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Booth - December 2011

  • Published Date: December 2011
  • Publication Cycle: Weekly online

Run by the MFA program at Butler University, Booth publishes something every week on their website and has a print publication each spring. I have never seen the print edition, but found the online material quite intriguing. I was especially impressed by their selections of poetry.

“Maxwell’s Demon” by Elizabeth Hazen has a nice eloquent flow to it. The following, though taken out of context, may entice the reader to read more:

the nature of my longing, but even you
cannot exist without consequence: your gaze
alone alters everything you see. Like mine,
your presence interferes, unbalances, warps

And here is a sample of “The Dreams of Wives” by Elizabeth Harmon Threatt:

I give you my hand
to break the fingers if you want
and the small reed-bones
on the back of my palm to snap
while you catch new grass
between your toes, blades sinking
deep through your brittle heels

Or “Sovereignty” by W.F. Lantry:

I cleared the loose dimensions of a glade,
cut saplings down, untangled every vine,
rank poison ivy, devil’s thorn, red grape,
tore out coarse undergrowth, and carried limbs
storm fallen, to the bramble edge, then mowed
our meadow grasses almost to a lawn.

Booth isn’t afraid to take chances with its fiction. “Uniform” by Andrew Scott, published back in May 2011, begins: “Colin Myers first slept with his neighbor four days after his eighteenth birthday, but he’d wanted Wanda Mitchell for two long summers.” Then proceeds an excellent fantasy story that would appeal to most red-blooded American men who have oft had such a fantasy. Another appealing story, found in the January 2011 collection, “What They Did with the Body” by Mike Meginnis, begins: “Once the community had agreed that Mr. Reed would have to die, including Mrs. Reed and the sheriff and all the sheriff’s deputies, everything was simple and easy, and the murder came quite naturally.” While everyone can agree to do away with Mr. Reed, they can’t agree on what to do with his body, so they divide it up among themselves. This—as one might suppose—creates a few problems.

In its weekly offerings, there is often a merging of prose, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, so that one is not always certain about the proper classification, and designations are not made by the journal. But that’s all right. It works. This is a good online website to visit, and I suspect the annual print publication contains some gems for the reading public as well.

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Review Posted on January 16, 2012

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