Welcome to the Summer of 2019 issue of River & South Review! Being part of a literary magazine is an interesting experience for a writer. There’s this unlikely shift that goes on in the brain as you go between poetry and prose when reading submissions. It’s the imagery in the lyric, the truncated lines, and aim for all things beautiful in poetry that bumps into the real, the hard, and the troubled face of the world in the true and imagined world of prose. It reminds me of older ways, the traditions of oral storytelling that I remember from my grandparents telling my sisters and me about family histories. (Although my grandmother would not be happy to be compared to the old bards wandering the world talking about Odysseus.)
Unlike the bards (or my grandmother) writers no longer have to roam the countryside looking for people to entertain. Unlike my own younger days, writers no longer have to wait for the magazine pages to be printed and mailed. We can find them (seemingly) instantly with the internet. There is something remarkable about how many more things we can send into the world this way! How quickly writers can see what’s happening in the literary world. How many more voices we can send into the world every year. Which brings me to this place, where I’m welcoming you to the Summer 2019 issue of River & South Review – the literary magazine of the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Wilkes University.
All of the editors and readers for this magazine are working toward their M.A or M.F.A. in Creative Writing. They are poets and novelists and memoirists, and some of the best people I’ve had the luck to meet. We each read all of the submissions sent in from all over the world, and then argued our way through to this collection of twenty. I hope you read these pieces and come away having felt the same emotions, thought the same thoughts, that inspired us to choose them.
Many, many thanks to the lovely people I have been lucky enough to work with – Dawn Leas, Danah Lassiter, Samantha Stanich, Susan Minsavage, Amanda Lance, Judy Jones, Millie Downs, Lynn Braz, Toni-Lynn Soger, and Justin Bodnar. And many, many thanks to Dr. Bonnie Culver, co-founder and director of the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing, and Bill Schneider, associate director, for their guidance and support.
– Sally K. Lehman, Managing Editor