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Katy Haas

Fairy Tale Review - 2005

November 30, 2005
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Charming and adventurous, this new annual journal displays impressive wit and eclecticism. Right away you know Fairy Tale Review will be a different sort of literary magazine from its multiple visual references to Andrew Lang’s Fairy Book Collection, (a series of books listed by color, the Red Fairy Book, the Olive Fairy Book, etc.)

Crate - Spring 2005

November 30, 2005
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Southern California is a nexus of geography and culture, a place where perspectives about the world get reflected through the iridescent sheen of difference.
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I am occasionally awed and inspired to be reminded of the number of excellent literary journals produced by this country’s community colleges. Controlled Burn comes to us out of Kirtland Community College of Roscommon Michigan, but in design, content, and skillful editorial vision, this publication is easily on a par with our nation’s more celebrated, ivy-league journals.

Buffalo Carp - 2004

November 30, 2005
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Many of the works in Buffalo Carp, “a hybrid, an amalgam” of two species native to the Quad City Mississippi River area, also celebrate the natural world. Dennis Saleh’s terse yet lyrical poem, “The Delta Songs of the Harper,” evokes Ra, the Sun God from Egyptian mythology.

Rhino - 2003

January 31, 2004
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This mostly-poetry journal (with a smattering of photos and reviews) out of Evanston, Illinois succeeds in bringing new voices from the poetry world to light. This issue considers the metaphysical questions of spiritual versus human nature, in which speakers deal with their bodies’failures (“What I’m Not Writing,” “How to Continue,” “The Robust Young Man Discusses His Burial”) and with the failures of their faiths (“God is Not Talking,” “Paris Does Not Exist,” “Recidivism”). Here are a few lines from Danna Ephland’s “After Surgery”:
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This slender journal from Ohio State presents well-chosen fiction, poetry, and a piece of non-fiction, mostly from well-known writers such as Robin Behn and Gary Fincke. Not a lot of surprises here, but you’ll find solid selections to sink your teeth into.
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The winter issue of Prairie Schooner contains poetry, stories, and reviews, sprinkled with the names of literary stars like R.T. Smith and Alice Ostriker and some new voices as well. Particularly charming were Alice Friman’s imaginings on the biblical character Ruth in “Remembering in Lilac and Heart-Shaped Leaves,” and Annette Sanford’s story, “Spring ’41,” about a young girl whose beloved aunt comes to live with her in a conservative town – bringing an illegitimate baby with her. I also liked Steve Langan’s poem, “Apricots,” a sensual homage to William Carlos Williams’ “This is Just to Say.” Here are a few lines from Langan’s poem:

MARGIE - 2004

January 31, 2004
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This substantially-sized, yearly MARGIE: The American Journal of Poetry encompasses a wide range of subject matter and styles, from experimental to traditional.
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Containing socio-political commentary, pop culture interest pieces, comics and even recipes, Kitchen Sink—something of a catchall—is aptly named. It’s more zine than litmag, though, and looks the part. Graphically stunning, the entire thing is printed in blue—a harbinger of novelty from the get-go. Right at home in indigo is “Out of Sight,” a poem by Jonathan Loucks that captures fabulously the not-quite-sadness of a man reflecting on the way a passionate relationship has become staider with time. As for the fiction, it has a highly Californian flavor, being full of heart but slightly left-of-center. More enjoyable are the delightful articles, especially “The Price of Parenthood,” which fairly addresses the ambivalence of modern would-be procreators. Another piece, about “why poetry readings suck,” is resonant with candor:
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There is a certain perversity in newspaper-bound journals—after all, how can something as valuable as literature exist in such a vulnerable state, resembling Sunday-edition inserts destined, unread, for the recycling bin. Accustomed to the pretty, diminutive books that populate the same category, I was immediately disarmed by the lackluster appearance of The Threepenny Review
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