Mailing: Jeopardy Magazine
Western Washington University
MS – 9056, Humanities 254
Bellingham, WA 98225
Jeopardy is a publication out of Western Washington University that, for a few issues now, has been filled solely with work from artists in some way associated with the school, whether in the past or presently. This makes the 2007 edition, Volume 43, a particularly regional affair, filled with familiar subjects and place names from Whatcom County. Though Jeopardy does welcome submissions in any form that can survive on paper (a transcribed song is even given a prominent spread), the focus of the journal, at least for this issue, is on poetry. Many of the poems included come from the large community of poets who read weekly at the well-attended Poetry Night in downtown Bellingham, adding to the local appeal of the publication. Most of the printed poems are excellent, topical, and crafted—even a poem by Jake Tucker about going hiking with the lord. One thing decidedly not small-town about this issue of Jeopardy, however, is how formidable it looks. Forgoing the pocket-sized shape of previous editions, Volume 43 is large, with a textured cover featuring a circle cut from it, revealing a red seal with an archaic “J” on the title page. It’s all quite handsome, with the text within artfully laid-out, making 2007′s Jeopardy feel in the fists nearly like a collector’s item.
Grist: The Journal For Writers, Issue One
Subscription price: $29.95
Single copy price: $11.95
Mailing: Grist, English Department
301 McClung Tower, University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-0430
Review Tanya Chernov
Grist, a new literary journal and online publication site that comes from the University of Tennessee, seeks to create a new kind of literary journal. Beyond providing a forum for the work of established and emerging writers, Grist is also attempting to offer an arena of discussion and demonstration for the craft of writing. The editors at Grist are committed to addressing the particular struggles and joys of the occupation and process of writing.
Although there are certainly numerous literary journals publishing original work, and may journals that explore the craft and endeavor of writing, Grist breaks new ground by blending the two worlds together in an amalgam of writer-centric verbiage and attitude. Each annual publication of Grist will feature 300 pages of poetry, fiction, and interviews as well as creative non-fiction essays targeted at discussions of craft and style. The print journal will publish the most innovative selections while the online site will offer a more permanent and varied range of work.
The first issue of Grist presents the work of four essayists, one non-fiction writer, seven poets, four fiction writers, and also two interviews. The common link between each of the pieces published in Grist’s first issue is an innovative approach to classic forms and styles. It is clear by even briefly scanning Grist’s choices that unconventional and experimental forms are welcome at this publication, though high quality is also of the utmost concern.
Good Foot: A Poetry Magazine, Issue 7
Subscription price: $14
Single copy price: $8
Mailing: Good Foot, Box 681
Murray Hill Station
New York, NY 10156
Review by Kelly Davio
Good Foot, an annual, poetry-exclusive magazine now in its seventh edition, prides itself on publishing a “wide cross-section of work, formal and informal, experimental and traditional, original and in translation, from all styles and schools. In this way, each issue of Good Foot maps the geography of contemporary poetry, and exists as an experiment in cohesion.” Sound like too high an aesthetic goal for a small poetry journal? The philosophy behind Good Foot might seem untenable, but a perusal of this slick, well-produced publication makes it clear that the editorial staff is capable of delivering on its promise. In 94 pages, Issue 7 of Good Foot delivers the work of 66 poets, whose styles range from narrative to formal to experimental. The poems’ unifying factor is a particular attention to lyricism, rhythm and the music of the poetic line which are elements too often lacking in the content of contemporary poetry journals.
Issue 7 of Good Foot is a veritable chorus of new poetic voices—to whom the editors refer with genuine optimism as “up-and-coming writers”—the majority of whom are candidates in or recent graduates of MFA programs throughout the U.S. Among the most striking poems in the edition Daniel Coudriet’s surrealist “Onions,” Patricia Bender’s narrative ode to an absentee father in “Thief,” and in Jim Tolan’s deeply strange – yet charming – “Giggles Before the Void.”
Issue Number 8
Review by Sima Rabinowitz
The literary magazine, “Hunger Mountain,” is currently one of our texts for the Craft of Poetry class. Caroline Mercurio, Managing Editor, sent the following email to all contributors to the issue. She has given permission to reprint it on our student website.
(Note: the “‘quazal’ or pseudo ghazal” mentioned was my contribution to the issue.)
We will use this issue as a text again in spring 2007′s Craft of Poetry class.
Carolyne Wright, Poetry Faculty
Ruth Stone Prize in Poetry judge Nancy Eimers, prose guest editor Victoria Redel, and poetry guest editor Roger Weingarten have selected strong, original work for this very satisfying issue. Poet and novelist Redel offers a short and fabulously poetic introduction to the “rigorous fictions” she has chosen in which she praises “the surprise and heart-stopping happiness of a sentence.” I don’t know if it is by coincidence or design that she has selected several pieces by excellent poets who, like herself, are also successful prose writers, including work by Sheila Kohler, Terese Svoboda, and Richard Katrovas. One of my favorite works of prose in the magazine is Stephen Tuttle’s “The Tree of the Holy Virgin: A Primer,” an inventive abecedary about working with cognitively disabled children, classified in the Table of Contents as creative nonfiction, though it might easily be sudden fiction. Roger Weingarten has chosen to feature “reincarnated forms.” Bruce Weigl describes Weingarten’s interests in his introduction (“to see how free verse poets both used and worked against the traditional, the subliminal, the unexpected”) and lists the forms included: appropriated forms, a canzone, concrete poetry, a crown of sonnets, a diptych, an elegy, interior acrostics, prose poems, and a “quazal” or pseudo ghazal.
There is much fine work in this section, but for my taste the most memorable poem in the issue is the Ruth Stone Prize winner, Joshua Poteat’s “From J.G. Heck’s 1851 Pictorial Archive of Nature and Science.” Poteat draws striking verbal illustrations of seven visual illustrations from the natural sciences, rendered in precise, lyrical, and authentic detail. William Walsh contributes an in-depth e-mail interview with poet Jack Myers and stunning water color portraits by Kira Curis round out the volume.
From Carolyne Wright:
Here’s another thing, a small review, with the message from Christine Holbert, publisher of Lost Horse Press, and some information about LHP.
[NOTE: "Lester" to whom she refers is "Lester Skink," a plush toy lizard of mine and my husband Jim's. Christine took a shine to him (Lester, that is!) in our email correspondence. He's a very joyous creature, always cheering and clapping his small plush paws.
This is not exactly a Norton Anthology footnote, but it does explain the Lester allusion in Christine's message!! And it also establishes one member of the poetry faculty as rather silly.]
HERE is Christine’s message, and the short review–
Christine Holbert writes:
They’re a bit late informing us, CW, but “North American Review” reviewed “A Change of Maps” in the Jan-Feb 2006 issue. Page 44, the “Synecdoche” feature by Vince Gotera:
This book is Wright’s tribute to Elizabeth Bishop, beginning with a double abecedarian—rhymed couplets for each letter—on being Bishop’s pupil. Wright re-travels her mentor’s concerns and themes re: geographic space and personal/historical time. A sestina dedicated to Bishop’s memory muses on travel: modern tourism and medieval Crusades—”Someday these cities may be nothing but hotels.” Like Bishop’s, these poems are exquisite in form, insightful in theme. As many say of Bishop, Carolyne Wright is indeed “a poet’s poet.”