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Witness - 2005

  • Issue Number: Volume 14
  • Published Date: 2005
  • Publication Cycle: Biannual

This issue of Witness focuses on “childhood in America,” a theme richly explored in an impressive selection of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and photography. Much of the work concentrates on transformative moments in childhood—first experiences with death, desire, and discovering the limitations of adult figures—and sketching American landscapes: Maxine Kumin’s Philadelphia corset shop, Lawrence Raab’s nature camp, and the agonizingly familiar territory of high school. Rocky adolescence is a popular angle in this issue, and Cortney Davis’s short story, “Products of Conception,” provides a captivating exploration of the secret lives of teenagers: “Miranda’s mother was never married, so Miranda was an out-of-wedlock baby. I used to tease her a lot about it—at least I had a father, I’d say—but I stopped teasing her last year when I found out I was pregnant.” The stories of Richard Hoffman and Bob Hicok are also highlights, as is Dionisio D. Martinez’s poem “Cradle Song”: “Because your name is a wafer of questions swallowed whole / and your words begin to thaw one slow spring afternoon. / Because small silences gather now like necessary smoke / and you hide very carefully your sealed box of memories / and your words begin to thaw one slow spring afternoon.” An artistic kaleidoscope that captures the gritty and wondrous nature of youth in America. [Witness, Oakland Community College, Orchard Ridge Campus, 27055 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills, MI, 48334. Single issue $12. www.oaklandcc.edu/witness] – Laura van den Berg

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Review Posted on April 30, 2006
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