From the Stacks: September 28, 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

Represent, a magazine for youth in
foster care, tackles the thorny issues confronted by its young
readers and writers. Recent editions of the magazine, which is
published bimonthly by the New York-based nonprofit
, have focused on domestic violence, teenage
pregnancy, and aging out of the foster care system. The
September/October issue offers an arsenal of personal stories
and advice to help readers cope with parents who have substance
abuse problems. Represent is a heartbreaking read —
the magazine’s contributors, many in their early teens, write
about their struggles with anger, anxiety, and mistrust toward
one or both parents — but a highly recommended resource for
those who work with youth in the system, or for anyone who’d
like a glimpse into the lives of the 500,000 American children
in foster care. — Danielle Maestretti

In the October issue of the Bark, ‘the modern dog culture magazine,’
Patricia Simonet conducts a series of social experiments on her dog
to see if canines can laugh. Not only can dogs smile and chuckle,
Simonet finds, but their laughter can actually calm the anxieties
of other dogs. Elsewhere, canine nutritionist Catherine Lane offers
advice on how to balance your pooch’s diet, and Kevin Skaggs gives
readers a buyer’s guide to ecofriendly transportation for people
and dogs. Our condolences go out to editor in chief Claudia
Kawczynska, whose pet Nellie, the magazine’s ‘founding dog’ and
sometimes cover-star, recently died. — Eric Kelsey

The premiere issue of Paper Monument, a semiannual arts
journal published in association with
n+1, arrived in the Utne
library this week. The publication sets a new standard
for arts journals, which tend to be either shallow and glossy or
laborious, academic reads. In its inaugural issue, PaperMonument has successfully rebelled against both approaches
by exploring the arts from both critical and self-critical
perspectives. With nuance and subtlety, Christopher Hsu unpacks how
the cultural mystique of New York City continually reproduces
itself in restaurants, retail, and reportage. The journal also
showcases the contemporary art of notables like Peter Peri and Dan
Torop, and features cultural critiques of (and for) urbanites with
artistic inclinations. — Eric Kelsey

Eighteen times a year, One Story sends out one small,
staple-bound short story. The latest offering (#95) is Tom
Barbash’s ‘Balloon Night,’ set on the ‘balloon block’ — the
staging ground for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The story
tracks a man determined to put on his annual pre-parade party,
without telling any guests that his wife left him just days before.
Barbash’s depiction of vulnerability and heartbreak is well worth
the quick read. As it says on the One Story website,
‘there is always time to read one story.’ — Julie

is hard not to drool over the glossy and elegant photos of chic
restaurants, striking modernist homes, and some of the coolest (not
to mention prohibitively expensive) shops and hotels that fill the
densely packed pages of Metropolis. Case in point: In the
September issue, writer Paul Makovsky guides readers on a tour of
some of the most evocative images of mid-century architecture
captured in the brilliant, measured photographs of Julius Shulman.
Glitz and glamour aside, the September issue also includes a
substantive essay exploring how the city of Antwerp is taking
rising sea levels into consideration as it looks to revive its once
historic waterfront district. ?— Chris Gehrke

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