Journal Review: Ploughshares, Winter 2014-15, Vol. 40, No. 4

Annual Poetry and Prose issue edited by journal staff, also containing the Emerging Writer’s Contest Winners for 2014. My absolute favorite piece in this issue was the Plan B essay by Sherrie Flick, “Caretaker, Murderer, Undertaker” – as a gardener I found myself laughing out loud at every twist and turn of the narrative as I recognized so many familiar things and at times I felt I was reading about adventures in my own urban yard in the Northeast. [See my review “On Sherrie Flick’s “Caretaker, Murderer, Undertaker” for more of my thoughts on this wonderful essay.]

I also thought this year’s contest winners were very well chosen. Tomiko M. Breland’s narrative technique in “Rosalee Carrasco” was interesting and well-crafted. I voraciously consumed Eliese Colette Goldbach’s essay “In the Memory of the Living” which was just all around excellent. Other stories I really enjoyed this issue were Jennifer Hanno’s “The Case for Psychic Distance” (which will be part of a collection of linked stories – I definitely want to read more about these characters) and Ying-Ju Lai’s “No Damage”. Jeanne Marie Beaumont’s beautiful poem “Fifteen Views of a Christening Gown Portrait with Closed Eyes”. As always all of the selections are fine examples of their craft, which is one of the reasons Ploughshares continues to be one of my favorite journals I try to remain subscribed to in order to hone my own writing.


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