, modestly staple-bound and graphic-less.
This is an unassuming bi-annual, modestly staple-bound and graphic-less. But don’t let the Plain-Jane cover fool you; between its pages resides some of the most consistently-good poetry I’ve encountered in a literary journal. My particular poetic weakness is for imagistic work that relies more on language than narrative–so long as it’s beautiful, I don’t always care if it doesn’t make immediate sense. From the opening lines of the first poem, “Aloft” by Lauren Bower Smith, I knew Two Rivers was going to give me just that: “A man speaks and moths / fly out of his mouth. The moths / sift down like ashes, and one / lights on the tip of my finger– / folds into a leaf, a flame, / a flower petal. Unfolds. / Folds. When he speaks [. . .]”. The rest is just as good, though I suppose to be expected from a roster of poets such as this, nearly all of whom seem to have at least two books under their collective belts. The one exception I noted is a junior at Sarah Lawrence College who’s already been published in The Paris/Atlantic. Still, who can complain when a journal like this is the result? Besides poetry, Issue 9 also contains a wonderfully subtle short story by Amy Knox Brown about a woman unable to face her own alcoholism, as well a section of brief reviews of new poetry collections–this last was good to see in a world woefully short on such things. Poets with manuscripts to shop should check out the recently begun Two Rivers Review Poetry Chapbook Prize. [Two Rivers Review, P.O. Box 158, Clinton, NY 13323. Email: [email protected]. Single issue $6. http://trrpoetry.tripod.com] – KL