Very early on, the issue boasts the lines “Funny thing about the Autumn sun / how it warms the heart first / and later the skin” (Dexine Wallbank’s “Autumn Light”). And that is how this issue of The Antigonish Review sinks into a reader’s being. The issue continues with a Zoë Strachan (Betty Trask Award winner) piece, “Play Dead,” which adds another dimension to the fluidity of human sexuality, and makes sublime its otherwise trite last line: “I don’t suppose she’d ever felt so alone.” It’s a must read, if only to see how Strachan’s line makes the piece and vice versa. There’s a playful, narrative arc in every piece, even the reviews of Canadian poets. Ken Stange reviews Allan Brown’s Frames of Silence, a collection, beginning with: “This is not an unbiased review […],” for reviewer and writer are close friends. Stange does an evenhanded job, despite the admitted favoritism—treading finely the thin line between over- and under-whelming with his and Brown’s personal history; a fine place to start researching for an honest best-man speech.
There is one piece beyond the conceivable snapshot of narrative, an understated and untitled piece by Joel Katelnikoff. It contains two narrative arcs in different fonts (one a typewriter imitation, the other the journal’s regular font). These tell the story of a robot gaining consciousness, as well as a corporate lackey falling in love. Very 1984, very not. It contains tremendous leaps of imagination, yet harmonizes the two layers like brother-strands of DNA. A chest-pinching magic results. There are such lines in it as: “She drifts into me. Her top lip is fair and freckled. Her bottom lip is the softest thing I have ever touched […] Thermodynamically speaking, no two kisses can occupy the same space at the same time.”