It has been almost a year since our last issue came out, and we have missed you all very much. In that year, a lot has happened to us, and a lot has happened in Birmingham, where we live. I’m almost done with my second Master’s degree and trying to decide what to do next. Gay people could get married here for a minute, and then they couldn’t again. The Bottletree, a world-renowned music venue, had to close its doors after more than a decade of transformative influence on the city’s culture. Even in the wake of that disappointing development, outlets for food, drink, and entertainment seem to have blossomed here over the past year at a rate that we could never have predicted. In this issue, we feature an essay remembering the Lyric, a classic vaudeville theater in downtown Birmingham that is currently undergoing long-awaited restoration.
Speaking of which, this new issue is HUGE, with contributions from newcomers and old friends alike. Thanks to the theater connections of our Associate Editor Mike Tesney, we have two hilariously f***ed up one-act plays featured in this issue. We are very pleased to include poet Tina Mozelle Braziel, a long-time colleague and friend who is publishing with us for the first time. Local poetry slam favorite Lori Lasseter Hamilton is also featured in this issue. Marissa Rose, Judith Skillman, and John McDermott bring us exciting poetry from beyond the state lines (although we will say with regard to one of Skillman’s pieces that a “virgin mint julep” is an abomination that should never be named lest it become real). We have a new short story from Murray Dunlap, featured in our virtual pages for the fourth time. Amanda Pauley gives us a subtly creepy story about siblings getting revenge on a neighbor. We also have stories by Cynthia Sample, Ramona Reeves, David Langlinais, John Oliver Hodges, and Jerry Rabushka to offer for your perusal. And for dessert, we are featuring the Modern Masters Revisited series by artist Allen Forrest.
In other news, you may notice that we’ve been tweaking the website design, and we hope you’ll find it appealing. If there are any graphic design students out there that would like to intern with us and help tweak it further, we’d love to talk to you.
Finally, I want to announce that our Summer 2015 online issue will be a special themed issue, and the theme is… (drumroll, please)…
“Road Trip to New Orleans.”
Our summer issue will focus on New Orleans stories and New Orleans authors. In addition, we are planning to collaborate with Radio Free Alabama to put out a special print booklet with photographs and author interviews. If this experiment goes well, we will do more road trip issues with other Southern cities. We are still accepting non-New Orleans submissions as well, but they will be reserved for a later issue to be released this fall.