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Passages North - Winter/Spring 2004

  • Issue Number: Volume 25 Number 1
  • Published Date: Winter/Spring 2004
Weighing in at two-hundred and eighty pages, this issue of the long-lived Passages North is a hefty journal not only in terms of the writers it publishes, but also just sheer size. That page count allows them the leeway to do what many literary journals cannot: publish a short series of poems by the same person so that it’s possible to gain a wider feel for the poet’s work. Bob Hicok and Jan Bailey, for example, enjoy a run of five poems each. The only complaint I had about the poetry is that there’s so much good stuff here, it’s difficult to focus on one poem or poet to the exclusion of the others. Notable, however, is work by John Poch, Oliver de la Paz and Pamela McClure. Yet poetry is only half the equation; there are also nearly one hundred and fifty pages of fiction to savor. Elaine Ford deservedly leads the way with “The Depth of Winter,” a heart-breaking portrait of a factory girl who knowingly turns up on the doorstep of the wrong man–sometimes we can’t help but repeat the mistakes of our parents. And in “Feathers,” a short-short, Sandra Novak manages to contain in a few scant pages the pain of a daughter whose mother can no longer recall the abuse of her now dead husband because she has Alzheimer’s. But the difficulty I run into with the fiction is the same as the difficulty I have with the poetry: there’s so much good stuff that it’s impossible for me to review it all here. The only solution I can recommend is ordering a copy of this excellent magazine for yourself. [Passages North] – KL
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Review Posted on February 24, 2016

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