A journal of narrative writing.

Dear Reader,

Greetings and welcome to the fifth issue of Conte. We wish we could say something lyrical about summer cookouts or fall's rainbow-streaked leaves, but honestly, this is that time of year when nature is shifting from one gear to another, unsure of her own driving. Maybe there should be five seasons - how does `Sumtumn' sound? We'll keep working on it.

In any event, we are incredibly excited about this installment of Conte since we have once again assembled some truly remarkable poetry and fiction from an impressive range of writers. Dane Cervine opens our poetic voyage and is followed by Professor Robin Greene, who offers two narratives that explore family, memory, and what we gain through loss. Donna Karen Weaver, Lyn Lifshin, and Sarah DeCorla-Souza all present some lengthy, intricate cycles, which are as formally complex as they are revelatory. Additionally, Holly Clark and Bill Garvey focus on delicate family bonds, while Barbara Daniels and Amy Meng each illustrate speakers who are on the verge of greater self-awareness. Finally bringing us into port is poet-on-the-lamb Donald Illich, whose humor and impeccable rhythm are nothing short of refreshing.

Starting off our non-fiction section is Elizabeth Bernays, who sent us a touching recollection of love on the road, followed by Adam Sirois, whose own memoir proudly marks his publishing debut (congratulations, Adam). Following that, Amanda Bejot takes us on an insightful journey into the Louisiana bayou, and E. Hart writes through a dark time with remarkable candor. Our fiction section stars four pieces that prove brevity is indeed the soul of wit. Lee-Ann Liles spins a yarn that starts off on a motorbike, but doesn't end up where you'd expect; Peggy Newland finds religion in an atypical way; Teresa Peipins highlights the existential drama of history class; and finally, Steve MacKinnon paints us a unique scene of bonding between the generations over grand theft of the armored variety. Suffice to say, we're more than humbled at the magnitude of talent that came knocking on our door for this issue.

And of course, we are deeply indebted to you, dear reader, since out of every great literary journal in the world, you have chosen to explore ours, even if just for a few minutes during your busy day. Of course, we like to imagine you wearing something comfortable, relaxing on your patio, relishing a glass of chardonnay perhaps, but don't let our fantasy get in the way. We just can't help feeling that this issue - like a cool autumn night - is worth the wait.

Adam & Robert

August 2006