Editor’s Note – Issue #15

We are extremely excited now to be going into our third year, and we are in the process of putting together a print anthology of all the fiction and poetry we published online last year.

Please help up make that project a success by donating to our Kickstarter campaign. As I’m writing this, we are 1/3 of the way to our goal, which is an amazing start. However, we really must push these last few weeks to make sure we raise our goal of $3000 by the end of February. Whether you are a contributor or a reader, we really need your support in a serious way right now. Please donate what you can–even a few dollars will help. And please help spread the word among your friends and families to support our mission.

Now that the commercial segment is out of the way, allow me to introduce issue 15. It includes a record FIVE veteran STR poets plus some new voices. We are proud to include in among those new contributors such accomplished authors as Michael Farris Smith and Jim Murphy. We are also pleased to have at least two writers in this issue who have never published previously. We hope this will be an auspicious beginning to long and successful literary careers for them.

Here in Birmingham, we are always reminded of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. around this time of year. As it happens, this year is the sixtieth anniversary of the Civil Rights campaigns in Birmingham and King’s famous Letter from the Birmingham Jail.. Today, February 4, also happens to be the 100th birthday of Rosa Parks, who set off the Montgomery bus boycotts in 1955. Coincidentally, the University we work for is in the process of hiring an African-American lit specialist. Coincidentally, we ourselves have recently been reading Jean Toomer and Alice Walker.

All this is not to say that this issue has any particular Civil Rights theme. We are not timely in that way. We are publishing stories about Christmas, about buying cars, and about selling houses. We are publishing poems about atoms and bartenders and quicksand. We are working very hard on our print anthology. We have been somewhat wrapped up in ourselves and neglected to look at the calendar. We didn’t put the pieces together until just now, as we sat down to type this.

But we want to acknowledge the items above and some sort of synchronicity of which we have been aware for some time. We have thought a lot about how the work of those mentioned above have changed the world, of course, but also the nature of the very literature to which we dedicate ourselves. Southern literature in this late century is much more difficult to pin down than it used to be. It has many faces, many voices. The city of Birmingham seems to be a vortex, at times, of such faces, such voices. At these times, we understand something about why we were brought up here, why we had to leave, and why we had to come back.

That being said, we would welcome submissions that focus on the themes of Civil Rights any season of any year.

-M. David Hornbuckle