Bellevue Literary Review   Volume 7, #1, 2007 - Danielle Ofri
Though I will soon forget many of the stories, essays, and poems in The Bellevue Literary Review, Volume 7, Number 1, here are a few I think deserve to be mentioned and remembered. "You Never Know" by Pamela Hull is her observations on living with an aging body and a still-lively libido. Another non-fiction piece is Annette Gendler's "Traces", on the life of her friend who lived with severe depression; I liked it because of all the questions it left in my mind. "Lily of the Valley" by Emma Wunsch is a very well-written story, a physics-professor father tries to solve the problem of being widowed and confronting his daughter’s anorexia: I’m not sure if I find the ending fully satisfying, though. Conversely, "The Cure" by Kathleen Cohn (an elderly man pays a visit to his native Ecuador, seeks a cure for cancer from rattlesnakes) is written in somewhat graceless language but is wonderful in how it plays out. "Recoil" by Trenton Streeting (which distracted me by being set in my native landscape and starting off with a geographically-problematic sentence) is a tale of father-son relationship, where they hitch a ride with a couple of problematic characters, and the boy is thrown off balance by witnessing the difficulty his father has in the encounter. The themes of this collection don’t, on the whole, invite lightheartedness, but there is one funny, lively story: "Tough Cookie" (by Alanna Schubach), centered on a screenwriting couple who live next door to a reality-show filming. The poem "I Imagine I Answer Your Letter" by Alison Jarvis is very joyous. Out of a mostly undistinguished lot of poems, my favorite was "Watching You Nap Beneath a Faded Quilt" by Angela Armstrong. Ones by Elaine Terranova, Rigoberto González, and Seth Abramson were intriguing in a rather incomprehensible way.