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The Allegheny Review - 2005

  • Issue Number: Volume 23
  • Published Date: 2005
  • Publication Cycle: Annual
Before they have the craft mastered, most undergraduate students high on talent have to settle for publishing their work in a magazine that never makes it off campus, if even outside the dorm hall. The Allegheny Review remains the lasting outlet committed to giving them the better opportunity for wide circulation. However much its selections may be arbitrary, however abundant the sloppy typos are, the magazine still packs potential. The students write about what they know: meditation on the seasons; failure to communicate in relationships; a moment of doubt while in church. "Attempting Vipassana" by Kristel Bastian is a standout, using the slightly-less-familiar theme of experimenting with Eastern meditation, but still impressive: "Your bones shudder, wanting to sprout wings / and glide with crows: dirty scavengers. / Slam it, feathers and all back into / your heart, where it will fuse muscle with muscle, / mind with blood." Elsewhere, these young writers invoke their literary heroes, evident in Jared Harel's "Kafka" and Kristin Fitzsimmons "A Letter to Baudelaire from His Landlady." And in Karl Stampfl's "The Other Grace Mandelbaum," a compulsive short story of mistaken identity and marital ennui, picture John Cheever, with a pinch of Borges, transported to a farm in the Midwest. Here and elsewhere, it's hard not to see the spark. [The Allegheny Review, Box 32, Allegheny College, Meadville PA 16335. Single issue $4.] —Christopher Mote
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Review Posted on May 31, 2006

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