Work Title: CALYX: A Journal of Arts and Literature by Women, 30th Anniversary Issue
Work Author(s): Margarita Donnelly et al., editors
16 b/w photographs and illustrations , 128 pages, Softcover $9.50
Reviewer: Leeta Taylor
For readers whose only association of calyx is the green protective outer leaves of buds, consider this: CALYX, a nonprofit West Coast feminist journal, in its thirty years of publishing two issues a year, has introduced more than 3,500 women artists and writers. (The dark side of such statistics: the distaff employment by and contributions to the publishing industry are, much as in 1976, nowhere near equal.)
Offering a montage of figurative art, photographs, book reviews, poetry, and fiction, this issue presents new and reprinted works. CALYX was the first U.S. journal to publish Frida Kahlo's art in color. Striking among the current portfolio art is Linda Stein's series of arrowhead figures of salvaged industrial materials. Her figures eerily meld the ruins of archaic torsos in archeology with Wonder Woman cartoon figures and heraldic knights, as an elegiac testament to 9/11.
Similarly, the poetry and nine book reviews share a clean, urgent aesthetic. "Letters to Virginia Woolf" showcases a fictional memoir of a woman at Ground Zero of 9/11 as she and her husband rebuild their fragmented lives around the gaping craters of loss. Ancestral naming and father figures dominate the mood of the poetry, particularly in "Shakuhachi Song" by Sara Yamasaki. Rebecca Meredith's "Airborne" catches that one grace note of love between a girl and her father dancing to a Fats Domino's record "Walkin' to New Orleans": "and the air won't hold what it used to."