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Bryant Literary Review - 2003

The range of experience represented in this annual publication is of particular interest — poets and fiction writers as sophisticated or widely published as Denise Duhamel, Peter Johnson, William Greenway, Antler, and Mark Brazaitis (among others) alongside newcomers Thomas Graves and Audrey Doire. With more than two dozen poems and a half dozen stories, there is much to contemplate and appreciate here. Much of both the fiction, as well as the poetry tends toward the "conversational" and often edgy, though there is sufficient diversity in tone and approach to keep the issue engaging. Particular favorites of mine are "Feral" by Antler, whose work always surprises, compels, and delights, and Greenway's "The Interpretation of Dreams," a short narrative poem that may be the best poem about dreaming I have encountered yet, ending with the exquisite: "and I drove down the wrong way / into what happened next," which is a metaphor for more experiences than I can name, including reading literary journals. "An Innocent Heart" by Catherine Harris is an intelligent fictive consideration of heterosexual marriage. Duhamel's alphabet prose poem "Our Americano" is well…just like the alphabet, promise and potential disguised as…promise and potential (my favorites "yz": "yakety-yack yes-men everywhere. He inspired a / zillion Zen hipsters, zoot suiters, and zazoos with his zing, zazzle, and zowie"). Duhamel never disappoints. [Bryant Literary Review, Faculty Suite F, Bryant College, 1150 Douglas Pike, Smithfield, RI 02917. E-mail: . Single issue $8. ww.bryant.edu/~blr] - SR

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Review Posted on November 30, 2003
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