A portion of these Editors' Notes relate to another Editor's Note, one by Robert Stewart in Volume 76, Number 4, 2010 of New Letters, a literary magazine out of the University of Missouri - Kansas City. Stewart talks about the physical and digital mediums of published work, and the trend of literature increasingly appearing in, or converted to, electronic form. The concept of flight is discussed: everyone needs—craves—to take flight. "Everything seems to want uplift."
All true, and the question remaining is: What is to come of the written word in this digital age? Will we still be able to take flight? Stewart paraphrases Robert Olen Butler, who says writing starts at a disadvantage to other arts because language is not innately sensual, as in painting, or dance, or the sound coming out of Miles Davis' horn. Stewart says that words must do all the work, whether on natural text or back-lighted screens. "I just feel a little lighter when I have something weighty in my hands."
We'll admit that the greatest literature we've read had been done so from the printed page, not electronically. Stewart's Note is identifiable with those of us that have been around a while. We don't deny loving the weight of a book in our hands, the feel of turning pages, the creak of the spine, seeing how much is left to go. And we love bookstores, libraries—a beautiful library is like a church.
But we wonder if the younger generations hold these same views. And we wonder if hardcopy, even with a solid distribution plan, can match the global reach and level of accessibility that the Web offers.
By publishing The Summerset Review in its online form, we are not saying, first and foremost, that our main objective is to turn the world around and address the perceived impediment to writing because is not innately sensual. All we truly want to do is publish wonderful work.
And so we hope that the people out there who feel better equipped to take flight with something weighty in their hands will still find room for us, and try the fiction, nonfiction, and poetry we are proud to publish and present to you in this issue, and every issue of The Summerset Review.
Also, it should be pointed out that New Letters is the only literary magazine we are aware of, other than our own, of course, that actively seeks reader input in a structured manner. The magazine asks for nominations of favorite work appearing in their most recent year's issues, similar, in a way, to our free reading contest.
We urge you to do your part and give feedback when you feel it is warranted. Writers want to know. Editors and publishers want to know. Readers have voices too.
Now, "crack open" this issue of The Summerset Review, and take flight. Start with a short story leading us off this quarter, entitled something all too coincidental to this topic.
|Our Lit Pick of the Quarter is from the Summer/Fall 2010 issue of Gulf Coast, fiction by Anjali Sachdeva titled "Pleiades." It is the story of identical septuplet girls created by science, and the struggles and doom that ensue. Their father refers to them by the constellation with seven stars, and they are given Greek names. Adelpha (called Del) narrates. Here is an excerpt -|
|For a moment, with Rob's hand against my chest, I can almost imagine a life of my own, almost understand how that could be fulfilling. He holds me to him and I am alive wherever his body touches mine. But ghosts with my face surround me, six other hearts beat in time with mine. There is nothing I can give him because nothing I have is mine.|
Recent accomplishments of contributors and staff:
Thaddeus Rutkowski's new novel, Haywire, has been released this month by Starcherone Books. A portion of its contents were originally published in our Fall 2007 issue.
Amanda Newell has just won the Dogfish Head Poetry Prize, and the two poems of hers appearing in this issue will be included in her upcoming chapbook, Fractured Light.
The poem, "Drift," by Meredith Davies Hadaway (Poetry Editor), received an honorable mention award from New Millennium Writings and will appear in their 2011 anthology. The poem is part of a forthcoming collection, The River is a Reason, due out in January 2011 from Word Press. Meredith also has a poem appearing in the current issue of Cincinnati Review.
Stories of Joseph Levens' (Editor) are appearing in current or forthcoming issues of cream city review, Eclipse, and Sou'wester.
Theme graphics this issue - "Rain Walk"
Copyright © The Summerset Review, Inc. 2010.