February 25, 2012
Spring 2009 (Volume 19)
Review by Autumn Walck (Susquehanna University ’12)
Manhattan Magazine paints itself with as much passion inside the pages as is found on the graffiti of the building on the front cover. “Sometimes, I feel like a broken toy…each time increasing the fragility,” begins the first poem “Broken Toy” by Maura Kate Costello. Her words set the tone for the collection of the pieces inside of the magazine. They all flow with a connection to your heartstrings like the tumultuous love between two adolescents that end their romance in tragedy from Kevin Vachna’s story, “Killing Regina McAlister.” Vachna writes, “Shutting the door, she kissed hungrily at my mouth, the loaded gun, unsuspecting what was about to occur.” This begins many of the moments in his piece where you can feel the pull of emotions coming from the author and spilling out into his writing. It becomes the common thread that links the place of endearment from which each photograph, poem, and story derives. The young authors of Manhattan Magazine approach each piece with a unique perspective that hints at something deeper.
The magazine features drawings and photographs spread evenly, in color and in black and white, throughout the pages. These each add something new and exciting. “Guitar” by Ricky Mason is a drawing of a woman holding a guitar to her chest. Her hair covers her face, but the passionate grip of her hands on the guitar communicates desire and longing. “One Train” by Ashley Roman is a color photograph of an empty subway trail with a symmetrical view that extends almost like an illusion back into the page.
“Hush, Child, Hush,” a poem by Alana Powell, connects the suffering faced by a mother and daughter in Africa: “He watched the darkest of nights, / and listened to the ghastly acts to those without protection.” It continues with the repetition of “Hush, child, hush, / they are only the Devil’s sons.” Each time the mother speaks those words, the poem descends into something darker until we reach the very last lines, “I held his trembling body to mine, / and this time I said nothing, / for I could only cry.” The stanzas of “Glass Bottles and Pints Refracting Weak Lights” by James Milne are full of this continual thread of emotion. He writes, “Less air, more smoke. / Less air, more liquor. / Less air, more bodies.” These threads collect to become the whole of the magazine and continually make the reader feel something. Manhattan Magazine is what Editor Nick Buzzi writes in the editor’s letter, “a true outlet for the creativity and ingenuity of the students of Manhattan College.”