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Columbia Poetry Review - Spring 2004

  • Issue Number: Number 17
  • Published Date: Spring 2004
  • Publication Cycle: Annual

This handsome perfect-bound journal out of Chicago with its heavy matte cover first drew me in with its impressive and diverse list of contributor’s names on the back: Nick Carbó, Karen Volkman, Wanda Coleman. From lyric narratives to post-avant experimental work, the poems have in common a certain hipness, an investment in emotion and image, and a conversational directness that draws the reader in. I liked too many poems to like to quote from them all—Maureen Seaton’s “When I Was a Sex Goddess” is funny and confident, as is Liz Berlands’s “a feminine fix-it handbook”; Matthew Thorburn’s “Honeymoon Snapshot” (“September // in Glasgow wasn’t April in Paris, but good / enough for a bad movie…”); the incredibly sad “fathers aren’t Gods, either” by Kristin Aardsma. Here are a few lines from Nick Carbó’s poem, “Pelos”: “I have white rabbits running around / my dreams at night. See the streaks / they leave on my temples? You! You put / them there so I would never forget / the lines of your face as you bent / to lick my belly button.” Stimulating and witty, the work represented has a youthful, edgy appeal. 

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Review Posted on October 31, 2005
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