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Katy Haas

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This issue opens with terrific translations of the work of Syrian poet Adonis (Ali Ahmad Said Esber) from Khaled Mattawa, from the book Al-Mutabaqat wal-al-Awa’il (Similarities and Beginnings), published in 1980. These poems are, according to an introductory essay by Mattawa, a departure from the poet’s earlier interest in longer forms, and they demonstrate his skill with the short lyric. They are tightly, and expertly, constructed, with lush imagery, despite their taut shape. Here is “The Beginning of Death” in its entirety:
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The inaugural issue of this self-defined “independent poetry magazine” presents the work of three dozen poets with no fanfare, pronouncements of intentions or predilections, no submission policy statement, no announcement of prizes or awards, no editorial commentary, and no explanation of its name. In fact, the only information about the journal appears at the end of the its 74 (small format) glossy pages: one page listing the four staff members and editorial address in Salt Lake City, UT and a note that the journal is published biannually; the other a “thank you” to the journal’s sponsor (“Thank you to our sugar daddy”), Nations Title Agency, Inc. in Midvale, Utah.

Redivider - 2009

March 31, 2010
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Redivider is published by graduate students in the Writing, Literature, and Publishing Department at Emerson College. I had not seen the journal before the current issue and, since this is the seventh volume, I realize I’ve missed out on six years of provocative writing and terrific and unusual artworks. This issue features new writing from established and lesser known fiction writers, essayists, and poets (several names stand out: Sherman Alexie, Dan Chaon, Franz Wright, Kevin Prufer, and Pablo Medina); photographs, drawings, and paintings, many both weird and wonderful, from 12 visual artists; an interview with fiction writer and essayist Alexander Chee; and five thoughtful book reviews. The journal also includes its “Quickie Award” winning fiction and poetry, selected by George Singleton and Rane Arroyo respectively.
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I love a good theme. And what better theme is there for the current state of affairs than "lean times"?
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This special issue dedicated to “Spain’s Modern Experience” is guest edited by Heidi Czerwiec and Claudia Routon, who selected and translated the work. Originals and translations appear side by side and include poems in Spanish, Asturian, and Galician. Poets include several quite well known in Spain and others in the early stages of their careers.
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Jeff Gundy's essay, "Hard Books," in this issue of The Georgia Review says, "Sturdy cloth covers, it is true, rarely house the most daring experiments or frontal assaults on literary norms." He is right, of course, and his quote is somewhat appropriate for Georgia Review. I didn't find much daring work here, nothing that shattered my perceptions of poetry and writing, though there is much to enjoy. Gundy also says in this essay "persistence over time is still real, and ... being of the moment is not the only value." So, there it is.

Eleven Eleven - 2009

March 31, 2010
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If The Paris Review is your worldly college roommate who unselfconsciously regales you with travel stories from “the continent,” Eleven Eleven is the cool kid in your creative writing class who refused to follow rules or obey the professor. The journal is produced by the California College of the Arts, possibly the reason that the editors strike an interesting balance between poetry, prose and visual art.

Spire - Spring 2005

June 30, 2005
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Spire is a slender volume of poetry, fiction, and stated purpose (from the web site): "Spire is dedicated to publishing traditionally marginalized voices of minority, low-income and young writers and artists who will create the future of arts and literature. Spire publishes new writers alongside more established writers in order to lend credibility and establish interest in the work of the new writers.
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Turning the page in Post Road always brings a new surprise. Will the next piece be a non-fiction essay on the local dogcatcher, a book recommendation made by one of your favorite authors, a poem or a long series of video stills? Post Road issue 10 is a real hodgepodge of writing with plenty that had me excited. The aforementioned Matt Roberts piece, “The Dogcatcher Hates Politics,” was a fun and clever piece containing this gem: “’Excitement,’ the dogcatcher says, ‘is a dumpster full of raccoons.’”

Matter - 2005

June 30, 2005
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From the web site: "Matter is a unique biannual publication of literature, poetry, photography, visual art and just about anything that is made of matter."
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