Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Peek at the Final Issue of Holly Rose Review

 Tattoo by Sean Herman, from the June issue of Holly Rose Review

Considering that one-twelfth of the year, sheds its inkspotting  mission and, instead, plays host to tattooed poets in honor of National Poetry Month, it only seems fitting that I should pay homage to the final
issue of Holly Rose Review.

Holly Rose is the brainchild of Theresa Senato Edwards (who herself is a tattooed poet), who has given us four deliciously beautiful online issues that embrace both tattoos and poetry. The online literary 'zine juxtaposes brilliant tattoo work with the poems of an assortment of diverse and talented writers. Each issue bears a theme, and the last (and sadly, final) issue is "Worry".

What's unique about Holly Rose is the juxtaposition of poetry and tattoos. It's an illustrated volume, but Edwards assembles poems that not only speak to the theme, but almost seem as if they could be captions to the body art displayed. Issue four features tattoos created by Luba Goldina, Sean Herman and Maxime Lanouette. And their work seems to transcend the description "tattoo" as the illustrations serve as works of art that correspond to the themes illuminated by the accompanying poems.

But not every poem has a tattoo with it, which is fine, as it makes the appearance of ink more special, and allows the reader to focus on the poetry, as well. An added bonus is the audio player found on some of the
poems' pages, so the reader can not only read the poem, but hear it in the author's voice. One page even features a video of the poet reading her work.These added dimensions make Holly Rose a truly magnificent experience.

All four issues are currently available for perusal on the website If you're not a fan of poetry, check it out anyway and see some amazing tattoos. Maybe you'll discover some poetry you'll enjoy. Issue four features work from Dorianne Laux, Jayne Pupek and Changming Yuan. Issue three contains work from Christine Hamm and Joseph Millar, both participants in the 2010 Tattooed Poets Project. Issue two has poetry by Martha Silano and Daphne Lazarus (whose tattoo appeared here).

It's easy to get lost in the site, admiring great tattoos and reading fabulous poetry, so head on over to Holly Rose and see what a lovely pairing tattoos and poetry make!

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