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Katy Haas

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Alice would love Mad Hatters' Review—as I do—there's something, including the astral threats of summer, to delight everyone.
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It always makes me happy to see a long-running literary magazine still going strong.
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From among the sage brush and juniper (not to mention the sprawling megalopolis that is the greater Phoenix area) Hayden’s Ferry Review continues to prove that dedication to an editorial vision pays off.

Field - Spring 2005

June 30, 2005
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Field: (f?ld) n. any wide, unbroken expanse; in this case, one of terrific poetry. But longtime readers of the venerable journal, in publication since the 60's, won’t find that news revelatory. As usual, there’s much here to be praised, with new work by notables such as Pattiann Rogers, Marianne Boruch, Dennis Schmitz and Sandra McPherson.
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Ready to stand at indistinct edges or walk vertiginous margins, the aptly named Ecotone is a brave new offering out of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. As editor David Gessner explains, it’s the edges, “between genres, between science and literature, between land and sea, between the civilized and wild, between earnest and comic, between the personal and biological, between urban and rural, between animal and spiritual” that Ecotone feels are “not only more alive, but more interesting and worthy of our exploration.” Worthy of exploration as well is this first issue, a nicely produced perfect-bound volume weighing in at over 150 pages, with a center section of art devoted to gorgeous collages by Pamela Wallace Toll.

Conjunctions - 2004

June 30, 2005
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This beautifully bound, map-wrapped volume is a treasure of outstanding short stories and poetry with new work by familiar names as well as lesser known. The quest theme applies to almost anything, as editor Bradford Morrow acknowledges, having summoned the timeless Robert Coover ("Dragons have no sense of time [. . .]," from "Sir John Paper Returns to Honah-Lee,"), William Gas, ("The Piano Lesson," and a great deal more), and John Barth's forgiven archness in "I've been Told: A Story's Story," as well as Paul West's "Slow Mergers of Local Stars" (it is not enough to simply kill a lion), and Joyce Carol Oates's "The Gravedigger's Daughter" – a mother and child on the lam.
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boundary 2 is a serious journal—with cover art by Theodore A. Harris titled "On the Throne of Fire after Somebody Blew Up America (for Amiri Baraka)."
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The theme of this issue of The Virginia Quarterly Review is “People and Place.” The featured writers are Ann Beattie, Catherine E. McKinley, Garret Keizer, and Tess Taylor, but all of the 25 contributors are impressive and well worth reading and re-reading.
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The mission statement of The Southern Literary Journal is to publish “articles on the literature and culture of the American South and especially encourages global and hemispheric comparative scholarship linking the American South and its literatures and cultures to other Souths." This issue features both articles and reviews that present fresh and compelling ideas to the strong body of comparative scholarship that already exists on the literature and culture of the American South. Articles range from analyzing Gone with the Wind to the trauma of lost sovereignty within the South to the analyzing of Ellison’s Invisible Man as a “public jazz dance” in which each individual chapter on a grand scale represents the movements of syncopated communities.
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Perhaps it should come as no surprise that reading a collection of lyric essays can require more concentration, more effort, than reading a collection of short stories or personal essays, and that is true of the pieces in this issue of Seneca Review. This intense hybrid genre, a form of many forms, gives rise to responses like responses to poetry—visceral, shocked, troubled, enraptured—partly because it is filled with images, juxtapositions, and gaps, yes, but partly because it depends on the frontal lobe too, the facts and footnotes of argument and persuasion, at the same time it claims the personal, the fragile and emotional.
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