The Autumn 2019 issue of The Gettysburg Review offers readers a great selection of poetry and prose as usual, from Alice Friman’s “Hygiene,” which utilizes breasts as a way to measure time and maturity in a sort of tongue-in-cheek way, to the 55-part essay “A Brief Account of Certain Left-Leaning Tendencies” by Valerie Sayers which highlights her father by using the word “left,” to digestible words of wisdom in three poems by Joyce Sutphen.
But what really left me enamored was the art feature. Nine paintings by Anne Siems grace the pages and cover of this issue. The portraits are whimsical and magical, using creative patterns and images of nature to create portraits that draw viewers in. More little details pop out the longer one looks. People become one with nature—mushrooms cloud around a body in “We Are All Connected,” animal heads sprout from hands like puppets in “Beasts,” antlers grow from the head of an animal-surrounded girl in “Eve Dreams of a Wolf.” These works are gorgeous and give readers a good reason to stick around within the pages of this issue long after they’ve gotten their share of words.