Friday, April 22, 2011

"FUSION” A Magazine of Literature, Music, Art, and Ideas

A Magazine of Literature, Music, Art, and Ideas
Berklee College of Music,
Boston, Massachusetts

Review by Rene Schwiesow

Berklee College in Boston is known world wide for its excellence in music education. Well known graduates include Quincy Jones, Melissa Etheridge, Joey Kramer, and Branford Marsalis. However, Berklee College is also committed to showcasing the talents of their students beyond the music genre. “FUSION: A Magazine of Literature, Music, Art, and Ideas,” was developed as the “literary and multimedia” voice of the school. FUSION’s main goal is to publish Berklee’s students, but the magazine also solicits work from faculty, staff, visiting artists and guests.

Volume 2, Issue 1, 2010 included six poems by Somerville’s Bert Stern. Stern was a visiting artist at Berklee, spring of 2010. The poems were originally published in Stern’s collection, “Steerage,” published by Ibbetson Press and the grouping includes the title poem, “Steerage.”

“In a corner, on blankets, we made house: here bundles to lean against,
there, to keep garlic and bread.”

Stern’s poems are interspersed with photographs by Berklee student Alexander Muri, alum Cailin Peters and Irish guest photographer Fionan O’Connell. O’Connell is just one of the Irish artists represented in a section entitled “Irish FUSION.” FUSION editor-in-chief Joseph Coroniti spent sabbatical time in Ireland as a visiting research professor at the Centre for Irish Studies, National University of Ireland in Galway. During his stay, Coroniti commissioned work. In addition to O’Connell’s intriguing images, eleven Irish poets are represented, including Louis de Paor, the Irish language poet, whose poems are printed in Irish with the English translation. From “Blackberries,” by Paor:

The white tide
is high as the sun
surging in her pulse,
and a thorn in her talk
unbeknownst to her,
skins my fingers.

There are no thorns in the words of Kathryn Bilinski, author of “Metropolis: A Bostonian Summer.” Bilinski threads 50 word vignettes into a fusion of sight, sound and emotion that may inspire the most committed suburbanite to board the train for a day in the city. After all, “There is nothing like a muggy summer evening in Boston.”

While I could go on for paragraphs mentioning authors and sharing quotations from the interesting reading in “FUSION,” I will leave the rest of the journey to you. You may read more about FUSION at: The magazine accepts submissions year round. However, individuals who are not Berklee students or alumni, must send a letter of enquiry before submitting.

Rene Schwiesow is co-host of the popular South Shore venue, Poetry: the Art of Words held the second Sunday of each month in Plymouth.

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