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June 2023


Dear Reader,

Welcome to Space Sirens! The name of this volume was inspired by the back cover art, of the same name, by Max Talley. Because who doesn’t need PJ Harvey floating in space? Max also provided the front cover art, “Violinist in the Weimar Republic.” 

A siren, of course, can be any number of things, from an ambulance wail to an alluring lovely sitting on a rock, beckoning the unfortunate sailor. And how could we make that more interesting? Throw in outer space, of course. And so, throughout this volume, you will find sirens, the unknown expanse of space, and let’s face it, the weird. We’ve got a zombie in Yonkers courtesy of Fred Nadis, a few rogue cats, thanks to Zane Andrea and Micháel McCormick, “Aldous and the Banshees,” by Jack Eidt, and the Duke of Barstow makes a not-to-be-missed appearance. Michelle Rodenborn asks the hard question, “What happens when a flamingo floatie, not to mention a marriage, goes bad?” Terry Sanville, John R. Reed, Ken O’Steen, Jason File, Jesse Krenvzel, Karen Toloui, Kris Faatz, and Violet Sayre also make marvelous contributions.

We have our share of the literary too. Shira Musicant starts us off with the inner monologue of a martini. Anne Vinsel contemplates mortality in “Us Do Part.” And we have  eloquent trios from poets Dan Murphy and Giovanni Boskovich. 

I know hundreds, if not thousands, of you will be relieved to hear that the “Down the Rabbit Hole” section of Lit Jo lives on, in which an interview and an excerpt of a recent publication are featured, in honor of a particular author. And it’s appropriate we have a literary siren for the Space Siren issue. M. M. De Voe is featured, as well as her story, “Still Life with Cherries.” This story inspired the name of her latest publication, A Flash of Darkness, now out through Borda Books. 

As always, my thanks to the volunteers who make Lit Jo go. Maryanne Knight and Josh Kazali did a wonderful job editing Volume 9. And the Santa Barbara Central Library partnered with us to create a reading in the Faulkner Gallery, to celebrate the publication of Volume 9. In many ways, this being our first in-door event in a few years, it feels like we’re leaving the c-word behind, and veering into a literary future free of masks.

Ultimately, my thanks go to the readers who buy Lit Jo at our local bookstores (Chaucers, Mesa Bookstore, Book Den, Santa Barbara Musuem of Art Gift Shop, Tecolote, and even Bill’s Copy Shop), and those who buy our books from the website bookstore and Amazon, and especially those who come out to listen to readings and participate in this marvelous community. 

I was truly blown away and delighted by the imagination and the quality of writing in the submissions for this issue, and hope you find it to be a delirious, strange rumpus of words.


With gratitude,

Silver Webb

The Editrix

Volume 9

Space Sirens

June 2023

Stirred to Perfection 

by Shira Musicant

Us Do Part

by Anne Vinsel

Murphy Learning to Swim, Word & Meaning,

and Absence Note    
by Dan Murphy

The Duke of Barstow
by Max Talley

I Would Do Anything for You
by Jason File

Ophelia, Imagined Somewhere in Los Angeles;

Sonnet; and Drowning
by Giovanni Boskovich

Bird of Prey    
by Michelle Rodenborn

Dreamscape, The Violin    
by Kris Faatz

The Yonkers Zombie
by Fred Nadis

by Zane Andrea

Black Flowers

by Ken O’Steen

Conroy’s Rendezvous
by Jesse Krenzel

by Micháel McCormick

Spiders from Mars    
by Violet Sayre

From the Back of the Stage
by Karen Toloui

The Sirens of Slackville
by Terry Sanville

The Signal
by John R. Reed

Aldous and the Banshees
by Jack Eidt

A Flash of Genius: An Interview with M. M. De Voe
by Silver Webb

Still Life with Cherries
by M. M. De Voe


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