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Katy Haas

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On the whole, the poetry in the Spring/Summer 2012 edition of Iodine: Poetry Journal is “poetry of witness,” a term put forth (if not created) by Carolyn Forché. Not every poem is dark and foreboding, however, but the journal is filled with wounds that beg to be healed, even if it hurts to do so. After all, isn’t that the essence of iodine, the tincture, to begin with?
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Here are five reasons why High Desert Journal continues to be one of the best “regional” literary magazines around.

Grain - Winter 2012

July 16, 2012
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Grain: The Journal of Eclectic Writing is based out of Canada and prides itself on publishing challenging writing and art each quarter. This issue includes the winners of the 2011 Short Grain contest.
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Conjunctions is a slippery, difficult journal, and its current issue, “Riveted: The Obsession Issue,” is no exception. As is par for the course with Conjunctions, the writers appear heavily vested in a particular attention to language, with extremely idiosyncratic patterns and constructs of thought. Although ostensibly clustered around a theme, their writing offers broad interpretations of various obsessions that run the gamut from the expected to the unexpected, the probable to the improbable, the tangible to the intangible.

Vallum - 2005

February 28, 2005
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A press release from Vallum: contemporary magazine announces the magazine is "dedicated to exploring reality in all its warped and beautiful aspects" and that this issue is the journal's first theme-based effort. The theme is "reality checks," featuring "'snapshots of things real and unreal."
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Don’t be constrained by the name—Southwest Review, a cosmopolitan literary journal with a strong sense of the past (and thus, a keen understanding of where we might be headed), surely isn’t. Fearlessly fascinated by the inner life, The Review showcases the essay form, with offerings on the painter Tintoretto, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and Baroness Elsa Von Freytag-Loringhoven, now recognized as “the great-aunt of punk” (“‘Cars and bicycles have taillights. Why not I?’ she quipped when asked to explain the battery-operated taillight tacked to the bustle of her dress.”) Chris Arthur’s “Getting Fit” offers a breathtaking description of the simultaneity of life, how, weird or wonderful as it may seem, everything everywhere—birth and death and whatever we can find to squeeze in between—is somehow happening all at once:

Smartish Pace - 2004

February 28, 2005
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"It is the age of noon / when all the hours are sleeping / and you remain awake, for this / is where the poem begins…"—the young German poet Matthias Göeritz (translation by Susan Bernofsky) captures the essence of the entire glorious endeavor of poetry, waking us from sleep, from the stultifying trance of a hot, uncomfortable day—a "metamorphosis" as the poem's title announces.

Poetry - February 2005

February 28, 2005
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A long-time reader of Poetry, I have a confession to make. I read Poetry for the reviews. It's not that I don't appreciate the poetry, of course—what, in this issue, Wislawa Szymborska describes, along with the work of Plato, as "litter scattered by the breeze from under statues / scraps from that great Silence up on high…"—but what inspires and angers and thrills me, above all, is what is found under the heading "comment."
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One of the only literary magazines in the United States to resemble in physical format a standard mainstream magazine, North American Review cannot be found on any newsstands, but is sold entirely by mail order. That the magazine simultaneously happens to be the oldest of its kind in the nation speaks impressively to the emphatic approval of a devoted subscription base. The back cover of this issue bears a facsimile of a handwritten note by Thomas Jefferson, regarding payment arrangements for his subscription for the year 1825. This issue contains 4 short stories, 4 nonfiction pieces, 3 reviews, and 21 poems.

New England Review - 2004

February 28, 2005
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New England Review continues to uphold its reputation for publishing extraordinary, enduring work. Jane Hirshfield’s wise and compassionate poem “In a Room with Five People, Six Griefs” is a distillation of the overlarge experience of being human into a few simple-seeming sentences that tell our grief and fear and anger, yet leave open “A door through which time / changer of everything / can enter.” Richard Wollman’s fiercely affecting “Paper in Autumn” resurrects one family from the fire of the Holocaust.
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