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Puerto del Sol - Spring 2005

  • Issue Number: Volume 40 Issue 1
  • Published Date: Spring 2005
  • Publication Cycle: Biannual

A generous and attractive volume, this 40th anniversary issue of Puerto del Sol contains a 60-page excerpt "El Malpais (The Badlands)," from In the Shadows of the Sun by Alexander Parsons, a compelling novel set in the New Mexico countryside of the mid-1940's when ranchers were allowed to return to confiscated—and possibly contaminated—land: "It was hard to believe how quickly it had been ruined: they had made it to last, painstakingly fitting each stone so that the cement mortar was superfluous to the binding force of gravity. But the impact from the atomic detonation, two miles east, had undone this." Admirable work by 32 poets and eight short story writers, including the AWP Journals Project poem "Conservation" by Amy McCann—"prairie gone to vetch, a few acres wedged between soccer field, shooting range, juvenile prison.” Richard Benjamin's story, "Ever Since the Boys Club Started," gives us a Holden-Caulfield take on a basketball game: "A solitary child is yelling Marco, then Polo, perfectly content. A bunch of little kids are standing at the side, fingers meshed with metal fence, taking it all in." "Charleston for Breakfast” by Kevin Clouther is a delightful love story. Leslie Mackay's excellent and troubling essay, "Visiting Adele: A Vision of Another American War," provides an unfamiliar glimpse of modern-day Bolivia, a Bolivia in which guilt-by-association stands in for judge and jury. When women are guilty—by reason of association with husbands, brothers, fathers, sons—their children accompany them into prisons of little food and less comfort, a system fostered by U.S. demand for cocaine and the concurrent war on drugs.

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Review Posted on August 31, 2005

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