Stone Telling Issue 3

Stone Telling Issue 3Stone Telling 3: The Whimsy Issue
Edited by Rose Lemberg
Reviewed by Alexandra Seidel

“In Whimsy we tilt sideways to look at the world askew–and all kinds of things fall out of the pockets.” Stone Telling‘s editor, Rose Lemberg, tells us in this issue’s introduction. And the reader will find that she is right–this issue is like a kaleidoscope of lyrical narratives and language, a train that invites you to jump on and explore the country at all the many stops along the way.
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Stone Telling Issue 2

Stone Telling Issue 2Stone Telling 2: The Generation Issue
Edited by Rose Lemberg
Reviewed by Alexandra Seidel

Stone Telling‘s second issue is titled The Generation Issue, yet it is not apart from what came before, it continues, offers dialogue and further exploration. “If love and bread are made and made again, then voice is found and stifled – here, and gone; is heard, or is dismissed. Always, always it is emerging. It is a work in progress, a word in progress, a silence dormant waiting for the right breath.” Lemberg says in the issue’s introduction. The theme of generations in this issue often focuses on women, their place in a line of many generations before or after, or their breaking free, their becoming, their choices and losses. The poetry in this issue is not an easy read, it is full of pain and hurt and longing, but the reader is left richer for the experience.
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Stone Telling Issue 1

Stone Telling 1Stone Telling 1: Silence to Speech
Edited by Rose Lemberg
Reviewed by Alexandra Seidel

Silence to Speech is the title of the first issue of Stone Telling, an online poetry magazine that premiered in 2010. Silence to Speech indeed–rarely has there been a magazine that felt so much like it was giving a voice to those unheard.

Each and every poem in this issue explores speech and explores silence, but most importantly, together they give the reader a feel for what the journey from one to the other means.
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Goblin Fruit: Winter 2011

Goblin Fruit - Winter 2011Goblin Fruit: Winter 2011
Edited by Amal El-Mohtar and Jessica P. Wick
Reviewed by Deborah J. Brannon

The Winter 2011 issue of Goblin Fruit is a spare feast, but one dense and complex: like all the best winter fruits, it lingers on the palate and tickles the tongue with bitter brightness. This latest edition of Goblin Fruit also lacks the artistry of its usual illustrator, Oliver Hunter, but we cannot be bereft: the stunningly haunting illustrations by Australian-based Japanese artist FAM more than slake our thirst for the fantastically strange.

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Mythic Delirium #20

Mythic Delirium #20Mythic Delirium # 20
Edited by Mike Allen
Reviewed by Deborah J. Brannon

Although the tenth anniversary edition is the first Mythic Delirium volume I’ve ever read, I’ve long been aware of the publication by reputation: many poems have appeared in Mythic Delirium (or related titles edited also by Mike Allen) that have later been nominated for the SFWA’s Rhysling Awards or been honored in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror (2007), such as “The Descent of the Corn-Queen of the Midwest” by Catherynne M. Valente, “Songs for an Ancient City” by Amal El-Mohtar, and “To the River” by Jessica Paige Wick. One poem even recently won a Rhysling: “Eating Light” by F.J. Bergmann in 2008 (short poem category). (By clicking on those links, you can hear the poems read, often by the poet. Amal El-Mohtar’s poetry is an especially sensuous delight when read by herself.)

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Dead or Mad or a Poet Issue 1

Dead, Mad, or a PoetDead or Mad or a Poet Issue 1
Edited by S.C.L. Amis
Reviewed by Erik Amundsen

Dead or Mad or a Poet is a new Pagan-themed magazine edited by fellow Versifier Sara Amis. Reviewing this magazine’s going to be a challenge on a few different levels, some I anticipated, and some I probably should have anticipated, but didn’t.

On one level, one I did anticipate is the Pagan part of the equation. I’m not going to waste time being obtuse about the term – I am taking Pagan to mean the artistic and spiritual milieu around Neo-Pagan beliefs and traditions, taken in general (and in their vast and idiosyncratic diversity), and where that borders on the artistic traditions that inspire a lot of it, and where that borders on the speculative. That’s a very long sentence and a very broad and messy definition, one that doesn’t answer a couple of key questions.
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Strange Horizons July 2011

Visit Strange Horizons, www.strangehorizons.comStrange Horizons July 2011
Poetry edited by Mark Rudolph (Senior Editor), Erin Keane, Drew Morse, Sonya Taaffe
Reviewed by Francesca Forrest

“Our Father Who Art,” by Jeanie Tomasko (25 July)

A beautiful, multilayered, long first verse, in which two sisters are sent by their father to study mathematics and art. They travel by train, with

a portion of bread, a book
to read.

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Mythic Delirium #24

Mythic Delirium 24Mythic Delirium #24
Edited by Mike Allen
Reviewed by Alexandra Seidel

“[A] venture into lightheartedness” is what editor Mike Allen calls this latest issue of Mythic Delirium. The poetry assembled here certainly makes for an excellent adventure, and lightheartedness often plays a part, but even so, all these lyrical quests have a weighty center.
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Not One Of Us #45

Not One of Us 45Not One Of Us #45
Edited by John Benson and Sonya Taaffe
Reviewed by Francesca Forrest

Not One of Us is a small print zine “about people (or things) out of place in their surroundings, outsiders, social misfits, aliens in the sf sense—anyone excluded from society for whatever the reason. We want to explore ‘otherness’ from every possible angle.”

In each issue, there are echos and resonances between the various short stories, flash pieces, and poetry. Even within the poetry alone, you will find one poem calling and another responding, one taking a stand and another reinforcing.

Let me show you with a selection of poems from issue 45. In Erin Hoffman’s “A Storm at Night, and” the speaker’s mind goes walkabout in the rain:

the rain soaks it in a second,
pelts grey membrane, seeps, drips
between wrinkled folds in channels

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Goblin Fruit Summer 2011

Goblin Fruit Summer 2011Goblin Fruit: Summer 2011
Edited by Amal El-Mohtar and Jessica P. Wick
Reviewed by Erik Amundsen

Let’s start this show with a disclaimer. Amal El-Mohtar and Jessica Wick have, in the past, accepted and published submissions of mine, most recently, for an upcoming issue of Goblin Fruit. Good, we have that out of the way, so let’s begin:

The editrixes of Goblin Fruit have some tells I always like to check before I read. I pay attention to the art, which changes issue to issue. This time it’s done in the style of print on fabric, gold and blue with red and green about for accent. There’s always a note before the poetry begins, and I read that. This time (in addition to the raucous celebration of C. S. E. Cooney’s Rhysling win [disclosure: Claire is my editor at the Black Gate Blog]), I get the sense of exploration, geography and cartography off of that, and this makes me happy. I like exploration. It’s in my blood. That’s not the tell, though. The tell is the question they ask of their poets, to be answered in their bios, should this not be their first outing. The first bio-question, the one posed to Cat Valente, it was about masks. I go forewarned.
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