Elevate Difference

Brown Bagazine (Issue Four, Spring 2008)

Why do we read poetry and poetic prose? Some people like the unique language. Others recognize the “ordinary” described in a new way. We read poetry, ideally, to change, inside.

Gypsy Daughter is a poetry chapbook and literary magazine publishing company. Their intention is to create an attractive physical venue for poets to reach their audience. Brown Bagazine, Gypsy Daughter’s quarterly literary magazine, is such a venue.

I laughed with pleasure, when I first saw Brown Bagazine. What a clever idea, this is! The chapbook is approximately 5 ½” x 4 ½” with a blue cover and seventeen pages held together by a lovely silver paper clip. The tiny periodical was inside a gold, zipped pencil bag, approximately 7 ½” x 10 ¼”, with a three-hole punched clear plastic cover (to put the bag in a binder). Marketing 101 says, “It’s all in the packaging.” This Brown Bagazine is perfect because it appeals to the kid inside the adult, and we feel drawn those things that make us feel young once more.

This issue of Brown Bagazine features six writers: Julio Peralta-Paulino, Maryann DiEdwardo, Richard Wink, Brenda Polk, Liz Collins, and Rowland Saifi. I was caught by the words in Julio Peralta-Paulino’s "Untitled," and Maryann DiEdwardo’s "Like the Snow" is great. There is an elusive image of Appaloosa horses moving in this poem. I get it, at the same time I do not, but it makes me think.

Moreover, what is this “trout mask” that the priest wears in Richard Wink’s "The Eden Express?" Brenda Polk’s "Begin" got me to consider what this simple word means in my life. (Thank you, Brenda. I needed that.) And Rowland Saifi’s "A Drama," though hard to explain, is funny and clever.

I think what is vitally important about this periodical is that it is a grassroots, community effort. What Gypsy Daughter is trying to do is give a sense of social obligation to support such an effort. It helps that the writing is thought-provoking, and therefore, quite good. Read it!

Written by: Patricia Ethelwyn Lang, August 5th 2008