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Oleander Review - Fall 2009

  • Issue Number: Issue 3
  • Published Date: Fall 2009
  • Publication Cycle: Annual

“Make it good. Do what you have to do to make it good.” That’s jack-of-all-genres (poetry, fiction, nonfiction, teaching, publishing) Ander Monson’s perfect answer to interviewer Shaelyn Smith’s question about process. And it describes the work in Issue 3. The interview with Monson is terrific. Anne Carson and Bob Currie’s “Wildly Constant” is wildly fascinating with its blurred text, revision-like elements (cross outs, arrows, notes) and Carson’s signature economy, those compact little lines that contain whole worlds.

Kira Rose’s “I Grew Up in a House My Father Called Pakistan” (the genre is not identified, but it reads like fiction that intends to read like an essay or an essay that intends to read like fiction) is as beautiful as its title. “Real Cheese in an Imaginary Refrigerator,” a short story by Joe Kraus is as entertaining as its title (“I don’t really like short stories either,” the story begins).

Kellen Braddock’s poem, “Expulsion of Taxidermy,” is a fine example of the intersection of the stuff of life (the contents of a museum) with the potential of language to transform that stuff into larger meanings. Stephanie Dickinson’s prose poems from her “Lust” series are careful, yet lush, as in this excerpt from #41: “Moon passes under a bread wrapper cloud and goes out. Bowery graveyard. The dawn is a window grate fire escape, a blurred curtain. Dawn noses the pale stones sunk into dirt.” Young photographer Devin Hendrick’s black and white photographs of a flooded playground are…well… she did what she had to do to make them good.

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Review Posted on April 19, 2010

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