Fiction, verse, prose poems, book reviews, and black-and-white photography burst from the nearly 200 pages of this journal, which has been published since 1968 by Loyola University New Orleans. If by looking at this journal we were to gauge the events in the Big Easy, Hurricane Katarina would have been a whisper. Among the poems are works by David Welch, Haine Easton, and Arielle Greenberg. The editors have pointed to two poetry features that focus on the works of Endi Hartigan and Molly Lou Freeman. In such selections as “Owl,” “Icestorm,” and “Avalanches,” Hardigan considers the intersections of natural forces.
The fiction in this issue stands out for either its treatment of unusual subject matter or its unusual treatment of more commonplace subject matter. Margaret Holmes’s first-person portrayal of a mentally ill woman in “Riding with the Top Down” is chilling (though following the writer’s maxim, “don’t tell the reader what to think,” the author might have omitted the first paragraph). Conversely, “Do Kids in California Dream of North Carolina?” by Andrew Farkas requires that readers assemble pieces into a kind of Rubik’s cube like the one around which the imagery and narration center. In it, the narrative of Trevor and Kat veers on an uncertain trajectory (like in physics) until it telescopes into the future when Trevor will scream: “No! There must be a center of energy where it all makes sense!” Compelling indeed. Needing to work to make sense of it all also comes into play in “October,” Josie Milliken’s stream-of-conscious piece that succeeds in stopping time in that poignant spot in between then and when. Bravo!