2004 (Volume 16)
It's amazing that poems, stories and essays from all over the states, conceived and created hundreds of miles apart, share similar themes and meanings. In this year's issue the theme of displacement — the act of moving from your usual place (homeland) to another place — is prevalent.
Constance Squires's prize-winning story, "The Color of Ghosts," set in Germany in 1980, is told from a young girl's point of view. Her father, a battalion commander, can't forget the ghosts in his past. At night when he thinks he's alone, he brings out his projector to look at slide. Elaine watches. A few days later she sees Nazi ghosts at her vacation Bible school, held in a building where Hitler's doctors did their experiments. Ghosts roam; they can't find their homes either.
In our award-winning poem, "Airport" by Elizabeth Volpe the epigraph reads: "I need to know how to praise what keeps on trying." The speaker, waiting at an airport with her boyfriend, is watching a woman in a babushka "roll one shirt inside another" and mumble "as she tucks them into her little bag." The reader wonders if this woman is trying to repack in order to hold onto the past as she travels into the future.
C0VER: "Plate" / Jeff Baldus / wheelthrown stoneware