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Hanging Loose - 2003

Hanging Loose, a lovely and inventive poetry and fiction journal out of Brooklyn, may very well be the source to consult for contemporary poems of the most living kind. The work here is refreshingly unpretentious, playful, and altogether untouched by the cerebral rarefaction of academia or clumsy experimentalism. Yet seriously inventive compositions find a warm welcome here. “Madame Bowery,” an illustrated cartoon poem written by Sharon Mesmer and drawn by David Borchart, is a prime example of work that is at once edgy, felicitous, and wholly alive in its spirited weirdness. Likewise, Richard Loranger’s emulation of written liturgy, “Poems for a Centralized Church,” thrives happily in its slightly post-modern, satirical humor, while delivering a touching paean to the strange art of poetry, forever impractical and indispensable. Hanging Loose should perhaps be best known, however, for the space it devotes exclusively to the work of high-school age writers: bold and muscular short fiction and poems by distinctive young voices that startle in their brave grasp of image. Sample these sweet lines by Brittany Nichole Lovejoy, from her poem “Ryan’s Lake”: “HE JUMPED / pulling his muscular legs to his chest, / and in the moment before / he fell through the horizontal line, / splitting / Heaven / and / Earth, / he was / The Keeper of All Happiness.” [www.hangingloosepress.com] - MC

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Review Posted on November 30, 2003
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