import_contacts Drunken Boat

reviewed by Tom Hartman

Published in Issue No. 53 ~ October, 2001

After a spotty initial effort, Drunken Boat has returned with
an impressive second issue (Winter/Spring 2001). Edited by Ravi
Shankar, who notes in his bio that he does NOT play the Sitar, and
elegantly designed by Michael Mills, Drunken Boat features
poetry, criticism and an assortment of web-friendly art.

Overall, readers will find here a fairly representative cross-section
of contemporary poetry — from the language experimentation of
Stephanie Strickland’s “” series (highly recommended) to
the lyrical surrealism of David Lehman’s “April 19” and “August 18”.
Other contributors include Lawrence Fixel (“Book of Glimmers,” in the
“criticism” section), Sidney Wade (see in particular his lovely,
imagistic “My Istanbul”) and Mark Rudman (the nearly epic-length “Long
Stemmed Rose”), all of whom have contributed new work.

With this lineup, it’s easy to forgive Shankar for throwing in the odd
reprint: in addition to Charles Dickens’ “Hunted Down,” two of the
three Patrick Donnelly poems appeared previously, in Beloit Poetry
and Quarterly West, respectively (however,
Donnelly’s “Dust” is previously unpublished).

Reprints or not, Drunken Boat is poised to take its place alongside
zines like Cortland Review, Slope and The East
Village Poetry Web
in the webzine First Division. Add it to your
reading list.

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Tom Hartman has been a regular contributor to Pif since 1999. He lives in Philadelphia.