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So to Speak - Winter/Spring 2005

  • Issue Number: Volume 14 Number 1
  • Published Date: Winter/Spring 2005

This glossy black-and-white journal of poetry, prose and art work showcased some fantastic photography of human female subjects in Old Havana, Cuba, by Karen Keating (especially moving: a portrait called “Fidel’s Granddaughter,” a wide-eyed toddler with her hand on her hip, and “Teenager on Cuba Street,” a pensive girl in a tight, revealing outfit) as well as literary work of equal merit. Particularly interesting was a non-fiction piece on the tragic life of Modigiliani’s final mistress by Jacqueline Kolosov, “Seule: The Story of Jeanne Hebuterne, Modigliani’s Last Mistress.” I am particularly drawn to stories of artist’s muses, I admit, but the writing in this piece was so elegant and empathetic that anyone would be drawn to it. A few lines from Kolosov’s account: “Modigliani returned to Jeanne. For a time, he belonged to her alone. Seule. They walked through the village streets. They ate tangerines. Jeanne sewed clothes for herself and for her child. She felt safe in his arms-à l’abri-sheltered.” Also beguiling was a fiction piece by Catherine Dryden, “Talking Backwards,” about a sick boy and his mother and their cryptic conversations about his father, among other subjects. The expected “feminist” subjects appear here: relationships between daughters and mothers, women’s aging, lesbianism…but many of the pieces transcend the expected, especially the visual work in this issue, which I kept returning to, transfixed by their beauty and ability to capture personality on the page. Definitely a solid read and a journal to search for unexpected bits of grace. 

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Review Posted on April 30, 2005

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