Sans Merci, Shepherd University

2010 edition review by melissa bierly (susquehanna university ’14) and dana diehl (susquehanna university ’12) Sans Merci “She was born a fine piece of ebony / That grew tall and healthy in the fertile soil of her tropical / mother’s womb.” With these haunting lines begins “Her Father, the Craftsman” by Lashawn Tolston. Tolston’s language draws us in, invoking the reassuring warmth of motherhood, while raising questions that allude to darker significance: Why ebony? Why like a tree that has no control over how or where it grows, but relies on conditions outside itself? The opening captures the duality that we feel weaves its way through so much of this magazine. There is something familiar a

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