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Brick - Winter 2005

  • Issue Number: Issue 76
  • Published Date: Winter 2005
  • Publication Cycle: Biannual

Brick, a Canadian journal of non-fiction and poetry, is a magazine in a class of its own. The contributors in the winter issue include prominent writers like Donna Tart, Oliver Sacks, David Sedaris, Geoff Dyer, and Fanny Howe. The issue begins with a quote from John Berger, the perfect writer to introduce this pioneering journal that relishes in investigating and pressing against the boundaries of literature. The nonfiction pieces are incredibly eclectic in style and subject, with essays on boxing, Dublin, highways, the novel True Grit, and Thom Gunn, in addition to a transcript of a speech made at the 2005 Griffin Poetry Awards ceremony—and interesting and often humorous meditation on the state of poetry—and letters from Norman Levine and William Faulkner. The previously unpublished letter from Faulkner to an aspiring writer is a standout; he prescribes Dostoevsky, Mann, and Hardy to the struggling artist and offers gems like “no writing that was worth doing was ever done in one day or one year, sometimes, oftentimes, not in one decade.” Arli’s Poems, collaborations between an English Setter and her owner, Elizabeth Mann Borgese, is another unique piece. While the dog’s talent remains in question—one portion reads, “bed a ccat / cad a baf / bdd af dff”—you wouldn’t be likely to find such a feature anywhere but Brick, a serious magazine that resists taking itself too seriously. The issue also includes an interview with Toni Morrison and wonderful black and white photographs by Henryk Ross, images that are all at once gritty and whimsical. Brick is unlike anything else in the literary marketplace—essential for anyone with an interest in contemporary literature and literary culture. This magazine takes big risks and never fails to be interesting—which is, in the end, what matters. [Brick: A Literary Journal, Box 573, Station Q, Toronto, Ontario, M4T 2M5, Canada. Single issue $12.]—Laura van den Berg

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Review Posted on January 31, 2006

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