Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Endicott Review

The Endicott Review,
Vol.24, #1. Spring, 2007.
Edited by Ruth Henderson
4/yr; 80pp; School of Arts
and Sciences, Endicott College,
Beverly, Massachusetts 01915

The Endicott Review consists of creative work from the Endicott
community and friends. (p.1) Which sounds very limited/limiting. But it
ain't necessarily so.

Lots of top-drawer, supra-territorial, universal poets here. Like Harris
Gardner, who has a kick-in-the-shins poem that is one of the most effective
poems I've ever read on death and time: "Pedicures merely provide/short term temporal cures. /Nothing transient endures/past the mortician's lipstick
kiss. /what we live signs our faces, /little changes, though makeup makes it so."(p.78)

And the same goes for master-poet Doug Holder who has one of the
strangest (but on-target) poems he has ever written in this issue: “And he takes her
hand. /And walks into the room, /with all his reluctance, /and all its strange
allure. /And it will be a woman who he will trust. Who will teach/him the right
way, /as he drops his pants/and releases a fine and diffuse spray. (Mother
Leading Her Boy into the Ladies Room, p.27). One of those poems for midnight
meditations, right?

A great political poem "This is the Kind of World I Want to Live In" by
Joseph Cooney, all about the current global war-hate situation, a great
short-short story about simply being by Alex Hart, (Just Over the Horizon A Few
More Times), a deeply existentially-positive poem by Kathleen Kirk based on
William Blake's Jacob's Dream: "Life is a child's toy:/It keeps dripping
endlessly down/from heaven.//If you do it right." (Eternal Levity, p.38).

The art here, too, is top drawer, especially Harriet Henderson's
jump-out-at-you paintings of Haiti or wherever (no bio-data, no lowdown on origins),
Lydia Holt'ss cryptological patchwork portrait, Jen Rheume's bar-scene
photo-painting mixes.

I've got a couple little suggestions to the editor here. Don't confine
the mag to Endicott college students and friends, expand the bios, maybe even
put in some essays....and get the mag out into the big-time literary world.

Hugh Fox

*** Hugh Fox is a poet/archaeologist who has taught at Michigan State University since 1968. Author of 66 books, he is a major figure in the U.S. small press world, serving as editor of Ghost Dance: the International Quarterly of Experimental Poetry from 1968-1995.

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