Such established and accomplished writers as Jim Daniels and Colleen S. Harris are joined by many student writers, a funky section of writing about the music scene, and 20 pages of impressive artwork.
The artwork is, literally and figuratively, the centerpiece of the magazine, featuring photographs, etchings, paintings, collage, and mixed media works representing a broad range of styles and techniques, much of which is technically adept and visually exciting. I admired, in particular, a delightful photograph by Melina Ramirez of a bulldog asleep against a crumbling stone wall; a marvelous mixed media collage by Eugenia Tsai of a Japanese couple against a verbal text and floral backdrop; a fun and inventive sculpture by Emmanuel Mendoza (a rabbit and top-hat lamp).
An acrylic painting by Becky Goll, “Let There Be Light,” a stark room of bare table tops that evokes the feelings of an empty gym or meeting room with its sensation of dust and dim light and remembered-better-days-past/passed, among other fine works. The quality of the reproductions is exceptionally good with clear images and true colors.
Highlights of the issue also include the poem, “Second Sight,” by the aforementioned Harris, a reminder of poetry’s power to capture a big story in a confined container:
My eye is the eye from my father’s head,
a murky green, a milky gauze
filming its sight like rain over warped windows.
I gaze into the mirror and know
he is gone.
The section of notes on recent music releases, complete with photographs of the musicians whose releases are critiqued, is an unusual find and likely of interest to readers of the generation of the many of the students whose literary work appears here and who write this section of the magazine. An editor’s note describes the journal as innovative and the music section certainly seems, if not innovative, out of the ordinary for this type of journal.