an excerpted review by lauren bailey (susquehanna university ’11), london campbell (susquehanna university ’10), and autumn walck (susquehanna university ’12)
Bloomsburg University’s 2008-2009 Literary-Art Journal, Warren, begins with a Virginia Woolf quote: “The words seemed to be dropped in a well, where if the waters were clear, they were also so extraordinarily distorting that, even as they descended, one saw them twisting about to make Heaven knows what pattern on the floor of the child’s mind.” This is the swirl of emotion that began our experience reading Warren. Woolf’s quote feels appropriate, as the majority of the stories and poems in this journal have a dark, dramatic feel to them, lending a sense of cohesion to the magazine as a whole.
Jess Weber’s story, “To Let the Light In,” is a disjointed, melancholy piece about a married couple grappling with the news that they cannot conceive children. “The Abandoned Ship,” a poem by Steven Koch, is similarly haunting, describing a ship that nobody knows what happened to. Although this volume of Warren does not have an explicitly stated theme, we found definite connections between these pieces. We also greatly enjoyed the refreshing humor in “An Unlikely Conversation,” especially these lines:
“‘My time is what you are actually paying for. Call it therapy.’ ‘I already pay somebody else for that.’ ‘Then I must not be needed.’”
There were several very artistic photos that resonated with us as readers and seemed to speak to both the pieces and the dark undertone we detected throughout the journal. […] We really liked the layout – the glossy white paper feels inviting, and the collection of words on the front and back covers speaks, once again, to the Virginia Woolf quote included on the title page.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed Warren and hope to have the opportunity to see future editions!