Sunday, October 06, 2013

LET THE BUCKET DOWN: A Magazine of Boston Area Writing

LET THE BUCKET DOWN: A Magazine of Boston Area Writing
Editor: Joseph Torra
Managing Editor: Molly Torra

Review by Doug Holder

Somerville poet and writer Joe Torra has a long history on the literary scene as a novelist, poet, publisher, and teacher. I was glad when he told me he started a new literary magazine: Let the Bucket Down: A Magazine of Boston Area Writing.

There is much to recommend in this new venture by Torra. There is an essay by Robert Dewhurst about the birth of Measure magazine, the brainchild of the late Boston, Black Mountain School, poet John Wieners. I met Wieners late in his life through his late friend Jack Powers (The founder of Stone Soup Poetry) and I knew of his magazine. But this essay filled in the blanks about the Boston literary scene in the 50s and 60s, and how one went about putting together a little magazine in days before the Mimeograph Revolution. 

Joe Dunn, has a brilliant poem about Boston’s infamous Molasses Flood, with images of Bowler hats floating on a sweet, lethal sea. Bubbles of death percolate from the depths, topped by these drifting, Bowler tombstones.

Roland Pease, founder of Zoland Books has a nice piece about his seminal years as a writer and publisher. He has been part of the Cambridge, Mass. scene since 1963, and is a rich trove of local literary history. Also included is poetry by well-known faces such as Carol Weston, an essay by Daniel Bouchard, poetry by Joel Sloman, photos from the Word of Mouth Poetry Series of the 80’s and 90’s, and fiction and non-fiction by many other folks.

Poet Ruth Lepson, who I had the pleasure to interview years ago, has a fine piece about Robert Creeley and the jazz musician Steve Lacy. When Lacy was at the New England Conservatory (where Lepson teaches), both he and Creeley collaborated with their music and poetry. Lacey and Creeley both loved improvisation and the energy of irresolution in their art.

This new magazine is a very welcomed addition to the literary scene…highly recommended.

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