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Borderlands - Fall/Winter 2005

  • Issue Number: Number 25
  • Published Date: Fall/Winter 2005
  • Publication Cycle: Biannual

Started in response to the Gulf War and the editors’ dissatisfaction with the self-absorption of much of contemporary poetry, Borderlands calls for work that “shows an awareness of connection—historical, social, political and spiritual.” Many of the poems in this issue do demonstrate this awareness, though never didactically. The emphasis here is on the connection, the personal experience of the larger world, as in Stephanie N. Johnson’s “People Who Say Yes”: “In daylight, I share all my visions with the streets of Krakow. / Wander the summer dust and countryside. Rove cemeteries, / touch names, tomb lettered. Asking, / Are you my people?” Still, I found much in Borderlands that by any measure is strictly personal, all of it lovely. Never pretentious, Borderlands supplies the occasional footnote, translating a foreign word or identifying a religious figure. The reviews eschew academese in favor of clarity and insight. In his review of two new poetry volumes, Bruce Snider offers intelligent and intelligible observations about the prose poem: “By refusing to employ the line and its ability to shape, clarify, emphasize, and generally guide the reader, both poets allow music, image, and narrative to unfold in a way that contributes to the poems’ crucial sense of fluidity, one thing always morphing into the next… onlinene could argue that the prose poem is often best employed as a disorganizing principle, everything jumbled together in its democratizing block of language.” A journal of exquisite quality, Borderlands is an enormously satisfying reading experience.

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Review Posted on February 28, 2006

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