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Potomac Review - Fall/Winter 2004-05

  • Subtitle: A Journal of Arts & Humanities
  • Issue Number: Issue 38
  • Published Date: Fall/Winter 2004-05

In this issue, Clarissa T. Sligh writes movingly of the unspeakable: how her mother’s twelve-year-old brother was killed by racists, his body dumped on the ground in front of the house. “Her parents were still in the fields. Not able to accept that her brother was dead, she cradled his lifeless body in her lap and rocked him back and forth.” Sligh’s grandparents, needing to work in the fields but desperately afraid for their other sons, resorted to hanging them high in the trees in burlap sacks so they couldn’t wander away from the farm. Carla Panciera’s gently incisive “Darcy Didn’t Want to Be Home” tells the story of a wandering cow, a sentient being wanting more than her allotted life, from the perspective of a daughter caught between her father’s view of the animal as a product, and her own, more intuitive understanding of the world’s ways. Potomac Review, though not a religious publication, generously makes room for several offerings touching on the life of the spirit, such as Viva Hammer’s essay “Our Yarmulka” which quietly demonstrates how even a simple article of clothing, seen in the light of history, can become an article of faith, and the wearing of it, a way of keeping faith with those who are lost to time. If there is an overriding theme to the Potomac Review, it is the bonds of relationship—the sometimes excruciating sacrifices they ask of us, and the best of ourselves they give us in return. [Potomac Review, 51 Mannakee St., Rockville, MD 20850. E-mail: . Single issue $10.] - Ann Stapleton



Volume 1 Issue 2

This is the second “best of” collection from the small.spiral.notebook website and there is a wealth of excellent fiction here. My favorite piece was “Immersion” by Judy Budnitz, which manages to deal with issues of race, jealousy and sisterhood with subtlety and artfulness. Although, who would expect less from Budnitz? Other fiction highlights include Jill Carroll’s “How to Be a Good Daughter” and the delightfully twisted short-short “Oyster” by Ken Foster. The poetry in this issue did not strike me as much as the fiction, but I enjoyed both of Mark Cunningham’s prose-poems about confusion and frustration. There are a couple pieces here that simply miss the mark, but for a second issue small.spiral.notebook shows plenty of promise. I can only hope they keep up the good work. [Small Spiral Notebook. E-mail: . Year subscription $12.] – Lincoln Michel

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Review Posted on February 28, 2005

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