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American Letters & Commentary - 2010

  • Issue Number: Number 21
  • Published Date: 2010
  • Publication Cycle: Annual

“Not works that simply transport the reader/viewer to another place, but ones that become places in and of themselves – unknown regions of poetic exploration, visual mappings of the unconscious, uncharted terrains of language,” say the editors of this issue’s theme “terra incognita.” Unknown, however, is not the case for many of the issue’s contributors, who include Jim Daniels, Anna Rabinowitz, Tony Trigilio, and Dan Beachy-Quick. And unknown is not the case for the inspiration for Rikki Ducornet’s exquisite, intricate illustrations – the fiction of Jorge Luis Borges.

And unknown is not what I would hope for the status of the writers or work in this issue that does, indeed, transport us, including a fascinating hybrid prose/poetry work by Joshua Marie Wilkinson, “In the Trade of Alive Letters Mis-Sent”:

History is a series of apologies, unmet by the
eyes of the forced-down – a cold donor of blood
in search of a talker to listen with.

And a poem by Elizabeth Robinson, “Djuana Barnes Thinks to Herself”:

The intruder offered a bouquet –
(tenebrae of half a century, purloined by this
befriender of seclusions)

And prose poems by Justin Petropoulous, including “Market Corrections”:

A few kites wilt into this traffic carrying every point (p) into themselves but are unable to contain a story that breathes so deeply; moving within it, even the trains are derailed by the blankets left laying around.

And Sally Van Doren’s “The Sense Series: Book One” which begins: “Define a safe obsession and it is there I will focus my affections.”

And a terrific story by Randi Faust, “Tribute to Slogan Joe,” which opens: “Slogan Joe wrote slogans for a living, and because he was a no bones-about-it, straight-shooter, tell-it-like-it-is kind of guy, he named his little enterprise Slogan Joe. His slogan was I write slogans for a living.”

And Lily Brown’s poem, “The Moon Creeps Up,” which includes the marvelous couplet: “The ocean’s name or / the ocean’s anonymous.”

An other-worldly issue.

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Review Posted on September 14, 2010

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