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Black Warrior Review - Fall/Winter 2013

  • Image: Image
  • Issue Number: Volume 40 Number 1
  • Published Date: Fall/Winter 2013
  • Publication Cycle: Biannual

In order to commemorate its 40th anniversary, Black Warrior Review decided to focus on “time travel.” The pieces selected for this issue meet the aims of time travel in such interesting and intriguing ways, this is one journal you will want to make sure to read front to back.

Adeena Reitberger’s “Here is Always Somewhere Else” is a powerfully vulnerable nonfiction piece that takes the reader on a trip of the author’s past, present, and wonderment of the future. The work is split up into eleven different sections that follow Reitberger’s life in chronological order from her childhood to present day. The piece answers “how she got to where she is” and is written in a delicate manner that reflects the constant reminders given to her by her parents and her Jewish heritage:

“You never know what can happen,” our mother said. “It’s best to prepare for the worst.”
Even Superman was not impervious to the world’s dangers. Seventeen days after my thirteenth birthday, he was thrown off his horse and he permanently dislocated his skull from his spine. . . . Superman’s accident coincided with the beginning of Lani’s difficulties at school . . .

Horses play a significant role in this story, they serve as the main way for Reitberger to make sense life’s events as well as the moments that will occur as she travels forward in life and as she travels back and reflects upon the past.

“Snapshots from a Wedding” by Ben Roberts is a unique time traveling piece that places the reader in an old English setting while depicting snapshots from what appears to be a modern wedding. The story speaks to how antiquated some rituals of a standard American wedding are. The snapshot form also allows the reader to realize that while photos are often taken to remember an event, overtime their meanings become lost, and they no longer stand as a perfect memory of that time. The reader will see dialogue such as “Speak thou, Miriam. The maidens come tambouring and proclaiming their dreams.” Next to the description of a woman receiving a text reading, “Woman what have i 2 do w/ u?” It is an interesting piece with a lot to say and is definitely worth checking out.

Wendy Xu has two poems featured in this issue, both addressing the past, present, and future in their own way. In “The Shape of It” the speaker opens herself up to accept the past, live in the present, and embrace the future: “I wake up and inherit the world / as anybody has left it.”

“It” seems to represent the speaker’s life in general, and Xu uses this “it” as a placeholder for the human condition as she writes:

I greet my strangeness and crawl
inside it like a sleeping bag.
Now I will solve my problems.
Now I will emerge in the shape of my destiny.

Xu’s second poem “Holiday” is well worth reading too; don’t forget to check it out.

There are so many other great pieces of work in this issue that it is hard for me to leave them out. This means you should probably pick up a copy for yourself, time travel a bit. It will be the best thing you have done for yourself in 2014 by far.
[www.bwr.ua.edu]

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Review Posted on January 14, 2014
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