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American Letters & Commentary - 2003

  • Issue Number: Issue 15
  • Published Date: 2003

It’s incredibly, incredibly hard to pin down which aspect of this magazine works and sings best. The candy-striped cover with its ‘bubbles’ of text; the feature on “Senses of Humor” (featuring, at her and his best, pieces by Eleanor Wilner and David Rees, among plenty of phenomenal others), John Greenman’s “The Cowboy Poet,” Adam Dant’s mesmerizing art, G.C. Waldrep’s or Linh Dinh’s poetry (and about Waldrep: I mentioned his work from the fall Gettysburg Review without knowing that: (1) He’s in Iowa now, not N.C., and (2) He’s the 2003 winner of the Colorado Prize for Poetry - remember that guy named Dean Young? Same award.). It’s a spellbinding read, this latest American Letters and Commentary, which is right in keeping with what this magazine does every time. It consistently does something that, seemingly, is harder by the day: it actually represents a catholicity of voices and writers, from August torch-bearers like James Tate to the up-and-coming like G. C. Waldrep. The magazine certainly leans just left of the dial in that if you’re looking for a new place for pitch-perfect Petrarchian sonnets, this is not your lit mag. If you’re more demanding of form than function, there are better places to invest your time and money. But if you want the door opened, just a little, to surprise and fantastic writing, come inside. [American Arts & Letters, American Letters & Commentary, Inc., 850 Park Avenue, Suite 5B, New York, NY 10021. E-mail: . Single issue $8.] - WC

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Review Posted on January 31, 2004

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