We didn’t really have a theme for this, our fifth issue of The Aroostook Review, but a lot of our content deals with memories or those in the making. We will continue to seek a variety of quality works for each genre for future issues. Once again, I am sure you will be impressed with the content that has been selected by our editors and readers for each genre in this issue. For Volume Six / Summer 2011, we will be seeking works connected to the theme of Traditions. We look forward to reading and viewing submissions (deadline: March 15, 2011) that are connected to this theme.
Our Managing Editor for two issues, Dustin Martin, handed the reins over to Katie Levesque (who has previously been our art/photography editor—my husband and I have selected some of her work for you to see) and I’m sure you’ll agree that she has done a fine job for this issue. Thankfully, she has decided to continue with us in this capacity for the next issue. Having done it myself for the first two issues, I know it isn’t an easy task to sort through and organize the emails, while encouraging everyone to meet deadlines.
Please do make sure you follow the submission guidelines when you send in work, including the bios. We’ve had some trouble with long bios that we’ve had to edit down and some works also gave us a bit of difficulty. Our readers should review the guidelines carefully because the guidelines themselves may have been modified. Continuing, our thanks go out to everyone who pitched in to help make the current issue ready, and many thanks to our readers for being so patient. Once again, I’m sure this issue is worth your wait. Feel free to let us know what you think. One reader suggested a “share button” for AR, so we have that now. Great idea! Thanks! Feel free to share, and “friend” us on Facebook.
In this issue, we turn our Spotlight on Poet, Ellen Taylor. It has really been a pleasure to correspond with her and to have a chance to hear her read from her work at the Terry Plunkett Poetry Festival. Ellen is currently planning to lead a poetry workshop and read more from her work for us soon. MYTHiCRAFT: A Writer’s Retreat and Storytelling Symposium is scheduled to be held at UMFK, May 2011. Kevin St. Jarre, who was featured in the Spotlight of our previous issue, also plans to lead a fiction workshop and present some of his work. I am excited about the opportunity to see these two in action. If any of our readers would like to know more about MYTHiCRAFT and our limited enrollment workshops, please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Please put MYTHiCRAFT in your subject line.
I have also been corresponding with our Featured Poet for this issue, Chelsea Rathburn. One day I was reading some poems to my class from Poetry magazine, and I ran across one of her poems. I had lost contact with her but luckily I found her online. It certainly was thrilling to share her work with my class, and we have linked that poem for you. Maybe one of these days we’ll be able to have her up to do a workshop for us. It would really be great to work with Chelsea again. We were in classes together at the University of Arkansas and read our work together once, at Barnes & Noble, if memory serves me correctly.
Memory… Once upon a time I taught a couple of wonderful classes in Virginia. That’s where I met Sue Hahn, and she has continued to write me over the years. Usually, she’ll send a Christmas message and I’ll send a quick “Thanks.” I’m not the world’s best correspondent. But I really enjoy reading what she writes. Recently, she sent me a work that continued something she had shared with me in class years ago, saying “Now you have the ‘rest of the story.’” I loved it! I know you will, too. It made me long to go over to Ireland even more. Ah, well! One of these days I’ll make that journey to the land my ancestors called home. Now, we don’t usually accept more than one fiction or non-fiction work by the same author for one issue, and our readers had already accepted a work that Sue had sent in, but her “Fond Memories” came in at the perfect time and just had to be included.
Something new to this issue is our Transformative Language Arts section. We hope to post things here from conferences we attend, workshops we lead, etc. We have been very busy this year attending conferences, presenting workshops, etc. When we do WITS (Writer’s in the Schools) workshops, we plan to post works from those here. This section may include poems from students in elementary schools or high schools. Teachers, parents or guardians may send us work your kids have done that you are especially proud of, but make sure you follow the submission guidelines. Most of the poems will come from student participants in a WITS Program. What is WITS? Writers in the Schools, and we have a report archived in the previous issue that will tell you a little bit about what we’ve been doing here at UMFK. For more information on WITS or the WITS Alliance, please visit: http://witsalliance.wordpress.com/ and contact Robin Reagler.
Happy Reading! --Chief Editor, Geraldine Cannon Becker