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Katy Haas

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Published by the University of South Dakota since 1963, this issue of South Dakota Review contains many fine stories including James Jay Egan's "The Hand of God," in which things go terribly wrong, Robert J. Nelson's graceful memoir "The Music Teacher," Katherine L. Holmes lyrical "Eggs in a Basket," and Christine Sneed's "Furious Weather."

Smartish Pace - 2005

September 30, 2005
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Eric Pankey and Jim Daniels, John Kinsella and Denise Duhamel — there's no formula here, no template — the breadth of poems in Smartish Pace is one of its key attractions. Forty-two poets as different from each other as forty-two poets can be. There is a pleasing balance here, too, of stars (Bob Hicock and Lola Haskins, not to mention Rimbaud, Italian poet Giovanii Pascoli, and Polish poet Jerzy Kronhold, in addition to the aforementioned) and newcomers. I am sure I would have found Darren Jackson's poem, "Pain Rents a Room Off Bourbon Street," one of his first to be published, powerful had I read it last week or last year, but from here forward, of course, it becomes an entirely new experience:

River Styx - 2005

September 30, 2005
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An impressive 30th anniversary issue featuring many prolific and well established writers, including Dorianne Laux, Lucia Perillo, Sharon Olds, William Gass, Molly Peacock, Louis Simpson, Richard Burgin, and Robert Finch, among others, as well as many accomplished, but lesser known talents, including Alison Pelegrin, Marcela Sulak, Allen C. Fischer, and Jacbo M. Appel.

The Reader - Summer 2005

September 30, 2005
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Penelope Shuttle admits that she is a bookworm while she talks (writes) about the importance of reading aloud, a common activity of the past, less common in the present. She attends author readings, the most memorable of which she describes. “It was Pablo Neruda who made the very deepest impression on me.

Rattle - Summer 2005

September 30, 2005
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Do lawyers write poetry? Well, if a tribute to lawyers who write appears in the summer 2005 issue of Rattle, the answer is a resounding yes: lawyers do write poetry. Lawyer poems can often be just as sad, angry, or serious as non-lawyer poems. They can even be humorous, like these lines taken from ‘“What Is Your Idle Job?’” by Ace Bogess: “Then it’s back to the office for coffee / tasting like gasoline, maybe a doughnut on the sly” he writes. “If my boss pops over, checking my progress, / I greet him with a good-natured pat on the back / to wipe the sticky glaze from my fingertips.”

Pilgrimage - 2005

September 30, 2005
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I have never been disappointed by an issue of Pilgrimage. In a world that is exceedingly desperate, both on and off the page, this exquisite little journal never fails to soothe and stimulate in equal measure, with intelligence, grace, and authenticity. This issue's theme is "borderlands."
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Art “lives on long after wars have ended and townspeople have mended their ravaged homes and gone on with their lives...” says the editor of Other Voices. Each of the 16 stories in the spring/summer issue contains the suggestion of crossing a boundary, whether psychological, physical, social or national.
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“What reader,” says Maureen D. Mack, “does not search for a happy ending at the end of a love story? How many of us yearn for a better ending to a human conflict or loss that we have suffered in our lives?”
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There are literary magazines that you read and enjoy, but end up piled in your closet amongst back issues of other magazines. Then there are literary magazines that are so lovingly put together and carefully designed that they demand prominent placement on your bookshelf or coffee table. Ninth Letter is one of the latter. This University of Illinois based publication seeks to reinvent the literary magazine by infusing it with design and art.
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Montreal-based poet Robyn Sarah served as guest editor for what is called a "small anthology" of poems featured in this issue. Sarah also contributes an essay on poetics in which she defines a good poem: "it should transcend its own particulars; it should be built to bear weight; it should have lift." The nearly four dozen poets she's selected offer up work Sarah finds "attentive to language, memorable, ponderable, convincing." Sarah clearly favors plain diction, narrative impulses, strong, authentic voices, and emotional integrity.
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