Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Gettysburg Review Online.
The Spring 2016 edition is out and, if you don’t subscribe, available for purchase right here in our online shop in both print and digital formats (PDF, Kindle, E-Pub), so no excuses.
For you, we’ve selected writing fanciful and sublime, beginning with George David Clark’s extraordinary poem “The Statue Garden,” which depicts a strange community that ritually honors its citizenry with a statue on their thirty-third birthday, and Elizabeth Gold’s speculative essay “So It Begins,” a playful reconsideration of the origins of Judeo-Christian myth. Michael Heffernan continues in an ecumenical vein, fathoming doubt in his poem “For the Feast of Justin Martyr” as he wonders about martyrdom’s practicality. And Allegra Hyde assesses the costs of zeal in her historical fiction about Charles Lane and his obsession with creating a utopia in nineteenth-century New England; a young Louisa May Alcott makes cameo appearances.
While perhaps not appropriate for spring, we’re also administering some doses of the horrifying and macabre as well. I’m thinking particularly of Amy Wallen’s hilariously scandalous “When We Were Ghouls,” her patched-together recollection of the time back in the early seventies when she and her parents went grave robbing in Peru. As troubling as this memory sounds, it’s not nearly as unsettling as the one at the center of Julia Shipley’s essay “Chance Medley”: the witnessing of a man being struck and killed by an automobile mere feet from her when she was eleven. Of course, those subjects are not solely what those memoirs are about. As with all memoir—indeed, all writing to some extent—they are also about memory itself—its fickle elusiveness, its vexing persistence—whether collective or individual.
This topic, memory, recurs throughout the Spring 2016 issue. It informs to varying extents all the aforementioned works, but also Richard Tillinghast’s recollections about his mother and the love of travel she imparted to him. It rests at the center of Jonathan Johnson’s knotty poem “The Missing Color,” as does its attendant issue, forgetting, which, like remembering, can be a curse, as it is for the protagonist in Jennifer Clements’s short story “A Collection of Faces” (he cannot remember faces without conscious effort), or, as Martha Gies proposes in her essay “The Judicious Beauty of Memory Loss,” forgetting can at times be a blessing.
As usual, there is more. We have for you sometimes funny, often poignant, and always quirky new stories from Becky Hagenston, Ashley Wurzbacher, and Jason K. Friedman, devastating and beautiful poems from stalwarts Philip Schultz, Linda Pastan, Richard Lyons, and Rod DeMaris alongside lyrics by newcomers Nancy Carol Moody, William Woolfitt, Safiya Sinclair, and Daryl Jones, whimsical mixed-media collages by Jacqui Larsen, whose husband Lance has a couple of poems herein as well, one of which references her piece Backyard Cosmology. And there is still more, so don’t forget to pick up your copy right now.
Until next time,
Digital Edition: In case you didn’t get the memo, the Gettysburg Review is now available digitally in three formats: ePDF, which replicates the print version, ePub, and Mobipocket. The latter two are “reflowable” formats for use on e-readers and Kindle devices. You can purchase single copies and digital subscriptions at our Online Shop, but you can also find copies at 0s&1s and ShelfWise. Please, check it out and spread the word. And to those of you who are print loyal, don’t worry: we will continue to be primarily a print publication.
Pushcart Prize: Two essays and a short story from volume twenty-six have been reprinted in The Pushcart Prize XL: Best of the Small Presses. Join us in congratulating Sarah Vallance (“Constance Bailey in the Year of Monica Lewinsky,” Winter 2014), Catherine Jagoe, (“A Ring of Bells,” Summer 2014), and Edward McPherson (“Telref,” Spring 2014) for being so richly and justly honored. Honorable mentions went out to Jill Storey, whose essay “A Clutch of Eggs” appeared in the Autumn 2014 issue, and Melissa Kwasny, whose poem “Counting the Senses” graced the Spring issue.
That’s it for now. We always like to hear from our readers, so please let us know what you think of the latest issue. If you are a user of social media, say hello and like us on Facebook. As always, thanks for your support, and keep reading.
Aviya Kushner’s first book, The Grammar of God: A Journey Into the Words and Worlds of the Bible, is out now from Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of Random House.
Richly deserved congratulations to longtime Gettysburg Review contributor Leslie Pietrzyk, who has won the very prestigious 2015 Drue Heinz Literature Prize for her collection of short stories This Angel on My Chest, which will be published in the fall of 2015 by the University of Pittsburgh Press.