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Pleiades - 2005

I was immediately impressed by the overall presentation of this issues of Pleiades, beginning with the cover artwork by Julie Speed and following with the overall heft of the issue itself. The contents are pretty evenly divided between one hundred pages of creative writing and one hundred pages of book reviews. On the creative side there are three pieces of well crafted fiction, of which I particularly enjoyed the odd, prose poem piece titled "Scarlie," by Tod Williams, an epigrammatic "essay," an extremely intriguing interview with the poet Reginald Shepherd, and various poems from a total of nineteen different poets ranging from the beautifully  simplistic and succinct language of Catherine Barnett's "Ritual," to the tongue twisting wordplay of Randall Mann's "The Last Dinner Party." I found the bulk of the poetry in this issue to be well above the usual standard and the range and variety of language, style, and approach to be truly refreshing. It was a pleasure for me to read the following lines from Alex Lemon's "Juke Joint:" "I am Hi-Fi, all of me is surround / sound. I snap my fingers & the world / is xylophones. Feel my wrist, / it is a coda dragging its feet. I click / my teeth like cymbals . . ." While this issue of Pleiades was definitely more heavily weighted in the poetry department, both on the creative side and in the topics for book review, with only three of the books reviewed being fiction, I still found it to be a satisfying read due to the superior quality of the work. [Pleaides: A Journal of New Writing] - Mary Baken
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Review Posted on February 24, 2016

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