From the Stacks: February 23, 2007


| February 2007


Utne Reader's library is abuzz with a steady flow of 1,500 magazines, newsletters, journals, weeklies, zines, and other lively dispatches from the cultural front that are rarely found at big-box bookstores, newsstands, or even online. So we share the highlights (and occasional lowlights) of what's landing in our library each week in 'From the Stacks.' Check in every Friday for the latest edition.

For nearly 15 years, Musea has doggedly served as a dispatch from 'the ongoing revolution in the ARTS!' In the February issue of this short-but-sweet zine (replete with a cool handmade bookmark), editor Tom Hendricks cobbles together a divinely far-out roundup of his favorite books. I have a very sensitive radar for the 'weird-for-weird's sake,' and believe me, this isn't. Hendricks explains that he bought many of the books from library sales; I can't think of a better way to assemble such diverse choices as World's Best Clown Gags, Ben Bagdikian's The Media Monopoly, and Forever Lounge: A Laid-Back Price Guide to the Languid Sounds of Lounge Music. His enthusiasm about each title is contagious, too -- I'm this close to buying Elvis Presley's Graceland: The Official Guidebook, and I don't even like Elvis. -- Danielle Maestretti

EsopusIt seems like an insult to call Esopus a magazine, though technically that's what it is. With large, thick, full-color pages -- many of which unfold into posters and vary in texture and size -- Esopus feels more like an exhibition catalogue that one might purchase in a museum gift shop. The pages are full of stunning photography, poetry, fiction, and paintings. Each issue also comes with a music CD stuck to the back cover. Considering all that Esopus offers, it's surprising that the magazine is a nonprofit publication, kept afloat by generous donors and a small subscription fee. Issue #7 features a 13-year-old's colored-pencil war drawing, a museum guard's take on art, and eight pages of translucent squares, perforated to be torn out for display, making the magazine part of the art itself. -- Mary O'Regan

Each issue of 2wice , a semiannual arts journal of the not-for-profit 2wice Arts Foundation, Inc., evokes a particular theme, with the latest being 'how-to.' The 16 instructional categories are diverse, often surprising, and certainly intriguing. 'How to Botticelli' offers an informative look at nude paint-by-numbers in the 1950s. 'How to Spread Democracy' features a man covered by machine guns with a halo of fighter jets -- juxtaposed with a page of deformed plastic toy soldiers. 'How to Fix Things' showcases artist Nina Katchadourian and her arresting mended spiderwebs. Also be sure to take a gander at her collections of stacked books, which, when the titles are read from top to bottom, make for a delightfully quirky story. -- Elizabeth Ryan

Missbehave'We're masters of the universe over here, and we didn't even go to Space Camp,' concludes the editor's note of Missbehave's second issue. Published in Brooklyn, Missbehave is sarcastic, urbane, and giddy --thoroughly a product of its milieu. The article 'Intervention: Jared Leto' speaks to my inner space cadet, admonishing the heartthrob of My So-Called Life for his recent fashion swerve into tackiness. Also in this issue, 'Good Hair' profiles Icelandic artist Hrafnhildur Arnardottir, whose preferred medium is hair -- one of her headdresses appears on the cover of Bjork's album Medulla. Missbehave had me wishing for longer locks so I could twirl them around my finger as I snapped my gum. -- Evelyn Hampton

A growing sense of urgency to better understand youth violence and prevent it has both researchers and people who work with young people scrambling to pool their resources. Enter the Prevention Researcher, a 20-page journal packed with research related to at-risk youth. The magazine bridges a divide between researchers' data and the professionals who work with susceptible youth. The resulting invaluable resource for nurses, psychologists, and social workers is published quarterly by Integrated Research Services, Inc., a nonprofit research organization based in Oregon. Though the publication is definitely geared toward evidence-based minds, accessible articles in the February issue on youth victimization provide strategies to reduce online victimization and understand the connection between victims of violence and juvenile offenders. -- Jenna Fisher