Entering its tenth year of publication, this journal of the University of South Carolina at Beaufort offers readers fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry by established and emerging writers. Kathleen Rooney’s essay “Coy Mistress,” about her work as an artist’s and photographer’s nude model appealed to me, perhaps all the more so because I read it while sitting clothed in a paper gown on a physician’s examination table, and over the years, I’ve wondered how a person guards her/his composure while under such close scrutiny. Rebecca McLanachan’s essay, “Interstellar,” delves into the relationship between two sisters. Artfully structured around the recurrent image of double stars, it movingly portrays their changing relationship over time. In the short story “Uncle Will,” Ron Cooper convincingly depicts an irascible older man and his clever solution to the perennial problem of transportation. Poems by some two dozen authors take up half of the journal. They include works by Nelson James Dunford, Michael Johnson, Sharon Doyle, David Lunde, and Jane Sanderson. Standouts are Michael Bassett’s “Aphorisms of One Who Calls Himself Legion Because He is Many”: “The wounds we cannot live / without define us the way the night / sky outlines the stars.” Similarly, in her prose poem (or flash memoir) “Detour,” Sanderson powerfully depicts the feelings a person experiences upon visiting a once concentration camp, now memorial. Frederick Zydek’s “Dreams That Get It Right,” part of a collection-in-progress about dreams, also prompted me to think, with these lines:
These dreams are true as first
light where all the many things
are one, a place in the middle
of nowhere between the fierce
edges of life and our slow waking.
I’ll look forward to hearing more about these dreams—and to the time when Apostrophe adds its presence to the web.
[Apostrophe, English Department, University of South Carolina at Beaufort, 801 Carteret St., Beaufort, SC 29902. Copy price: $10.]