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CALYX - Winter 2005

Calyx, “A Journal of Art and Literature by Women” produced out of the Pacific Northwest, has a gladdening grab bag of known and unknown authors and artists, as well as some interesting reviews of poetry books by both local and national writers. As usual, the art in Calyx is fascinating, particularly some portrait/collage work by Sara Paulsen, whose images of haunting faces marred by various layering techniques (watercolor, computer graphics) are compelling. Several poems of note were “The Poet’s Wife” by Maureen Tolman Flannery,” which communicates the frustration of a woman who can’t command her poet husband’s attention long enough to make it into poems about the family dog or birdcage keys, and “Sur le Coq” by Gayle Eleanor, which imagines the woman from the well-known Chagall painting explaining why she prefers riding roosters to horses. I also enjoyed “The Pirate and the Girl,” by Julia Alter, in which a young girl is lured to a beach party: “I have starfish in my hair and he wants / to lure the moon out from under my tongue… / He’ll be selling me the names of the stars / in his eyes. Gold coins will spill from between / my thighs, black honey from my seacold breasts / and I’ll be sweet and glinting.” There’s also a heartwarming story of familial acceptance by a welcoming set of in-laws in Dorothy Blackcrow Mack’s “Once I Lived Without Money, Yet I Was Not Poor.” Many of the pieces in this journal have an uplifting, positive quality, and celebrate women connecting with other women, nature, and the larger world; so don’t read this looking for angry punk feminist poems. This issue also featured a large number of useful reviews of contemporary women’s writing, which I found very helpful, especially for finding interesting women’s work from smaller publishers I might not otherwise have heard about. [Calyx, PO Box B, Corvallis, OR 97339. E-mail: . Single issue $9.50. www.proaxis.com/~calyx/] – Jeannine Hall Gailey
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Review Posted on May 31, 2005
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