“Like the generations of leaves, the lives of mortal men. Now the wind scatters the old leaves across the earth, now the living timber bursts with the new buds and spring comes round again. And so with men: as one generation comes to life, another dies away.” —Homer, The Iliad

Greek Mythology has held a special place in my heart especially during this semester as I have worked on my MFA thesis “Greek Myths Rewritten: How Narrative Is Reinventing Classic Female Characters in YA Fiction.” It has allowed me to reconnect with my love of Greek myths while also advising me how to rewrite the classic myth of Hades and Persephone into a loving tale. As I took off my research glasses during our discussions, where we dissected pieces of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction to see what would fit best in our journal, I found that I was finding connecting factors to myth in the most unexpected places. John Coggin’s poem, “Calvin Ball,” mentions how the town has a person like Homer, one of my primary sources for my research. I quickly realized that this poem is an example of a point I was making in my thesis – there are many ways for a writer to reimagine classical characters. Furthermore, I saw the aspects of love and loss that I have studied in the beautifully written piece, “To the Hairstylist Who Always Knows What’s Best for Me” by Annie Marhefka.

All the contributors in this issue poured their hearts and souls out in hopes that our editorial team would like what we saw in their stories and poems. However, we not only loved them, but we also connected with them in more ways than one through discussions. While one of our readers may have loved a singular moment, other readers and genre editors offered up their insights, which shaped the entire reasoning of why each piece was chosen. 

Homer wrote “My name is Nobody,” and that is how I would have felt as managing editor without the amazing River & South team to collaborate with. Dawn Leas, editorial advisor, helped me navigate through the unknown of running this journal, and I am eternally grateful. Our talented genre editors read each piece in their genres and then guided our discussions that led to the amazing prose and poetry you see in this issue. Thank you, Amanda Rabaduex, poetry editor; Cassandra Sachar, fiction editor; and Hillary Jarvis, CNF editor. Thank you to our production editor, Cynthia Kolanowski, for your attention to detail, your design expertise, and patience with WordPress that has taken our new layout to the next level. And thank you to Jon Al for being our fearless proofreader.

And to our biggest group of readers since restarting this journal—Suleyman Anadol, Judy Castleberry, Terrence Dwyer, Cathy Earnest, Travis Harman, Cassidy Heid, Maddie Hoy, Melanie McGehee, Jonathon Montemayor, and Alexandra Thomas—thank you for your time reading each and every piece and your great discussions during meetings while you juggled work, personal responsibilities, and MA or MFA coursework. 

I would also like to thank Jon Pyatt, our previous managing editor, for bringing me from a reader to the social media manager last semester before convincing me to take on the role of managing editor for this issue.

Finally, I would like to thank Dr. David Hicks, director of the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing, and Patti Naumann, the program’s administrative assistant. Without their support, this issue would not be possible.

It has been an honor and a privilege to work on River & South Review and as summer comes round again, so does our eleventh issue.

Ashlee Harry
Managing Editor
River & South Review