Having consoled myself in damp pubs in London, creaked across frozen lakes in the deep freeze of Minnesota, and coughed my way through Philadelphian afternoons that could never decide between rain or sleet, I can tell you: there are many different kinds of cold. It’s something Wallace Stevens knew well. His poem, “The Snow Man,” is probably the most famous winter poem in modern poetry, laying before us a “distant glitter” and, within it, the full presence of winter’s unique nothingness.
* Zhanna Slor *
In the everlasting battle between book vs. movie, in this case, I would actually side with movie, since some of the writing, in my opinion, could have used a good bit of cutting. But overall, I ended up really connecting to the alternate reality she created. And not just because at least sixty percent of my dreams since adulthood for some reason involve some kind of post-apocalyptic future in which everyone must fight for survival, and therefore the world is very familiar to me, but because there is actually quite a lot of metaphorical resonance in the books. Often, this world, our world, feels to me like a longer, drawn-out Hunger Games; death fights to claim you, either through extreme weather or accident or illness or, like in the arena: murder.
* Ann Marie Thornburg *
I’ve lived in the Midwest all my life, and so for me, December is a time of glorious quiet and communal hush. The sky folds into itself, the days bleach out and then gray, and the muted brightness is skull-scouring. I’ve been told by several well-meaning West Coasters that they don’t understand how anyone could live in those Michigan winter days that stack one atop the next like blocks of concrete. But for me, and for many of us who live there, the winter becomes, or always was, a necessary a part of our consciousness.
We begin 2013 with our first redesign in decades. Take a look, and read Ann Fabian on the sad life of pioneering herpetologist Mary Cynthia Dickerson and Zhanna Vaynberg on growing up between cultures, along with fiction by Cody Peace Adams, Kim Adrian, Morris Collins, Jen Fawkes, Stephanie Friedman, and William Kelly Woolfitt; a review of Witold Gombrowicz by Piotr Florczyk; and poetry by Marianne Boruch.
From the Desert Wars,” is a special section of startling and deeply felt poetry written by American soldiers fresh from Iraq and Afghanistan,“trying to make sense of things,” including work by Benjamin Busch, Clint Garner, Bruce Lack, Hugh Martin, and Patrick Whalen.