C0VER: "Veritcally Impaired" / Anne Stevens / acrylic on canvas
2000 (Volume 12)
This year in The Briar Cliff Review the themes of writing and the presence of the "running Missouri" in our lives dominate. The Big Muddy that runs through our center has been our atmosphere — our source of vitality and our conduit to others. Before it was dammed, the river brought fertility. Robert Kelley Schneiders in "Majestic Waters" writes about the annual flooding in March and June: "Water pouring over the river's banks and inundating the lowlands contained heavy quantities of silt, organic matter and minerals. The concotion settled all along the stream's edges, leading to the formation of exceptionally fertile soil."
Now that the river has been channeled, but it still brings fertility to our imaginations. Not everything a river carries is water. It also carries the stories, and we need to preserve and protect both the water and the stories.
This concern with our landscape is found in Margaret Hoehn's prize-winning poem. In "Listening to the Dark," the perceiving mind and the perceived earth melt together, and the form of the poem reflects that fusion. The stanza segments dissolve into one another, just as the "hairline crack mends itself."
We are seeing that the flow of creativity leaves behind permanent things — art. So like the river our issue floats to the surface those things that otherwise might have remained buried. We present to you those wonderful gifts uncovered and discovered.