We publish this issue in time for Thanksgiving and are indeed thankful for a plentiful and varied harvest of good writing. Here in Minnesota we are expecting heavy weather, and this collection of prose and poetry makes for some good reading on snowbound afternoons as the holiday season begins.
The prose we offer includes an essay and four short stories. Adrienne Pilon’s essay “Where I Left Them” is a gentle, slightly humorous glimpse at a family taking a deep breath in the midst of the loss of a loved one. “Love, Virginia,” by Katie Rogin, is a kind though unblinking portrait of a character carrying the weight of past decisions and present challenges and, because she is an all-too recognizable Boomer , we hope finally deepening in the process. Chris Pellizzari captures the quirky essence of a protagonist living a life of noisy desperation in his very entertaining, not-to-be-missed “The Chicken Basket.” Ellie O’Leary’s sad “Annie Doesn’t Get It” walks us through a lonely interior world with insight and sympathy. Alexander Moser’s “Good Reliable Frank” reads like a somewhat old fashioned story but with some twists that open things up for the protagonist and the readers alike. These are enjoyable pieces not only for their high quality of writing, but also for their compassionate take on the always complex human condition.
This issue’s poems shine a light on what’s important but often forgotten or overlooked. From kites to the cold artifacts of genocide, violence and politics show up together but in very different ways in the works of two poets. Darren Demarree’s troubling short series, “A Night So Beautiful We Burned Down the Senator’s House,” shows violence about to occur, while the quiet contemplation of skulls in “The Color of Genocide” by Thomas Locicero comes after the violence is long gone. Small and fleeting moments—using a bottle of Windex, remembering kites—create the focus for works by Elizabeth Weir and Martina Reisz Newberry. Janice Northerns’ “Some Electric Hum” pays homage to William Stafford and B.H. Fairchild with a walk through history and the timeless in Kansas Far from a nostalgic ride, the personal, breathless remembering of a slice of the Sixties in Thom Young’s piece recalls the excesses and hopes of that era. Our final poet, Elizabeth Poreba, will bring back the quiet for you, with two poems—one about what’s solid in our lives, “Fissures,” and one, “Tourists,” evoking the wonder of looking at shooting stars.
It is literature’s role to take the long view of human experience through the details of individual lives. We feel this collection does an admirable job of this and are proud to publish prose and poems that will, perhaps, lead our readers into quiet reflection during this time of political and cultural turmoil.
Happy reading, and Like us on Facebook,
Leonard Lang and Stephen Peters, Editors