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Arkansas Review - April 2005

  • Subtitle: A Journal of Delta Studies
  • Issue Number: Volume 36 Number 1
  • Published Date: April 2005
If you dislike the homogeneity of Starbucks and Barnes & Noble, here’s the magazine for you. The equivalent to a locally owned coffee-shop, Arkansas Review is a fiercely regional tri-quarterly; based on that alone, it’s a laudable effort. The poems of Jeffrey Renard Allen are as bluesy as you’ll ever see (“Bol weevil in the cotton / worm in the corn / Devil in the white man / War going on”), and the centerpiece essay focuses on the racial implications of lodging alternatives in Clarksdale, Mississippi: “Race and Blues Tourism” is a perfect example of how focused investigation, even (especially?) in an area so removed from ‘cultural centers,’ can enlighten and entertain. The magazine cover features a cozy woman in a rocking chair, and the accompanying interview reveals her to be Mary Gay Shipley, a culturally-conscientious independent bookstore owner in Arkansas. Pia Ehrhardt’s short-story “Safe” features a calm murderer leading his date toward her unknowing demise . . . until they’re interrupted by a tent-raft sailor who is sailing up and down the Mississippi to raise money. “Ice is what I miss most,” the savior/sailor laments, and so sums up the magazine: surprising, revelatory, and challenging, as it removes its readers from the hum-drum everyday life to a place singular, unique, and thriving. [Arkansas Review, Department of English and Philosophy, P.O. Box 1890, Arkansas State University, State University, AR 72467. E-mail: . Single issue $7.50.] – Sean Bernard
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Review Posted on July 31, 2005

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