Outside, the leaf buds begin to appear in the shrubs at the edge of our yard, and flocks of quail come down to feed off the winter seed. My dog, a large Lab Collie mix, sits at the window—the sun pouring in—and whines uncontrollably at the fresh energy of life. I’m experiencing the same anxiousness as the clock winds down and I prepare my last few lectures before finals week, and then summer. It’s an obvious observation, but I’m compelled to declare it. It feels right to publish in the spring.
As an editorial group, we are exceedingly optimistic about the future of our journal. And though signs of spring help generate this awakening, this arrival of hope, we cannot forget the hard work and successes of the last year: our second exhibitor’s table at AWP; our contributors’ distinguished publications and literary awards; our special mention in the Pushcart anthology; and our new editorial process which includes an online submission manager and the addition of interns from Washington State University.
Currently, we read and respond to over 200 submissions a month, a task that would be extremely difficult without our interns. Therefore, we’d like to take a moment to thank Washington State University for lending us their most talented eyes and ears, and we’d like to thank our interns for their good work and sound judgment. We’ve accomplished a lot in the last year, but the change in our editorial process is one of our greatest accomplishments and we expect that it will only improve our stride.
In this issue, you will discover further hints of optimism. In “A Reflex Happens,” Allan Peterson gives us conviction, and in “Catch a Body,” Ilse Bendorf shows us the way to remain afloat. Amy Ash, with her eye for inanimate beauty, delivers a poem that’s bursting with life.
Even the darker pieces have traces of light. In “These are Please God Days,” Rosalyn Cowart reveals a couple, broken, but offers a glimpse of clearing. And Marcia Trahan’s “Bloodletting,” a post-cancer narrative, conveys the power of hope with the resonating symbol of a closed fist.
We enjoyed meeting many of you at AWP last April and hope-whether visiting our pages for the first or the hundredth time-that you will continue to submit, here and elsewhere, so that we may widen our connections as a literary community and carry on.