Wilderness House Literary Review # 3/2
145 Foster Street
Littleton MA 01460
The Wilderness House Literary Review is a publication devoted to excellence in literature and the arts.
The WHLReview is published online quarterly with a best of annual print edition.
Deadlines are as follows
March 1 – Spring
June 1 – Summer
September 1 – Autumn
December 1 – Winter
The annual edition will be published in October.
Editor & Publisher
Book Reviews Editor
Poet in Residence
The Wilderness House Literary Review
is the result of the cooperation of the
All submissions must be in electronic form. Our preference is an MS Word file sent as an attachment.
Poetry may be submitted in any length.
Short fiction may be submitted in three formats:
1. very short stories less than 500 words in length
2. short stories less than 1000 words in length
3. Short stories that don’t fit the above should be less than 5000 words.
Non-Fiction is just that so lets see some interesting footnotes.
Book Reviews should be positive unless the author is a well-known blowhard. Our mission is to encourage literature not discourage it.
Non-fiction should be short, (a lot) less than 5000 words.
Any form of art may be submitted with the constraint that it must be something that can be published in 2 dimensions. It’s hard to publish sculpture but illustrations together with some intelligent prose count.
Published works are welcome with proper attribution.
Please submit all works electronically.
Welcome to the tenth issue (Volume 3, no. 2) of the Wilderness House Literary Review. WHLR is a result of the collaboration between a group of poets and writers who call themselves the Bagel Bards (who have just published their latest anthology) and the Wilderness House Literary Retreat. All of the stories, articles, poems and examples of art have been presented as PDF files, Portable Document Format. This is a format that allows for a much cleaner presentation than would otherwise be available on the web. If you don’t have an Adobe Reader (used to read a PDF file) on your computer you can download one from the Adobe website. The files are large and we hope you will be patient when downloading but we think the beauty of the words deserve a beautiful presentation.
Finally, the copyrights are owned by their respective authors whose opinions are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of our sponsors or partners. Let us know what you think in our new Letters to the Editor. Enough housekeeping.
To an artist or writer the act of creativity is paramount, a pure indulgence of Freud's ID, but we are also characters with an EGO and that secret part of us hopes that our mythical audience will be pleased if not enthralled with our work. There are, of course, real consumers of art and literature and the best of them approximate the mythical audience all artists and writers create for. We’d like to acknowledge two milestones among that small group of consummate consumers of literature that keep us all going.
Louisa Solano, retired proprietress of the Grolier Poetry Bookshop, has had a square named in her honor just a block from her old store. Congratulations Louisa.
On a sad note, one of the greatest consumers of literature we know and a fixture at Wilderness House, Don Sturtz, has passed away. Don made it a point of reading virtually the entire body of work of a writer before a Wilderness House Lunch. We feel guilty that we never obtained an autographed copy of Afaa Michael Weavers latest book for Don as requested just before his death.
A good friend of ours always shows up at the Bagel Bards with a shopping bag full of books to sell. With limited bookshelf space he purges just enough books to make room for his incoming purchases. Bukowski’s novel Factotum caught our eye. It’s been decades since Bukowski’s novels have been popular but his style is as lively as Hemmingway but more irreverent. Having read Factotum again we read more and more Bukowski until After having read too much Bukowski ….
This huge Owl was fifty feet up a tree at the edge of our garden. Motionless we photographed him with and with out a flash. Since he was kind enough not to move we made an animation of the two pictures. If you’ve read the Bukowski piece you’ll know why we chose this image to illustrate it.
One morning our poetry editor, Irene Koronas, announced that she needed a challenge to stimulate her creativity. We suggested that she write a 20-minute play and so she did. Thinking that a one sided challenge was not fair she challenged this editor to write a piece on feminism. And so he did too.
Not willing to let things be our poetry editor threw down the gauntlet a second time. This time the challenge was to work with a title: “the handwritten.”
The next challenge is simply titled, “Why we are different from them.” Each of us was inspired very differently.
What’s next? We have been visiting museums and art galleries and have come to the same conclusion: It’s time for a new movement. DADA had its day, MOMA doesn’t show anyone new (alive?) and the word “Modern” means any art created before 1930. Even Post-Modern is passé and post-post-modern is art reduction ad absurdum. Perhaps we’re getting old, perhaps we’ve “seen it all” but deep down inside we still believe that art isn’t dead, that there is excitement to be found in the visual arts that is both intellectually profound and viscerally stimulating, sexy.
The challenge: define the next movement in art!
This could get interesting or we may find ourselves in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike. Input is welcome.
Don’t take our challenge to define the next movement in art as an indictment of any one artist. There is lots of beautiful, well executed visual art being created today. If this art had been created 50 or more years ago it would have been hailed as revolutionary. Today it will decorate any home or office and will no doubt bring inspiration to the viewer.
We went to several openings that merit attention. This is pretty darn good: Found Art.
We have a cyclic theme this issue. Hugh Fox cut his literary teeth writing a book about Charles Bukowski. Doug Holder did an interview with Charles Plymell where he describes meeting Hugh Fox for the first time dressed as the cross dressing Connie Fox. In that interview Holder and Plymell talk about what it means to be a “failed poet.” Paul Hawkins also interviews Charles Plymell from an entirely different viewpoint. Finally Elizabeth Glines continues her series of essays about living in New York City.
Angela Consolo Mankiewicz - Hugh Fox
Our fiction editor loves Anton Chekhov and despairs the notion that there are no latter day Chekhovs submitting works for his consideration. This is not to say that the work he receives isn’t excellent … it’s just not Chekhov. To that end WHLReview announces a new prize for fiction to be called “the Chekhov Prize.” A google search reveals several other Chekhov prizes with cash. Alas we’re not offering cash. We will look for a bearded bobble-head doll.
We are pleased to announce the first recipient of our annual Chekhov prize. We haven’t been able to locate a Chekhov bobblehead doll (we’re still looking) but we have found a t-shirt with a picture resembling Anton Checkhov so that will have to do.
Our prizewinner is Marc Simon of Waban Massachusetts who’s short story “I’m so Pretty” was arguably the best piece of fiction we published in Volume 2.
Hunter Moon – Now it’s a murder mystery. Anne Brudevold continues the saga of intrigue and romance in the woods of northern Maine finally comes to a conclusion.
Fiction readers despair not, we start up a new episodic novel by the noted author John Hanson Mitchell who’s last book “The Rose Café” we reviewed a year ago. To Mitchell fans “Ceremonial Time: Fifteen Thousand Years on One Square Mile” is his definitive book. He covers the period from the receding of the glaciers to the historical epoch where “scratch flat” becomes part of our familiar landscape. Mitchell sticks to the facts when he writes about the colonial and native characters that inhabit the last chapters in “Ceremonial Time,” but the characters got under his skin and the only way to write about who they really were in a novel, his first.
Indian Summer – John Hanson Mitchell
Our fiction editor, Tim Gager has assembled a remarkable collection of short stories for your edification and amusement.
A prodigal son returns in
Another tail from a third world
Our poetry editor, not wanting to be outdone by our fiction editor is pleased to announce the Gertrude Stein "rose" prize for creativity in poetry. Anyone published in Volume 3 (and beyond) is eligible. We don't have any idea what the prize will consist of - a t-shirt for sure. Perhaps we can find a Plaster of Paris bust of Julius Caesar, put a rose in its mouth and decorate it to look like Gertrude Stein.
In no particular order:
As we said when we started this is a joint production of Wilderness House Literary Retreat and the “bagel bards”. The “Bagel Bards” have just published their third anthology. You may purchase them here:
WHLReview is brought to you by:
A new and exciting travelog:
Way, Way Off the Road