A journal of narrative writing.

It's kind of funny (to us, at least) that we could start this foreword off the exact same way we did the last time - look, new website! But you've seen it, or you wouldn't be here, so there's no sense in crowing. We'll be sticking with this layout for a while - we love it, and we had nothing to do with the design! Speaking of luck, the smart money would bet that, wherever you are, it's too hot and muggy right now to go on rambling like this, so allow us to introduce our brilliant authors for the good summer of 2008.

The poems for this summer issue encompass a wide range of themes and forms, and are a testament to the versatility of narrative verse. Jendi Reiter’s lyrical “Leaving Olympus” kicks things off by invoking questions of spirituality and the human heart, while Jesse Millner and Elizabeth Shanks both demonstrate the resilience of memories stripped of their sentimental shrouds. And while Heather Bartlett’s “The Day After Dougie’s Wake” interrogates the disquieting ritualism of funerals, Myrtle Figueiredo’s “Fall Strivings” is a celebration of nature’s perseverance. Furthermore, David Wright and Kent D. Nielsen’s poems strip away the veneer of domesticity to lay bear the naked truths of commitment—among other things—while Jonterri Gadson’s epic “Rapture” recounts a poignant coming-of-age story against an uneasy backdrop of religious and racial hypocrisy. Finally, Eliza Kelly’s “Shariah Court Honor Killing” concludes this round of poems with an ominous yet dire statement about the necessity of language.

Our serving of prose this issue contains high doses of "not what it appears to be" - which might seem like fairly elementary stuff in the context of narrative, but each of our pieces this time around goes above and beyond to stretch that concept a little farther. Laurence Klavan's story about struggling with a late-blooming passion starts our motif rolling with a steady hand and expert eye. No less so with Patrick Cook's tale of a man, it seemed, nobody really knew until the time had come to divide up his possessions. David Burke takes us beyond the simplicity of a first summer romance, and helps us find our own little corner of the big wheel; John Miller deftly spins the tale of an unusual boy who couldn't quite overcome his unfortunate genetics - or maybe the misfortune wasn't actually in his DNA, just in the fact that nobody knew quite what to do with it. And, finally, Robert Isenberg's well-timed travel advisory for the Caribbean becomes something much more by the end, an instruction manual on how to be wherever you are (which, some might argue, is the main thing one learns by traveling anywhere past one's front steps).

So that's it for now. Thanks for stopping by, and as always, we hope you find something worth relishing. Also, we hope you all have laptops, because from where we sit, it is way too nice to be indoors.

Robert & Adam