Friday, December 5, 2008

Fringe 17: Large and In Charge

The last issue of Fringe for 2008 is live--check it out for your quarterly dose of innovative and evocative writing and art from our impressive list of contributors.

As winter begins its descent, we (Bostonians especially) often begin to feel imprisoned by nature, chained by the shackles of snow, ice, and bitter winds. Much of the work featured in this winter's issue deals in some way with our universal struggle to overcome those boundaries (whether it be our social phobias or a giant glass bottle) imposed by the world around us:

  • Cati Porter's multimedia poem "Fructify" is a quiet, almost haunting, verse about a woman who "wants to scream/but her mouth has become a honeycomb"
  • Jean-Michel Buche's artwork is clean and organic; tightly organized and meticulously detailed, it's reminiscent of cells and science--of the things it takes to build a life.
  • In "Some Things I Just Can't Talk About," Casey Wiley tells the story of Tim, a man who can't quite seem to get over the pain a certain Uno's manager caused him, as he goes through his days railing at the world.
  • It's no secret that small town America is becoming not much more than a fairytale our parents tell, but Kelley Calvert renders the gradual death of her hometown in her essay "Somewhere Between Everywhere and Nowhere" so poignantly that you find yourself yearning for a trip to the local drive-in after a burger and shake from the malt shop.
  • Tisha Nemeth-Loomis's first in a series of 3 poems is titled "As if constriction was our first allegiance": "hankering I am little kernel too corpulent/for the husk"
  • Following the nature theme, Geoffrey Detranis' 3 Electra poems also draw compelling parallels between our bodies and the natural world: "She coughs fruit, a plum in the larynx."
  • Megann Sept's short short, "Flash Flood" intricately layers the story of a close call during a hiking trip, a mesmerizing painting, a childless art collector, and a young introvert who "would love to be known as the girl who says inappropriate things."
  • "Notes from a Man Trapped Inside a Giant Bottle" is a chain of pleas for help from Robert Ebenhoe, a man who is quite literally trapped. Mark Brinker's story is at turns hysterical and pathetic, so much so that we don't quite know whether to root for Robert's rescue, or hope that he stays in there so we can read more.
  • Anna L. Cates' criticism, "The World Comes Together: Dual Identity in the Poetry of Sam Hamod" examines the duality of the American immigrant experience as expressed by the poems of Lebanese contemporary poet Sam Hamrod. Even while immigrants may yearn for the quintessential American experience, they can never fully leave behind their roots, thus creating new dimensions in their writing.

    Remember: Fringe is here, to provide an escape when you're beginning to feel caged in by the cruel, cruel winter.
Art: "Mopti" by Jean-Michel Buche

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