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Beloit Poetry Journal - Spring 2004

Beloit Poetry Journal excels at showcasing fresh voices with original and sometimes difficult things to say. They never exhibit the mediocre or merely pleasant, and I think that is a particularly trustworthy (and brave) stance for a journal’s editors. The dark side of sexuality and language is explored in this issue of the predictably good Beloit Poetry Journal, in poems like the exceedingly creepy “Molester” by Jeff Crandall and the delicate but heart-wrenching “Helen Keller Dying in Her Sleep” by Julianna Baggott. These poems are disturbing – in a good way. You’ll see what I mean in lines like these from K.I. Press’s “Born in the Parliament Buildings”: “As Speaker, Father seldom spoke. Sometimes he wore me under his robes, and smuggled me into the chamber. At first, when I was tiny, under his wig . . . Before, he brought my mother there, at night . . . They made love in the Prime Minister’s chair, inside the same enormous robe . . . The walls are red, the ground is red, the swords are falling all around me.” This issue did not feature any of the unusually sharp book reviews common to BPJ, which were missed. 

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Review Posted on March 31, 2004
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