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June 2021

Dear Reader,

 

“Saturn’s Return,” the title of Volume 6, is an astrological phenomena that happens every thirty years, causing people at ages 30 and 60 to make big decisions, change paths, and strike out in a new direction. It represents things falling apart, the columns of friendship or marriage or family you hoped were forever, crumbling. But if you can survive the pain of those losses, there are authentic new directions to take. Loss and recovery are perhaps appropriate themes for the year of quarantine we all just experienced, although the stories I've selected do not lack for humor. I think we need levity now more than ever.

 

What awaits in Volume 6? The distinguished writer Aimee Bender merits page space in Max Talley’s interview. Dennis Russell, our new music editor, has assembled great lyrics by the likes of Michael McNevin and Ed Tree. Shelly Lowenkopf curates a stellar section of poetry titled “Measure for Measure.” And the stories, if not taking Saturn as a literal setting, take at least moments of fateful decision as their theme. Our new Associate Editor, Maryanne Knight, helped assemble the fiction, for which I am very grateful.

 

For the eye, we have beautiful cover art by Cayetana Conrad, a Santa Barbara artist. And inside, you will notice that woodblocks and papercuts have taken over. Big Ink, a travelling big-print studio overseen by Lyell Castonguay, features heavily with work by Lyell, Nick Osetek, Scott Ludwig, Vanessa Sorensen, Catarina Coelho, Pam Winegard, and Toby Penney. I’m also very pleased to feature the papercuts of Seattle artist Sara McMahon, who makes everyday scenes extraordinary with little more than a piece of paper and an exacto knife.

 

I hope that you weathered quarantine with pluck and verve, and somehow came away from this time reinvented. But if all you did was keep going, this too deserves gold stars and high fives.

 

Best,

Silver Webb

The Editrix

Volume 6

Saturn's Return

June 2021

Le Menu 

 

Fiction & Not

The Deep End of a Desert

by Damian Giampietro

Interview with Aimee Bender

by Max Talley

The Germophobe

by Christina Hoag

Split Decision

by Oja Fin

Inclusion by

J. W. Huff

Poems

Door in the mountain / let me in

by Beth Copeland

Faculty Wife * Sex, Guns & the Canadians Next Door 

by Alexis Rhone Fancher

Fuck ALS

by Jane Tucker

Whales

by Lori Anaya

Gentile Longing  *  Journal of the Plague Year

by Katie Goodridge Ingram

To Build a Fire  *  Many Crowns  *  O Lovely One

by Paul Willis

 

The Strange: 3 Tales for the Wicked

 

Hex Education by Nicholas Barner

The Cauldron by M.K. Knight

A Crime To a Pentacle by Chris Casey Logsdon

Lyrics

I Want to Be Me by Britta Lee Shain

Walking through the Fire by James Houlahan

If I Didn’t Win by Alice Wallace

Over Again by Crystal Jurado

Deliver by Caitlin Cannon

Had Enough by Kim Michalowski

When I was a Cowboy by Dennis Russell

Still Red by Michael McNevin

No Crisis by Ed Tree