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Arts & Letters - Fall 2004

  • Subtitle: Journal of Contemporary Culture
  • Issue Number: Issue 12
  • Published Date: Fall 2004

This issue of Arts & Letters, an attractive glossy, 7x10 twice-yearly journal with a spacious, easy-to-read layout, is dedicated to Susan Atefat-Peckham, who is eulogized touchingly in an essay by Poetry Editor Alice Friman. The issue also contains an excerpt, called “Grandmother Poem,” of Donald Hall’s upcoming memoir about his wife, Jane Kenyon. Very high quality fiction and poetry throughout the issue, including “Esther the Golden,” by Yona Zeldis McDonough, which tells the story of beautiful and devout Esther, who rebels against her close-knit community of faith in order to embrace a wider view of the world, and Margot C. Kadesch’s “Mate Selection,” about a biologist who is torn between her married boss and studies of sex-driven chickens and her business-oriented boyfriend. Also fascinating were poems by Minnie Bruce Pratt, especially “Shopping for a Present: The Repository of Human Flesh and Blood” and poems by Tenaya Darlington, who won the Arts & Letters Prize for Poetry, especially “The Oldest Living Bombshell Bares All,” whose lines echo Plath’s “Lady Lazarus,” especially the ending:“And yet she rises, //batting her eyes, / cracking a whip with aloof va va voom, / the woman who strips down to her death, / then ignites herself again.” Excellent work in an attractive package, Arts & Letters deserves a place on your literary magazine shelf.

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Review Posted on May 31, 2005

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