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Santa Clara Review - Fall 2006/Winter 2007

  • Issue Number: Volume 94 Number 1
  • Published Date: Fall/Winter 2006/2007
  • Publication Cycle: Biannual

This Santa Clara Review opens with MC Hyland’s Palm Poetry Prize-winning poem, an apt entry into this issue with its measured cadence and stark pronouncements: “God is blond, and loves you, though not as you are now.” Ryan Van Cleave begins his playful third place poem, “Explosion: An Ars Poetica” with the line, “This poem is a bomb,” and goes on to ask, “Does the reader have on clean underwear?” Moments like these create a rich poetic experience throughout when juxtaposed with the dark music of Susanne Kort’s poems “Sonata” and “The Last I Saw Him,” and Sarah Blackman’s poem “Homelands” – which left me not knowing whether to lick my fingers, move to Europe, or melt, with lines like: “Grief is a berm of mussel shells / guarding high water. Tenderness / a slurry of butter and salt left on the plate.” Artwork ranging from amateur to accomplished provides a varied visual interlude; in Nadim Roberto Sabella’s otherworldly color photograph of an abandoned house – the most notable piece among the photos, paintings, and ink drawings – the green light through the open door and window are what one might imagine seeing upon death, at the end of the tunnel, or world. I found the shorter pieces of prose in this issue the most satisfying: Alison’s Stine’s succinct essay, “Understudies,” guides us through a precarious and precious week of new sobriety, whereas Don Waters’ short story, “Twelve Stations,” chronicles one fan’s ardent and funny obsession with Ashton Kutcher, “Ash to his friends.” This issue ends with a poem by Jeffrey Dod, “And,” that seems to capture the gestalt of this Santa Clara Review issue: both sad and funny, cerebral and tactile, lofty and grounded...with an angel on one shoulder, and “fingers in mounds of fresh ground pork.”

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Review Posted on April 30, 2007

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