Within six months of placing a small ad in Poets & Writers, the editors of The Broome Review received more than 1,000 submissions to consider for this inaugural issue. They selected the work of 28 poets, including poems by such prolific and well known poets as Stephen Dunn, Timothy Liu, Lawrence Raab, and Philip Dacey; five fiction writers; and three essayists.
There is a clear editorial preference in this first issue for plainspoken or colloquial language (with a few exceptions among the poets); familiar, almost casual tone; and earnest, recognizable motifs and impulses. Here are a few examples: “Scarred by lightning, its high leaves / already brown as sullen earth, / it had to be taken” (from “Taking Down the Tree” by James Scruton); “Who knows what possesses him, / at his birthday dinner, to confess to me, / his partner of a quarter-century // a flirtation” (from “The Things He Told Me” by Susana H. Case); “If the sky had been clear, / if the water had been colder, / if the music had continued, perhaps / we wouldn’t have fallen in love” (from “The Afternoon Before We Met” by Lawrence Raab).
Particularly noteworthy are a work of sudden fiction by Katherine Lien Chariott, “Foreign Quarter (Taipei, 1968)," a closely observed portrait of a city from the perspective of one who does not feel at home there; and Sarajane Woolf’s essay, “Murder 101,” an entertaining, funny, and smartly crafted piece about taking a class to learn to write murder mysteries. Woolf’s contributor’s note says she has creative nonfiction works forthcoming in a variety of journals. I can’t wait!