Ocean State Review now out

The latest issue of The Ocean State Review, URI’s journal of art and literature, has arrived! Volume eight, number one features poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, as well as visual art. The issue was beautifully crafted under the helm of senior editor Elizabeth Foulke alongside contributing editors Pamela Buck and Laura Marie Marciano, and associate editors Charles Kell (first place winner of the 2018 Autumn House Poetry Prize) and Tina Egnoski; finally, I should mention the issue was produced with great care by Michelle Caraccia and Catherine Winters.

The lush, vibrant cover art by Mia Brownell leads the reader into literary breathlessness. The issue begins on page one with a stark, gasp of a poem by Patricia Spears Jones called “Poverty” which is then followed Dawn Raffel’s [1] essay, “The Sadness of Departure.” Here, Raffel writes of her travels to Hungary where her grandfather once lived but fled in 1913. Raffel delicately weaves together the effects of war, memories, and her own experiences in Kisvarda, Hungary.

This is only the beginning of the reader’s journey.  As the journal continues, we unravel a simple yet complex refrain like Joy like a river in Mary Kovaleski Byrnes’ “The Amazon, the alphabet wall” (33), and you cannot help but cling to the final sentence in Lisa Russ Spaar’s “Madrigal Surgical” (21).  A short story, “There is a lot of Sound” by Trevor Dodge is a sociological wonder of relationships without speech; instead, Dodge gives us the light and shadow of texting, the pings of notifications, the clink of ice in a glass, and a raining shower in the black. Besides this brief sampling of amazing work, this volume of  OSR also includes interviews and reviews. After reading Michael Landreth’s review of “The Dream of Reason” by Jenny George you’ll want to find yourself a copy of her book.

Before you decide you have nothing to read, consider purchasing a copy of the latest issue, and take one breath at a time as you will, dear reader, need to pace yourself.

[1] Dawn Raffel is also featured at this year’s 12th Annual Ocean State Writing Conference.

Heather J. Macpherson is a second year PhD student in literature at the University of Rhode Island. Her writings have appeared in Niche, Gravel, Spillway, Clare Literary, The Broken Plate, and other fine places. She has work forthcoming in the Bennington Review.

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