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Sweet - Fall 2014

  • Subtitle: A Literary Confection
  • Image: Image
  • Issue Number: Volume 7 Number 1
  • Published Date: Fall 2014
  • Publication Cycle: Triannual online
One thing to be said about Sweet’s publications is the creative “cover” of each online issue, making the issue even more of an experience. With this issue, it’s all about the autumn treats: the table of contents is set up like a tray of blueberry pie, the section titles powdered with sugar. And each slice, each piece of writing, is a delicious treat.

Courtney Kersten’s very short essays are easily relatable and allow the metaphors to provide all of the insight. For example, in “My Father in Wisconsin,” her father experiences a tragic event, and as a result of it, he has large scars from the gashes: “When I was younger, I would watch him shirtless and swearing and lugging things around the front yard unable to fathom how such deep gashes were able to heal.”

As a person who suffers from migraines, I took special notice of Jen Karetnick’s “Migraine Chant” which is a found poem using lines from Tomas Tranströmer’s “The House of Headache.” No matter how awful the pain is, life goes on, and ultimately, you still have to push through it. It begins:
It is an all-ages rave here
in the house of headache.

The lights are like young children
running, their bodies Morse code

in the house of headache.
Sleep is the only solution . . .
My favorite poem included is by far Elise Gregory’s “Inviting in the Wild,” in which she imagines all of the wild animals in her body for the winter months: “Two-by-two animals crawled / up my legs and inside my chest for the winter.” It is imaginative, and the word choice is perfect, both enjoyable to the ear and the perceived eye. I think it perfectly embodies the “sweet” that the magazine aims for:
Deep in my belly bobcats nested
and birthed a litter of kits.

Goats knocked inside my thighs
like my fat, kicking boys.

And coyotes split my heart
in a sumptuous two-way bite.

Colder things took over toes
while skittish bears stole my body's skull.
In addition to the poetry and essays, there are two “fanmail” selections in which writers/artists have responded to work they have read. All in all; take the short time it takes to read this publication and you’ll be licking your lips for more.
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Review Posted on November 16, 2014

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