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South Dakota Review - Spring/Summer 2003

For all the hoopla and sage editorial paragraphs regarding work grounded in location and place on the submission pages of many, many journals, few magazines can come close to the South Dakota Review’s incredibly grounded, sure, located/locatable collection in this, their 40th anniversary issue. As E.I. Pruitt writes to begin his poem “Corn”: “You can’t live in this part of the world for long / without developing a personal relationship with corn.” There’s corn. There are crows and eagles, there are countless farmers, there are horses and there is snow. All that said, there are poems on oceans, on bays, in sunny hot climes (though, of course, the Midwest is as hot in the summer as it is cold in the winter): there is work within from everywhere, geographically, yes. But the emphasis, clear from the outset and maintained throughout, is on the Midwest. The simplicity of ‘the Midwest’ in the country’s imagination is belied by this journal, thankfully: for each ear of corn, there’s a reference to Vaclav Havel; for every desolate, numbered county road, there’s a city that people know is just a few miles past that road, and in that city, culture and the world. South Dakota and the Midwest are in good creative hands because of this magazine. [South Dakota Review, Box 111, University Exchange, Vermillion, SD 57069. E-mail: . Single Issue $7/$5.] -WC

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Review Posted on November 30, 2003

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