The Meadowland Review, not listing very much insight into the journal on their website, is a magazine whose aesthetic must be learned by exploring and reading the magazine for oneself. Notifying only the genres they list and that they accept established and emerging writers, The Meadowland Review leaves a lot to discover.
Benjamin Goluboff’s “Contact Hours” is a perfect poem for the start of a school year, written from the perspective of a professor at a lectern, as each year “the bodies changes but the types persist”:
The kids say what the kids always say.
And as they speak her stanzas,
Dickinson may not rise,
timeless, from the anthology
to dance upon her toes among
the modular seats.
But she does breathe a little
in the country of the young.
I read Jenny Root’s “Crow” three times in a row. Though short and simple, she has control of her language, and the poem makes me both squirm and shudder: “sleek and keen, she preens / with death, faint gleam of meat / and maggot in the eye.” And Jenn Monroe’s piece is a commentary on how expression has changed into a mindless clicking of the “like” button on Facebook. She urges that we must reclaim expression, “physically offer and receive connection.”
As the sole fiction piece, Andrea Jackson’s “Steam” takes place in the 1760s in Glasgow, Scotland and is focused on James Watts’s fundamental contributions to the invention of the steam engine. However, the main character is actually his wife, Peggy, who is an inventor herself. Yet, in that time period, society says that women should stay home and take care of children, not work alongside men in machinery. Having given into an image, James smothers Peggy’s dreams and refuses to let her create. Yet when he uses one of her ideas and claims it as his own, she stands up to him in the only way she can think of—she throws a saltshaker at him at a dinner party, barely missing his head.
Though the issue does contain some editorial errors, the overall collection is a worthwhile read. I still cannot decipher an exact way to categorize this journal except for to say that the pieces speak of important issues and reflect on heavy memories.