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Embodied Effigies - Summer 2014

  • Image: Image
  • Issue Number: Issue 4
  • Published Date: Summer 2014
  • Publication Cycle: Biannual online
Started in April of 2012, Embodied Effigies puts an emphasis on creative nonfiction writers, “and the bonds that hold us together as we explore our pasts, presents, and futures.” A long time coming, the Summer 2014 issue is now out, and it was worth the wait.

In Mark Lewandowski’s piece, he admits to having commitment issues, but not those of the romantic variety—he can’t pick a hairdresser:
Subconsciously, I hoped for a girl my mother would not approve of. . . . The more stylists I patronized, the greater variety of looks and attitudes I would accumulate. Normal for a fourteen year old . . . but this went on for years, all the way through graduate school. It got worse when I began to drive, for them I roamed all over town, even neighboring ones, peeking through salon windows hoping to spot a heavily made-up gum chomper idly thumbing a Cosmo and waiting, no, yearning to deliver me up the haircut to end all haircuts.
His writing is honest, and the descriptions both accurate and humorous. Take, for example, when he describes an old barber cutting his hair when he is a child: “keeping a conversation going . . . with the reading, smoking men in front of me, as if he were indeed looking over a hedge during his Saturday chores.”

I appreciated Jaime Wise’s “Her,” a short essay that gives an accurate, brief glimpse into life with depression. She describes herself as feeling iced over, trying to make it just one more day. The analogy at the end is perfect:
she remembers a story she read as a child, about a boy who crashed through the ice. He knew he couldn’t wait the hours he needed for help, so he kept telling himself ‘One minute longer’ over and over again until the townspeople came to pull him out.
Equally, Lorriane Berry gives a glimpse into grief. It’s true what they say about how everyone takes a different amount of time to experience, but Berry gives a list of things that she has learned thus far, six weeks after the death of her father. It’s heartbreaking, and honest, and certainly worth the read.

I also recommend Calvin Mills’s “Wintergreen” and Eugene Durante’s “A Tale of Stop (And Not) Frisk,” in particular.

Originally started as a final project for a class, Embodied Effigies now continues separate from that with “no until” anymore, “only that Embodied Effigies will continue.” It’s rare to see magazines created for classes to remain this long, and let’s hope it continues on for a great deal of time, because it certainly publishes the quality material to do so.
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Review Posted on November 16, 2014

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