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American Tanka - 2005

  • Image: Image
  • Issue Number: Issue 14
  • Published Date: 2005
  • Publication Cycle: Annual

A concentration of metaphors, word play, and unconventional thinking binds together the five line poems in American Tanka. From the world of subtle nuances and concrete images, I constantly had the sense of reliving a moment that had never before belonged to me. Yet through my communion with each poem, the shared joy, sadness, different perspective, that Aha feeling, I was assured that the moment was in part my own. Several authors are memorable, out of which only a few can be mentioned here. Cindy Tebo’s “old lime kiln,” the first line in her poem, is haunting. The sudden image of the kiln suggests travel, perhaps an old country road. Merely driving by, the traveler pauses in a chance meeting of past and present. The kiln “in the shadows / of a cold afternoon” emphasizes the passing, of the kiln? the traveler? Like Leonard D. Moore’s powerful seven stanza sequence “To Find My Way Home,” Tebo adds additional layers to her poem through careful word choice, placement of lines, absence of punctuation, and juxtaposition. Tim W. Younce’s repetition of the line “folds and unfolds” creates the feeling of nervousness from the perspective of a soldier “at the airport / camo clad,” holding his “boarding pass.” For a moment this soldier can stop time, fold it in his palms. We are all three connected, author, soldier, reader — through a shared awareness of both our power and powerlessness. These poems are for readers who do not want to be told what to think, for those who enjoy connecting the threads. We must compare images and/or ideas and draw conclusions using hints the author provides and our own resources. Because of the relationship we establish in the process, the poems have the potential to live on. [American Tanka, P.O. Box 120-024, Staten Island, NY 10312. Email: . Single issue $12] —Donna Everhart


Issue 1



This first print issue of the University of Minnesota's literary journal, Dislocate—funded in part by Coca-Cola (?)—is deceptively slim, unassuming, and beautifully formatted. Inside, among many fine efforts, the creative nonfiction of "Caribou," and the timeliness of "It's After the Hurricane That Most People Get Killed," by poet Jan LaPerle. In fulfillment of the journal's premise to include in each issue an essay linking other fields of endeavor to writing, "The Emergence of Complexity Studies: How Complexity Theory Makes Sense" by Allison Reed Miller and N. Katherine Hayles (with 26 references—including Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science and Jurrassic Park) offers this: "[. . .] explores and preserves the mysterious nature of literary works and the multiplicities of meaning-making they inspire." "Pitching In: One Author's Effort To Help Promote Her Own Book" by Anna Cypria Oliver provides outstanding marketing advice and practical information: "Not even a front-page review in the New York Times Book Review, she said, would necessarily translate into a significant increase in book sales, but if booksellers are enthusiastic, any book can be a success." An interview with Pulitzer Prize winner Edward P. Jones (The Known World) reveals his quiet dignity: "I don't know if it's specific to this country or not, but people just find it hard to believe that you can just conjure things up." [Dislocate, Department of English, 207 Lind Hall, 207 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0134. Single issue $7.] — Anna Sidak

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Review Posted on September 30, 2005

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