The first edition of Volume 33 is out and features paintings by Tollef Runquist, fiction by Julialicia Case, Martha Shaffer, Kirsten Vail Aguilar, and Andrea Marcusa; essays by Elizabeth Kaye Cook, Kathy Flann, Don Lago, Christine Schott, Rebecca McClanahan, and Melissa Haley; poetry by Christopher (c3) Crew, Peter Grandbois, Despy Boutris, Douglas Smith & George Looney, John Hazard, Brian Swann, Maura Stanton, Cindy King, John Brehm, and more. See other contributors at the Mag Stand.
The Gettysburg Review
Alice Friman’s “Insomnia in Moonlight” in The Gettysburg Review Fall 2019 is a moving poem that grapples with a popular theme within this issue: death. Friman handles the topic delicately, with humor, and with heft. The poem is broken into four irregular stanzas beginning with the dead waking in the night, making noise. This stanza read with immediate intrigue through the life Friman breathed into death about a speaker who cannot sleep because the dead are alive in their thoughts. It suggests playfulness, too, written with a lighter tone than often associated with death and mourning.
Friman then equates the dead to the sun, something bright and fixed, and the speaker to the changeable moon, “she wears my child face—round, / sunburnt, and pensive.” The final lines in the poem are the most striking, offering up the speaker’s recount of a total eclipse where the moon tried to “blot out the sun.” It felt like a reflection of their desire to hold death in their hands and make sense of it, but the speaker admits that the moon fails in its attempt to resist permanence, to resist, as Friman puts so eloquently in her final two lines: “geometric progression, the unerasable / dead, and everything else I don’t understand.”
Reviewer bio: Emily Lowe is an MFA candidate in Nonfiction at the University of North Carolina Wilmington where she is also a fiction editor for Ecotone literary magazine.
The Autumn issue of The Gettysburg Review is at this week’s Mag Stand. The issue features paintings by Jared Small, fiction by Jennifer Anne Moses, Jared Hanson, Darrell Kinsey, and Sean Bernard; essays by Andrew Cohen, K. Robert Schaeffer, and Christopher Wall; poetry by Jill McDonough, Max Seifert, K. A. Hays, Albert Goldbarth, Mary B. Moore, R. T. Smith, Jill Bialosky, Katharine Whitcomb, Corey Marks, Kimberly Johnson, Margaret Ray, Danusha Laméris, Linda Pastan, Christopher Bakken, Christopher Howell, and Margaret Gibson.
The Autumn 2019 issue of The Gettysburg Review offers readers a great selection of poetry and prose as usual, from Alice Friman’s “Hygiene,” which utilizes breasts as a way to measure time and maturity in a sort of tongue-in-cheek way, to the 55-part essay “A Brief Account of Certain Left-Leaning Tendencies” by Valerie Sayers which highlights her father by using the word “left,” to digestible words of wisdom in three poems by Joyce Sutphen.
But what really left me enamored was the art feature. Nine paintings by Anne Siems grace the pages and cover of this issue. The portraits are whimsical and magical, using creative patterns and images of nature to create portraits that draw viewers in. More little details pop out the longer one looks. People become one with nature—mushrooms cloud around a body in “We Are All Connected,” animal heads sprout from hands like puppets in “Beasts,” antlers grow from the head of an animal-surrounded girl in “Eve Dreams of a Wolf.” These works are gorgeous and give readers a good reason to stick around within the pages of this issue long after they’ve gotten their share of words.
The Autumn 2019 issue of The Gettysburg Review is featured on the NewPages Magazine Stand this week. Included in the issue is a selection of paintings by Anne Siems; fiction by Cody Harrison, Gary Amdahl, and Kathryn Harlan; essays by Valerie Sayers, Geoff Wyss, and Floyd Collins; poetry by Gregory Fraser, Robert Gibb, Adam Tavel, G. C. Waldrep, Connor Yeck, Kathryn Nuernberger, Alison Pelegrin, Todd Davis, Alice Friman, Nancy Carol Moody, Edward Mayes, Averill Curdy, Joyce Sutphen, Sarah Kain Gutowski, and Stanley Plumly.