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Running the river 

Water themes abound as we cast an over-the-shoulder glance from "back to school" and muse instead on "back to summer." John Manuel runs the whitewater of the Haw River's Moosejaw Falls on the cover of the most recent issue of Wildlife in North Carolina, the monthly publication of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Manuel profiles the Haw River Assembly in his article about the volunteers protecting the watershed, "Guardians of the Haw."

One hundred ten miles long, the Haw River needs the advocates' eyes and ears. Manuel extols, "The Assembly's myriad activities and enthusiastic volunteer support have made it a model among River Watch programs in the state." And the color cover shot is the essence of a reporter having fun while researching a story!

With all the recent rain, did you have enough indoor time to catch up on these other local notices?

Bookmarks: A Reader's Guide to the Best in Books has moved to Chapel Hill. A favorite magazine of book clubs and reading groups, Bookmarks leads the review field in accessible, lowbrow takes on current lit. Readers get hundreds of short commentaries on new books, categorized by genre.

Durham writer Robert Wallace contributes a story to the fall issue of the aptly named magazine, The Long Story, a tale of a pair of Vietnam vets looking for a place to sleep in Raleigh. Michael McFee, on the faculty at UNC, shares a poem about the metaphors of life, unlocking and opening with a "Handful of Keys" in the latest issue of The Southern Review. Former Triangle guy-about-town Paul Maliszewski turns up with a witty piece in Cabinet called "Questions for the Inventor of the Tumbleweed Tank," a wild spin-off on a 1936 Popular Science article about a rolling, spherical tank.

And coming soon to your shelves... Speakeasy magazine focuses their fall issue on "Living with Fear." Local author and activist Ariel Dorfman declares "the world does not have to be the way it is" in his essay on peace as the antidote for "Global Fear." The fall issue of Golden Handcuffs Review highlights a new story by Joe Ashby Porter.

Two eye-grabbing premieres showed up last month: Swindle Quarterly from Los Angeles and Working Stiff Review out of Colorado. Swindle is 90 percent hype, 10 percent content, in the true spirit of a swindle. But knowing what we're getting, we have fun with its big, ad-agency graphics and ultra-cool poseurs. The best piece is about the comics of the '60s and '70s carrying hidden sociopolitical messages about "dirty hippies," child abuse and deadbeat parents. And get this: Swindle is published as a book for $19.95 and as a magazine for $14.95--the exact same issue.

The August launch of Working Stiff Review is called "The Restaurant Issue." Editor Terry Everton, having spent 25 years "schlepping tacos and carving chateaubriand," observes, "The service industry is chock full of individuals who, for numerous reasons, possess more heart than education." So you can imagine the direction the table of contents maps. Poetry ("Shelved Again as the Tenure Expires"), nonfiction, cartoons, waiter rants and great black and white graphics get your attention.

  • Working Stiff Review, 608 E. 3rd Ave., Castle Rock, CO 801808

    Contributing writer John Valentine can be reached at

    More by John Valentine


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