Conte, a journal of narrative writing.


Dear Reader,

It would give us great pleasure to call Conte 2.2 our first anniversary issue, but we are about two weeks short of our premiere, which debuted last year on the first of May. Nonetheless, it is a major accomplishment for us to release our fourth installment, since the past year has allowed us to publish some of the best narrative writing on the internet; we are deeply indebted to our many contributors for this humble success, since they make the journey possible.

The poetry in this issue is anchored by fresh revelations and some of the most innovative forms we've ever published. John Kay and Robert Demaree dance through the grey matter that grows between lovers, while Chicago poet Robert Klein Engler presents some of his most balanced spiritual writing to date. Additionally, Chris Davis and Richard Kempa give voice to the difficult process of aging, and probe the very depths of consciousness itself. Finally, Professor Louie Crew, Ester Bloom, and William Saeed round out our offering of verse, and openly question tradition and form in their inventive explorations of style and voice.

Our prose for this issue comes in nearly equal proprotions of fiction and reality. New author Brian Blickenstaff writes a personal account of climbing past one's own inhibitions in Mexico, and Stephanie Chizik brings some springtime nostalgia that all born and bred Marylanders can appreciate. In the fiction deparment, Nick Padron weaves a textured and contemplative story of capricious luck; Amy Freeman spins a humorous yarn about befriending a block of cheese, and Louis E. Bourgeois dregdes up a gritty tale from the dark silt of a Louisiana bayou.

It is our sincere hope that these selections can be the literary soundtrack to your spring. Watch the trees blossom, breathe new air, and feel the sun smile upon your face. We take great pleasure in the artistry of storytelling, and hope you can groove along with the beat we make.

Adam & Robert

April 2006