A journal of narrative writing.

If you've read Conte before, you've likely noticed that we have a new website. The old one was the product of a few late nights struggling with Photoshop and the questions "is anyone going to ever even see this?" and "why are we so bad at web design?" We don't know if much progress has been made on the latter, but much to our delight, the former's been met with a resounding "YES," which makes your Editors feel all tingly inside - and made us realize that the old site was no longer adequate for the things we wanted to do with Conte.

We could spend a few paragraphs thanking everyone profusely, but perhaps it's better to just say "thanks, you rule" and then step up and deliver in 2008. While we'll be adding lots of interstitial content to the site, we still want to keep the biannual issues as our centerpiece - but whether you come for the Superbowl or the commercials, the point (for us, anyway) is to provide as large and diverse an audience for our authors as we can. And, of course, as much good writing for our readers as we can cram into a calendar year. We're also curious to see who else is out there, as there are a lot of fine journals on the web, but not, apparently, a whole lot of cross-chatter between them; maybe we can do something about that while we're at it.

But on to the issue at hand. The poetry selected for Conte 3.2 is as broad and vivacious as we've ever offered in a single installment, and we open with the seasonally resonant "Centering the Tree" by Sean Lause. Roxanne Halpine's "Flower Show, Philadelphia," satisfies our weakness for flower poems, while Paul Hostovsky and Martin Willitts, Jr. explore music as a gateway to larger questions about creativity and individuality. Barbara Daniels, Donora Hillard, and J.S. Absher all delve human vulnerabilities such as gender, love, and death, but Claudia Putnam offers a refreshingly humorous and bizarre narrative in "Bunk With the Beasts." And finally, J. Marcus Weekley and Kathleen Boyle conclude our poetry offerings by taking us beyond the shore.

We've got some astounding prose writing in this issue as well. A lot of the pieces deal with the concept of family in some way; Elrena Evans, for example, grants a beggar's wish just to teach him and his sister that getting what you want can be the worst reward. Sarah Scotti-Einstein and Cheluchi Onyemelukwe write vividly about young relationships in turmoil and transition; John Repp slices down to the meat of the familial tensions aroused by a young boy's awakening. Carol Reid's protagonist makes a dark discovery that he can't reveal to the rest of his family, Lois Bassen weaves a generational story in parallel about a burgeoning romance and a seasoned grande dame's recollections, and Tanyo Ravicz puts us squarely in the midst of the tenuous bonds shared by a group of Alaskan cannery workers.

So, that's it for '07; we hope you had a plentiful year, and that you enjoy this issue with gusto. We've got loads of fun stuff coming up in the near future - some interviews, maybe even a contest or two, etc. - something to tide you over between the issues and a reason to keep checking in with us. So y'all keep coming back - and tell your friends. We'll make it worth their while.

Robert & Adam