From the Stacks: November 10, 2006

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

If you’ve lost hope in poetry, a visit with Don Wentworth’s
Lilliput Review may do you some good. The
poems in issues 152 through 154, like those throughout the zine’s
17 year history, are all short. Some impart only two or three
well-considered words, so you won’t lose much time if you don’t dig
one. The verses Wentworth selects tread (for the most part) far
from the traps of pretension that snare many a poem. And his
thoughtful compilation places uncannily similar ideas from entirely
different authors side by side. Lillie, as Wentworth calls
it, features poets from all over the country, entangling them with
overlapping themes. Perhaps not surprisingly, the pocket-sized
charmer has been nominated for an
Independent Press Award
in the zine category. — Suzanne

A book
chock full of pictures of females — unclothed! — from newborns to
94-year-olds may not sound like a book you’d let near your coffee
table. But Bodies and Souls is anything but some shady
photographer’s attempt at art. The book is a culmination of
Century Project
, a photo exhibit that has traveled across
the United States and Canada. Women of all ages, sizes, shapes,
colors, and histories have posed, as they chose, for photographer
Frank Cordelle. Some cover their bodies in modesty or insecurity,
others appear completely comfortable in their bare skin. Often,
notes from the women appear next to their pictures, the words
revealing struggles with body image, abuse, disease, and other
wounds healed or still open. Along with the pictures, these
autobiographical captions also reveal the strength, joy, and power
of the women who have participated. — Suzanne

Thereby Hangs a Tale‘s first print issue,
‘The Expat Issue,’ features the weird and hilarious tales born of
encounters with the unfamiliar. There’s ‘Bad Luck,’ a story about a
chance meeting in New Zealand between a taxi driver, his Vietnamese
wife, and two juvenile delinquents. ‘Unbound’ is an American
woman’s account of life in India, accompanied by
photo-illustrations of the many hairstyles she adopted while trying
to fit in. And ‘How to Strip’ offers a humorous guide narrated by
stripper Viva Las Vegas. It was Thereby‘s last page that
captured my heart: a profile of tiny Rebecca Panikpak Idlout
Library in Nunavut, Canada, north of the Arctic Circle, which
serves as a beacon to wandering explorers seeking to check their
email. — Evelyn Hampton

You may not know
who Paolo Pellegrin is, but he may change the way you see the
world. That’s according to a profile of this innovative
photojournalist in the November issue of
Photo District News, or PDN, the
monthly magazine for professional photographers. In ‘Paolo
Pellegrin and The Future of Photojournalism,’ Edgar Allen Beem
explains that the trend over the past 20 years favoring packed,
layer-heavy photos is about to end. Look for simpler photos
embracing reduction and exclusion, like Pellegrin’s signature
close-up portraits of mourners at the wake of Pope John Paul II. —
Jenna Fisher

all the buzz about how climate change is affecting humans and the
land, the impact on oceans is often overlooked. The Autumn issue of
Blueplanet, a publication of the
Ocean Conservancy, looks at how climate and
ocean interact in both positive and negative ways. In ‘Pumping
Iron,’ Andrew Myers looks at the peculiar phenomenon of desert
sands landing in oceans via dust storms. The
carbon-dioxide-hungry phytoplankton that result have led some to
conclude that a little sand in the sea could cure the planet’s
atmospheric woes. But some experts are warning against such
ocean ‘fertilization,’ calling it ‘waste disposal.’ Says one
Ocean Conservancy director: ‘Let’s not trade the hell we know
for the one we don’t.’ — Rachel Anderson

Published by the Social Justice Committee in Montreal, the
Upstream Journal aims to uncover any fouls
underfoot in human or environmental rights. The September/October
issue warns that both genetically modified trees and the
forthcoming Chinese-Tibetan railway are poised to encroach on
traditional ways by pushing out native plants and native Tibetan
culture, respectively. The issue also contains an interesting pair
of articles on Africa: an interview with Robert Calderisi, author
The Trouble with Africa,’ who denounces most
aid to the continent as futile; and a conversation with Stephen
Lewis, the UN Secretary General’s special envoy for HIV/AIDS in
Africa, who heralds the outside efforts at curbing AIDS and
poverty in Africa. — Rachel Anderson

In-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.