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The new wave 

Good news, bad news, and a ton of promising debuts highlight the season's turning of print media's fluttering leaves

Former Durham girl-about-town, Oxford America columnist and Indy contributor Lauren Wilcox pops up in some great company with a poem in the latest Paris Review. Sharing bylines with Billy Collins, David Kirby and W.S. Merwin makes for a good month. Her verse, "The Moving-Picture Principle," plays with camera metaphors: light, motion and time. Kim Church anticipated a hurricane intro with her story, "World Without Columbo," in the latest issue of Shenandoah . With an endearing voice, Raleigh resident Church wraps her relationship with her husband around a shared history of the television series. Love, murders and hurricanes--what else is there?

The fall issue of Art Papers gave a great review of the recent Pittsboro grassroots art showcase, Loom 3: Labeler, at Chatham Mills. Works by Triangle artists elin o'hara slavick and Pam Pecchio were especially noted. Commented Art Papers, "Loom 3 captures the essences (of the fatigue of seemingly endless days) as the history of the mill transmits to the labor of producing powerful art."

Remember that old Saturday Night Live skit, "The New Phone Books are Here?" Our hero rushes to find his name in the new book and reads aloud "the passage." That's the effect of the arrival of each new North Carolina Literary Review . What a wonderfully dense collection, covering everything literary about our home state. Interviews with Ron Rash and Alan Shapiro highlight the 2004 issue on Ethnic North Carolina. More names, dates, bibliography, snapshot sidebars and Carolina literary trivia treasures than any other magazine around. From the good folks--ah, tireless researchers--at East Carolina University.

The demise of Nest magazine was reported like the passing of a dear friend in art and style sections of several national newspapers. Founded in 1997, only 26 issues old last month, Nest died young. Editor and art director Joseph Holtzman pulled the plug on a publication that changed the newsstand looks of home and interior design magazines. Holtzman got your attention with each issue's different die cut cover. Director John Waters said it best: "I subscribe to 92 magazines a month, and I always open Nest first."

This season also welcomes the launches of three new mags, Swivel: The Nexus of Women and Wit , All Nation and The American Drivel Review . Swivel is funny. Seattle funny, women's humor funny. The contributor list includes a cast member from The Daily Show, a comic book (Super Vagina) publisher, a writer for MadTV and an Algonquin author.

Graffiti art from Costa Rica; paint bombs from Hawaii and Australia; extreme alphabets covering whole freight cars. All Nation is about the players whose moves start with an eight ounce can of Krylon. Published out of Salt Lake City, the publication is submission driven. Alas, a real NIMBY quandary. These tag collections are beautiful, as long as they're not on your wall.

The very McSweeney-esque American Drivel Review calls itself "a unified field theory of wit." And the contributors, mostly connected with writing programs at Colorado's Naropa University, are a cool-headed bunch. Join them! They want submissions: fiction, drama, essay, lyrics, hybrid works, found art--the list goes on.


    Contributing writer John Valentine can be reached at

    More by John Valentine


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