By David Steinberg

Malpais Review (Autumn 2013)

This month the embattled country of Ukraine is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of the poet Tatar Shevchenko, a symbol of the Ukraine nation. His poetry is considered the basis for the Ukrainian language.

The United States has its own literary heritage, and making a strong contribution to that heritage is the Malpais Review out of Placitas, NM.

Just how strong? One need only peruse the review’s Autumn 2013 edition to learn the strength of its contribution.

The review covers immense territories.

But the prime focus is the issue’s “featured poet” – Arthur Sze of Santa Fe.

There is a lengthy interview with Sze by fellow poet and friend George Kalamaras. There’s a literary analysis of Sze’s poetry by Albuquerque poet John Tritica. There are several Sze poems, an article by Allison Hedge Coke, a former student of Sze’s at the Institute of American Indian Art who said Sze created a significant poetry movement while he taught in the IAIA’s creative writing program. A poem by Hedge Coke and another IAIA alumna. A letter penned by Kalamaras for Sze. And a list of books of poetry that Sze has written as well as books he has edited and translated.

More than 75 pages are devoted to this section on Sze.

This issue also presents poetry by other writers and articles of literary interest to anyone anywhere.

Consider this – “Fuego: A Mini-Anthology of Guerrilla Poets of Latin America,” including Roque Dalton of El Salvador, Juan Gelman of Argentina and Carlos Maria Gutierrez in Uruguay and Daisy Zamora and Ernesto Cardenal of Nicaragua. (In another part of the issue is Cardenal’s poem “Mayapan,” which Malpais Review editor discusses.

The poems in this grouping were selected and translated by Brower and Margaret Randall. Randall is on the review’s advisory board.

There’s also John Macker’s remembrance of Beat poet Stuart Z. Perkoff and several of Perkoff’s poems and a photograph of poets Larry Goodell of Placitas and Mitch Rayes of Albuquerque holding their Gratitude Award given by New Mexico Literary Arts.

The issue contains poems by other poets, including New Mexico residents E.A. “Tony” Mares, Renny Golden, Marilyn Stablein, Bill Nevins, Carl Mayfield, Tani Arness and Gregory Candela.

Oh, and Goodell compiled a history of the Rio Grande Writers Association, which was in existence from 1976 to 1991. The association’s founders were Rudolfo and Patricia Anaya, Gene Frumkin, David Johnson,  James A. Fisher and Mares.

In an editor’s note, Brower writes that the association was “an important part of  New Mexico’s literary history, bringing together various, if not most, of the state’s most well known writers of the era.”

The issue’s first item is an article about the death of Ghana’s national poet, Kofi Awoonor, who was a victim of the terrorist attack on a shopping center in Nairobi, Kenya.

To buy a copy of the Malpais Review, go to the Amazon website or at these bookstores in New Mexico – Acequia Booksellers and Treasure House Books & Gifts in Albuquerque; at the Range Cafe in Bernalillo; at Arte de Placitas Gallery in Placitas; at Op Cit Bookstore in Santa Fe; at Moby Dickens Bookstore in Taos; at Beyond Baroque in Los Angeles, Calif.; and Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick, Maine.  Single copies may be purchased directly from Malpais Review for $12 plus $3.50 for shipping and handling. Make checks payable to Gary Brower and mail to Malpais Review, P.O. Box 339, Placitas, N.M. 87043.

Those interested submitting poetry or essays for publication in Malpais Review should email In the subject line of the email place the words “Poetry” or “Essay”, a dash then your name.

Placitas is also the home of the Duende Poetry Series that is held at Anasazi Fields Winery. The next event in this series, which is unrelated to Malpais Review, is at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 23. Poets reading will be Zach Kluckman and Georgia Santa Maria. Free admission.