We've been busy with preliminary work in putting out our first print issue. Originally envisioned to collect some of our favorite pieces that have appeared here in the first five complete years, after looking at the calendar and seeing that we'd need to wait until content from the Summer 2007 issue is agreed, the decision's been made that we simply can't—wait, that is. We'll have something you can touch well before the fall of 2007, just you watch. If you're an avid reader and a certain story or essay has stuck with you over time, we'd be grateful if you'd let us know. We'll do our best to include it.

Our Lit Pick of the Quarter highlights the New England Review, where a piece entitled "Joint Custody" by Elizabeth Rollins appears in Vol. 26, No. 2 / 2005 under the category of Testimonies. It's an engaging story of a girl caught in a flip-flop of stays between mother and father. The narrative partitions each scene, each bounce from one place to the other. Here's one short segment:

    I am asked not to mention my mother's name at my father's house.
    My sister lives with my mother, so I stop mentioning her, too.
    Nor do I mention my family on my mother's side.
    And my dog lives with my mother, so I try not to mention him, either.

Also, sprinkled throughout the piece are sections in italics, where the voice is the same but the perspective is not from any particular house:

    Whenever people say "joint custody," it makes me think of actual joints: fingers, knees, elbows. Or roasts. Or the hinged parts of chickens. I like a sharp knife for joints. I like to slice through the webs of connective tissue with no resistance.
    If it's a crown of lamb, say, I cut each bone free before I'll even take a single bite. If no one is watching, I put the bones against my teeth and nip at the bits of flesh my fork and knife can't reach. I lick and gnaw each bone clean and then place them, curved and spooning neatly, at the edge of my plate.

Our selections for this summer issue begin with Jeffrey N. Johnson's "Raw Toscana," a story set in Italy involving a painter who is distracted by what he sees and what he feels. In "Voiceless," by Penny Feeny, brother and sister try to overcome their parents' alienation and adjust to a new community. There's an ominous knife atop John Gooley's story, "How to Write a Romance." Elizabeth Bernays brings us to the high mountains of California in her essay, "Sierra Interlude," where butterflies are being studied. And Shellie Zacharia appears in The Summerset Review for a second time, with a short-short entitled "Tres, Dos, Uno."

We'll never get tired of saying thanks to the many kind people out there who have complimented us on our journal. Your words keep us going. Lots of gratitude goes out to you and all those who have and continue to send us submissions.

The Summerset Review
Joseph Levens – Editor
Amy Leigh Owen – Assistant Editor
A literary journal released quarterly on the 15th of March, June, September, and December. Founded in 2002, the journal is a nonprofit Internet magazine devoted to the review and publication of unsolicited short stories and essays. All correspondence and submissions should be emailed to editor@summersetreview.org. Postal mailing address: 25 Summerset Drive, Smithtown, New York 11787, USA.

This publication is made possible, in part, with a grant from the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), supported by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), a state agency. We are very thankful for the support and encouragement these organizations have given our journal and the literary community.

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