Irreantum 13.1

9.12.11 | | 5 comments

Some quick, subjective reactions to the Spring/Summer 2011 issue of Irreantum

Favorite review: “Modern Mormon Family: Angela Hallstrom’s Bound on Earth” by Scott Hales. I find Scott’s writing style quite winning and charming in this review.

Favorite essay*: “Wrestling with God: Invoking Scriptural Mythos and Language in LDS Literary Works” by James Goldberg. His other essay is funnier and more interesting, but this is solid, critical (and critical) work. I haven’t read something that feels like it really moves the field in awhile. This does — both descriptively and prescriptively.

Favorite poem: “Disco Hero” by Liz Chapman. Uniquely Mormon, very funny, and totally approachable. Just what I need from poetry that appears in Mormon journals.

Favorite short story: “Flight” by Courtney Miller Santo. I love that it’s an old couple and how their oldness and their coupleness plays out and how real, yet unique, yet fictional it seems. I enjoyed the background presence of the mommy blogger daughter (although it’s maybe a little too hammered home in the end). The imagery with the hummingbirds somehow feels like it’s adding to the whole mix without screaming allegory. Very nicely done.

*Note that I’m bundling the critical essays and creative nonfiction, which I probably shouldn’t, but I see them as all on the same continuum and so react to them as such.

5 comments: “Irreantum 13.1

  1. Th.

    .

    Well. You’re way ahead of me this time. I’m only one poem and oneandahalf stories in.

  2. James Goldberg

    P.S. My favorite poem was Darlene Young’s “Digestion in the Garden” which features some rockin’ one-line stanzas and may be my new favorite Garden piece. Which is impressive, considering the abundance of LDS Garden pieces.

    My favorite story was Josh Allen’s “Conceiving God”–*spoiler alert*–I liked that the temple was the only Mormon character, and the way that belief and baby got tangled all together.

  3. Th.

    .

    I haven’t finished reading yet, but “Conceiving God” was a fascinating “Mormon” story.

  4. Darlene

    Wow, thanks, James. That’s high praise coming from you. I’m really enjoying your essay on how allusions can work in Mormon lit. Never thought about it that way before.

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