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High Desert Journal - Spring 2007

  • Issue Number: Issue 5
  • Published Date: Spring 2007
  • Publication Cycle: Biannual

The oversize High Desert Journal is a seductive collection of prose, poetry, art, and ambience. Michael P. Berman's photography – introduced by Charles Bowden's essay, "Under a Dry Moon": "You learn to love the white light of midday in June when everything is flattened by the molten energy of the sun." – is accompanied by that of Kiev Kirby, Fritz Liedtk, and others. Paintings include James Lavadour's haunting evocations of stone, shadow, and light, and Tracy Lengjeld's mysterious mono-prints. J. Anne Lazarus's poem "frontier spirit” is but one of eight fine poems, and includes these lines: "nevada and wyoming, / montana and arizona, new // mexico, idaho and colorado / respectively // in 1993 / lead the nation // in suicide / as salt // lake city leads / in per capita // consumption / of jell-o.” Karen Fisher's essay, "We Pioneers," correlates a risk-laden move from California to Idaho with perilous relocations from her family history. "Fruit Room" is Donald Snow's memoir of the sorting-through of the accumulations a death demands. "Teaching to the Epiphany" from Travels With the Lorax Generation, by Phil Brick, is an essay on the conflict between ecological and other interests: "Nature must just be the original Rorschach." In "The Buckaroo Way," Sandy Anderson interviews rancher/horseman Ron Miller to explore a little-known western sub-culture derived from ancestral sources in North Africa and Spain. Brandon R. Schrand's thoughtful essay, "All That Glows," reflects on the allure of explosives and the blight of mining. Josh Beddingfield's fiction, "Yellow Cake," is about danger and damage from what once seemed harmless. High Desert Journal is a splendid introduction to a region seldom seen.

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Review Posted on July 31, 2007

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