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ZYZZYVA - Spring 2004

  • Issue Number: Volume 20 Number 1
  • Published Date: Spring 2004

I read this San-Francisco-based journal, an eclectic grab-bag of West Coast writing, on a regular basis, because I have a vested interest in West Coast writing, but also because I am always interested in what will show up next. The editors always have surprising delights hidden among the pages, often in their “First Time in Print” section, where debuting authors are showcased. This issue has a sprinkling of poetry, art, and one farcical script (involving Jorie Graham, the author, an angel, and various other entities), but is overwhelmingly made up of short fiction. (Come on, Howard Junker, would it kill you to include a few more poems?) But props to ZYZZYVA for including a couple of weird, funny pieces I’m not even sure how to classify, like Aimee Bender’s “Some Romans,” Benjamin Chambers’ “It’s Not Enough to Own the Original,” and the aforementioned script “The Big Keep” by Kevin Killian. It’s nice to see editors with a sense of humor. The poignant “Blue” by Holly Chase Williams and the short-short/prose poem “Don’t Say Mulatto” by Roxane Beth Johnson are high points of this issue, elegant and intimate. I also admire the surprisingly sensual photo “Cabbage, Palo Alto,” which somehow resembles a set of gleaming closed eyelids, and William Rehm’s landscape photo, “Fry Canyon Slick Rock.” [ZYZZYVA, P.O. Box 590069, San Francisco, CA, 94159-0069. E-mail: . Single issue $11.] - JHG

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Review Posted on May 31, 2004

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