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BackwardsCity Review - Winter 2006

  • Issue Number: Volume 2 Number 1
  • Published Date: Winter 2006
  • Publication Cycle: Biannual

Part comic book, part ironic guidebook for today’s troubled yet repeatedly humorous world, the winter edition of Backwards City Review reveals the more playful side of the more reflective, more meditative literary journal; and yes, this is possible. While its contents won’t dazzle your minister—unless, of course, he’s not put off by a hearty double helping of sarcasm—this issue offers roughly 100 pages of quirky, if, at times, campy, quality writing, complete with a giant, purple, city-crushing, donut-eating robot on its cover. All the world an oddity. Let’s just say you know what you’re in for when you see the cover and your interest continues its meandering inside. Andrew Kozma’s en face poetic duet “Of The Civil Principality” and “Of Cruelty and Mercy_1_, and Whether It Is Better to Be Loved Than Feared, or The Contrary,” both inspired by Machiavelli’s classic manifesto The Prince, and J.G. Brister’s prose-poem-meets-extreme-fiction piece, “If You’re Reading This, I’m Dead,” are seeming misfits. They’re less jesting in nature, and stand out against an otherwise blithe and facetious collection of work, suggesting toward, and likewise foiling, Backward City Review’s implied personality as a journal. Which is not to say Backwards City Review doesn’t offer readers a good read. What it does offer is a different kind of read, one reminiscent of, say, Breakfast of Champions, or the more obscure, and less violent, moments in Pulp Fiction. Perhaps, however, the foils are not meant to steal the show. Martin Arnold’s poem, “Unhappy Is The Land That needs Heroes,” and C.L. Bledsoe’s poem ,“Types of Fish I Don’t Like,” provide a more accurate view of the issue’s mentality and approach, what some might call the lighter side of literature. But, really, Backwards City Review merely knows how to laugh, a skill, for literary journals, worth at least trying, if not trying to master. []

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Review Posted on April 30, 2006

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