Friday, June 5, 2009

What I'm Reading: The Missouri Review 32.1

This morning it struck me that this academic life really is a blessing. All this week, except yesterday when it rained, I've started out by reading for several hours on the deck. The sun rises over the house, so I'm mostly in shadow, except for a swath of summer light on the very far side. As far as I know, there's nothing to stop me from this routine for the next two months, and I am glad for it.

Today, I switched from books to journals and picked up the most recent issue of The Missouri Review. It must have arrived several weeks ago, but a testament to my distraction is that I totally missed the name of friend and fellow U of A MFA alum, Adam Prince, on the cover. In grad school, I was a huge fan of Adam's stories, "borrowing" the fiction worksheet to see what he'd come up with next. Today, I read his story "Big Wheels for Adults" with great expectations and I wasn't disappointed. His skill at drawing characters is amazing. I highly recommend!

I've long admired this journal, and when I think of a new issue, the word "meaty" comes to mind. I know that I'm in for a fulfilling read. There's no fluff here and rarely a story, essay, or poem that misses the mark. After reading Adam's story, I went back to the poetry (usually my first stop). I felt a kinship with Lisa Williams' ocean poems, although I'm a land-locked poet. Frannie Lindsay's elegies for her sister were filled with those details that become super-real in death. And Christina Hutchins offered up longer poems with a depth to them that I envy. As for essays, Deborah Thompson's "What's the Matter with Houdini?" held me rapt and sharing in her grief.

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