Sunday Oct 24

RobertClarkYoung3 I’m excited to be publishing these four excellent writers this month for reasons that are specific to each one.

I’ve been interested in the work of Ann Bogle for many years, now and am grateful finally to have the opportunity to publish her. “In Audience” demonstrates that creative nonfiction, while relating factual events, can be as formally inventive and nontraditional as any genre of creative writing. I’m sure you’ll enjoy all of these disparate nonfictions.

“Mistresses” by Maura Pellettieri is a poetic work that explores various meanings of the word of its title, including several that won’t be encountered in the dictionary, but which rise from the lived experience of the narrator. There is life and there is interpretation and there is a manner of living that’s dictated by that interpretation—and when you’re a writer, there’s an artifact that represents your record of all of these states of awareness.

Back in grad school, I heard a lot about “normative intelligence.” John Gardner’s book, On Moral Fiction, was much discussed in the 1980s. Student writers were encouraged to develop a “normative” or “moral” consciousness in their work that would allow its ethical meaning to cohere. Thus we come to Levi Andrew Noe’s “Shaq Attack,” which describes a good amount of immoral behavior. Of course, there’s nothing new about a piece of writing that chooses to do that. What I find interesting about this piece is that the normative consciousness doesn’t kick in until the final line, and yet it’s enough to throw the entire tale into moral relief. I’ve never seen normative intelligence leveraged in this radical way, and so I find this piece notable.

“Tiny Baby Hands,” by Erin Lindstrom, also has a powerful final line. In this case, though, I can’t really tell you about it without giving away the whole story. I don’t even want to spoil it for you to the extent of telling you the subject matter. Rarely do I find a piece that’s so fully integrated that to say anything about it is to give away the entire game. I will say this much—by the time you get to that final sentence, that final instance of metaphor and meaning that pulls everything together—you are going to be very emotionally moved.

Enjoy these four wonderful writers.