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Colorado Review - Fall/Winter 2006

  • Issue Number: Volume 33 Number 3
  • Published Date: Fall/Winter 2006
  • Publication Cycle: annual

Colorado Review is probably best known for its poetry. And this issue includes over fifty pages of poems, including the powerful “Orders of Infinity” by Jacqueline Osherow, a meditation on the inexpressibility of trauma and the loss of singularity when faced with infinity. The narrator of Osherow’s poem returns to a now-tree-lined Treblinka in an attempt to make sense of the thousands who were killed. What the narrator finds are cremated bodies measured in piles of stone. Although the poetry is stellar – and really every piece in this issue demonstrates an exceptional quality of craft – what captures the reader’s attention in this issue is the prose – including the winner of the 2006 Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction, a haunting story of a man’s unraveling by Lauren Guza, and the essays. In particular, Brandon Schrand’s essay about his experience as a telemarketer for six years is unparalleled. “Confessions of a Telemarketer” takes us into the world of outbound call centers, and gives us the feel and vocabulary of a place we often only imagine as we answer our telephones. Like any good nonfiction, though, the telemarketing world is only part of the story. Schrand is much more interested in exploring the kind of person he becomes while he works the phones, one who sees “contacts as contacts and never people” and “time zones as sale zones rather than places rife with communities and neighborhoods.” His essay is riveting because we can see ourselves in his decisions, and we understand the damage that can be done when people are reduced to numbers. Read alongside Osherow’s poem, Schrand’s essay multiplies in meaning – the mark of an excellent literary journal.  []

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Review Posted on April 30, 2007

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