Dear Readers,

Welcome to the Winter 2022 issue of River & South Review!

In a 1981 Washington Post interview about how she draws the reader in with her writing, Maya Angelou said, “The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.” While few authors bend and shape language like Angelou, as I read submissions for the Winter 2022 edition of River & South Review, I looked for that exceptional writer of evocative language capable of making my heart soar. I approached each poem, short story, and essay with the anticipation of a child ripping the paper from a birthday present while wondering what fantastic prize awaited me beyond the author’s biography. 

The width and breadth of poetry and prose employing metaphor, simile, lyricism, and evoking emotion in readers far exceeded the team’s expectations. It was a joy to read every submission from start to finish and work with a talented team who argued passionately about which ones to keep. As managing editor, one of my most challenging jobs was sending rejection letters because I recognize the work and energy that goes into writing and submitting work. I encourage every writer who submitted work to our newest issue to keep writing, sending words into the world to uplift and inspire others. 

Every River & South Review editor and writer responsible for this magazine is a student working toward an MA or MFA in Creative Writing. They are poets, novelists, and memoirists whose broad knowledge across genres is invaluable when assessing each piece with energy and passion for finding just the right fit for our Winter 2022 issue. After reading these pieces, I hope you come away changed somehow, refreshed, energized, and ready to spread words of joy and inspiration into the universe.  

To the hard-working team that made this publication possible, thank you. Dawn Leas (Editorial Advisor Extraordinaire), Katie King, nonfiction editor; Juton Myers, fiction editor; Caroline Hayduk, poetry editor; Jake Cannington, production/design editor; Lydia Poer, social media editor; Amanda Rabaduex, outreach/marketing editor; Wayne Benson, reader; Michael Hardin, reader; Jonathan Lawrence, reader; Roni Teson, reader; and Lynn Mitchell, proofreader. 

Without the support of Dr. David Hicks, director of the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing, and Patti Naumann, the program’s administrative assistant, this journal would not be possible. Your support is greatly appreciated. 

It is an honor to be part of this fantastic team and outstanding program.  

Warm Regards,

Mildred J Mills
Managing Editor
River & South Review