BY ANTHONY COOK, Editor-in-Chief
A few years ago, we published a mission statement encouraging submissions that take a “reflective look at our national identity and how that identity is perceived by the world.” You won’t find that mission statement anywhere now. To be frank, we grew tired of predictable and preachy stories, poems, and essays about politics and current events, so we decided to harbor this desire privately. What a pleasure it is for us, then, to bring you Issue 23.1-Winter/Spring2011. In this issue, you’ll find Edith Pearlman’s wild tale of a man tasked with eulogizing a Bernie Madoff-like character; Josh Kalscheur’s poem about economic woe; and Gregory Sherl’s poem titled “Wikipedia,” which features Mel Gibson as a thundercloud. Here are writers unafraid to tackle the bigger picture—and talented enough to do it with style.
Other highlights include:
POETRY: Nancy K. Pearson’s poem, “Selene’s Horse,” was selected by guest judge Jane Hirshfield as the winner of our 2010 Wabash Prize for Poetry. Hirshfield praised the poem’s clear surety of voice, fearless intimacy, and masterful handling of a broad range of references, from Aristotle to big rigs.
FICTION: Greg Schutz’s short story, “You Are the Greatest Lake,” is a quiet and compelling story about a divorcee’s desperate struggle to connect with her lover’s daughter during a trip to a lake house in Michigan. It’s fantastic use of setting and reserved drama make it a quintesentially Midwestern story.
NONFICTION: Ted Kooser and Annie Proulx granted us interviews that are at once folksy and defiant. Neither of these Pulitzer Prize-winning authors are afraid to speak their minds in these honest, entertaining conversations.
To see a complete roster of what Issue 23.1 has to offer, check out the table of contents. You can subscribe or pre-order the issue by following the instructions on our subscriptions page. Meanwhile, we’ll be posting some excerpts from the new issue during the next few weeks, so be sure to check back here often. And thanks for reading!