The Lake Tahoe region is known for its majestic natural wonders, and once you look over this literary collection, you’ll be tempted to conclude that the artists and writers have been magically infused by the area’s beauty. EDGE 2010 contains a marvelous and stunning array of writing, photography and art. Even the texture of the paper and the smooth glossy cover are aesthetic, making this journal highly professional not only in content but also in the medium through which it is delivered.
Photographs and artworks are presented in full color. The definition is so smooth it seems you engage the originals themselves. Sprinkled among the visual treasures are superbly taut poems and devastatingly good short stories. The cumulative effect is empyreal in pleasure.
A few examples:
Navigations, an oil on panel by Shelly Hocknell Zentner, a luscious depiction of fruit slices, somewhat reminiscent of Van Gogh, appears next to “I was destroyed by God,” an existential examination by Dave Murcar.
Rain Dance, an acrylic on canvas by Reds Regan, which combines a delightful mosaic of multihued cubes and the curvy lines of an alluring diva, rests between two great poems. One is “The Fern Seed Addict” by DeAnna Stephens Vaugh, winner of the 1st Annual EDGE Poetry Award.
The second is “God’s Bicycle” by Joel Peckham, which entices the reader with a manic theological cadence, ending with “I love you all I love / you I love you I love you all I / love you.”
Right after that is Fairy Peaking, a colored pencil of a cute sprite with purple eyes by Kristen Schwartz. This is paired with “The Sunflower At Dusk” by Naoko Awa (translated by Toshiya Kamei).
Finally, I just have to mention that my poem “Bug Meets Juice,” a comical excursion into the hazards of being a fly, gets the honor of settling in next to a delicious-looking hot fudge sundae. (Harlequin Romance, oil on wood by Kit Night). Yay, Kit!
The whole issue reads this way: packed with juxtapositions between disparate forms to encourage dialectic. There are twenty eight gems of visual art, sixteen poems and nine works of fiction, not to mention an interview with translator Toshiya Kamei. A true tour de force.
A meteor shower of kudos goes out to the team behind the scenes, a group that calls themselves Tahoe Writers Works. They are correct to say in their preface, “We don’t take the easy route with EDGE.” I concur with Bruce Rettig, Publisher and Editor when he says in his letter to contributors, “This is EDGE’s strongest issue.”
One final and unique aspect of this multi-part masterpiece: The business owners of Lake Tahoe have stepped up with fantastic sponsorship. I’ve never seen so many local ads in a lit journal. It demonstrates a special esprit. The Lake Tahoe region proudly stands behind the creative nucleus of their community.
Something healthy and cooperative is going on around Lake Tahoe. It makes me want to visit!
Here are some of the local businesses that love art. Their names make me want to visit, too:
Valhalla Arts, Music & Theatre Festival 2010
Blue Water Bistro
Red Rooster Retreat
Tahoe Arts And Mountain Culture
Charter Advertising/Design Inc.
Aprés Wine Company
Sundance Bookstore & Music
Tahoe Mountain News
Keynote Used Records and Books
Eddy Street Book Exchange
Iron Horse Cantina
Bona Fide Books
(Bona Fide Books is run by Kim Wyatt, Managing Editor of EDGE. I’ve had some dealings with her before, and she’s very kind, smart and supportive. She has even posted one of my poems at her site, complete with audio!: http://bonafidebooks.squarespace.com/ranch-trees/ )
If you want a rich journal of multiple media in a beautifully perfect bound edition, look no further. EDGE will transport you to realms both cerebral and emotional. Not only that, you will feel like you’ve taken a trip to Lake Tahoe and met some most stimulating folks.
PS: Staff at EDGE
Editor and Publisher: Bruce Rettig
Managing Editor: Kim Wyatt
Fiction Editor: David Anderson
Poetry Editor: Andrea Wexelblatt
Editorial Intern: Hannah Elder