blackbirdonline journalFall 2015  Vol. 14 No. 2
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A joint venture of the Department of English at Virginia Commonwealth University and New Virginia Review, Inc.

Copyright © 2015 by Blackbird and the individual writers and artists

ISSN 1540-3068

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EDITORIAL STAFF

photo by Patrick Scott Vickers                                                     

(Left to right) Sitting: Patrick Scott Vickers; First Row: Mary Flinn, L.G. Parker, Chelsea Gillenwater, Gregory Donovan; Second Row: Caroline Rodriguez, Meagan Lawrence, Jake Branigan; Third Row: Julie Geen, Harry Baxter, Randy Marshall; Fourth Row: John Pettis, Joe Woods, Morganne Tinsley August; Fifth Row: Michael E. Damon, Christopher McDaniel, David Brunson; Sixth Row: Ryan Bonner, M.A. Keller (Not Pictured: Susan Settlemyre Williams, Blake Davis, Cade Varnado)

 

Blackbird joins individuals from its publishing partners—Virginia Commonwealth University and New Virginia Review, Inc.—with members of the Richmond, Virginia, and Doha, Qatar communities. To the best of our knowledge, this is the only venture at VCU that joins together international collaborators, undergraduate students, MA and MFA students, PhD students, alumni and community volunteers, and a regional non-profit.

spacer Lead Associate Editors
  Jake Branigan 2015–2016
  Chelsea Gillenwater 2014–2015
  Leia Darwish 2013–2014
  Lena Moses-Schmitt 2012–2013
  Ross Losapio 2011–2012
  Emilia Phillips 2010–2011
  Grant White 2009–2010
  Matthew Baker 2008–2009
  Tarfia Faizullah 2007–2008
  Kate Beles 2006–2007
  Anna Journey 2005–2006
  Steven Collis 2004–2005
  Maria Hagan 2003–2004
  Tara Moyle    2002–2003
  Jamye Shelleby 2001–2002

Blackbird benefits from the contributions of student interns, as well as from MA and MFA Graduate Assistants from the VCU Department of English. Students from the interdisciplinary PhD program in Media, Art, and Text (MATX) have also worked with us over the past five years. We are grateful for everyone's contributions. Several MATX students remain with Blackbird as advising editors.

Each year, Blackbird awards the coveted lead associate editor position to a second–year VCU MFA graduate student; to qualify, the student must already have been awarded a graduate fellowship and must have worked as an intern for the journal. The lead associate editor staffs the Blackbird office and is at the center of all the journal’s activities, working to coordinate communication between literary and production editors, as well as between the editors and contributors.


Staff listings are by categories.


EDITORS
Gregory Donovan, senior editor, is the author of the poetry collections Torn from the Sun (Red Hen Press, 2015) and Calling His Children Home (University of Missouri Press, 1993), a book that won the Devins Award for Poetry. His poetry, essays, translations, and fiction have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, TriQuarterly, diode, Crazyhorse, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Gulf Coast, Copper Nickel, and elsewhere. His work has also appeared in several anthologies, including Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets of Virginia (University of Virginia Press, 2003). Among other awards for his writing, he is the recipient of the Robert Penn Warren Award from New England Writers, as well as grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and fellowships from the Ucross Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Donovan has served as guest faculty for a number of summer conferences, including the Chautauqua Institution Writers’ Center, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Other Words Conference of the Florida Literary Arts Coalition. With the writer/director Michele Poulos, he is a producer of A Late Style of Fire, a feature-length documentary on the life and work of Larry Levis. Donovan is a founding faculty member of Virginia Commonwealth University’s graduate creative writing program.

Mary Flinn, senior editor, has been the director of New Virgina Review, Inc. since 1985. She is the coeditor, with George Garrett, of Elvis in Oz: New Stories and Poems from the Hollins Creative Writing Program (University of Virginia Press, 1992) and facilitated the editing of The Gazer Within (University of Michigan Press, 2001), a collection of essays by Larry Levis. Flinn served as the poetry and fiction editor of 64and the editor of New Virginia Review. She has participated on numerous editors’ panels, served as a judge for literature fellowships from various arts councils, and been a review panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Flinn won the inaugural Theresa Pollak Award for Words from Richmond Magazine.

M.A. Keller, senior online editor, is a technologist, web coordinator, and writing instructor for Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of English. His poetry has appeared in The Southern ReviewNew Virginia ReviewRunes, and elsewhere. Keller is the author of a chapter, “Meghan Sapnar’s ‘Car Wash’ as a New Media Sonnet,” in RAW (Reading and Writing) New Media (Hampton Press, 2010). His work centers on electronic writing, issues of materiality and multimodal writing, and how to define, support, and teach online publishing and new media. He has taught poetry and advanced writing workshops, as well as courses in hypertext and new media. He publishes the visual blog, Abaculi, and is the editor of The Abaculi Project. Keller earned an MFA in creative writing from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Randy Marshall, senior literary editor, edited, along with Mary Flinn, Andrew Miller, and John Venable, The Gazer Within (University of Michigan Press, 2001). His poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in Richmond Arts MagazineNew South (formerly Georgia State University Review), cream city review, and Blackbird. Marshall earned his MFA in poetry from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Jake Branigan, lead associate editor, is a second-year MFA student in fiction at Virginia Commonwealth University. He earned a BA in English and a Master of Arts in Teaching from James Madison University.

Chelsea Gillenwater, lead associate editor emerita and lead copyeditor, is a third-year MFA student in fiction at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has served as an associate editor and contributor for Philologia, where she has published fiction and nonfiction. She earned a BA in English and communication from Virginia Tech.

Patrick Scott Vickers, online editor, is a technologist and instructor for Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of English. His poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in 32 PoemsStrange HorizonsMid-American ReviewTouchstone, and Miracle Monocle. His Flash art has appeared in failbetter.com. Vickers earned an MFA in poetry from the University of Alabama.

Susan Settlemyre Williams, book review editor and literary editor, is the author of Ashes in Midair (Many Mountains Moving, 2008) and a chapbook, Possession (Finishing Line Press, 2007). Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schoonerdiode, and Shenandoah, among other journals, as well as in various anthologies.

 

ASSOCIATE EDITORS
Ryan Bonner, associate production editor and lead audio editor, is a second-year MFA student in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University. He received his MA and BA from Texas Tech University. His work will appear in a forthcoming issue of Barrow Street.

Joe Woods, lead developer and lead pagebuilder, is a second-year MA student in English research at Virginia Commonwealth University. He designed and developed Front Porch Commons, where he is an editorial advisory board member. He serves as a developer and editor for AdFem. His multimedia work has been featured in failbetter.com, Bandcamp’s Staff Picks, and The Commonwealth Times. He earned a BA in English with a minor in French from Virginia Commonwealth University.

 

INTERNS
David Brunson, literary intern and audio editor, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. He will graduate in 2016 with a BA in English and a minor in creative writing.

Harry Baxter, literary intern and pagebuilder, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. He will graduate in 2016 with a BA in English.

Michael E. Damon, literary intern and audio editor, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. He will graduate in December of 2015 with a BA in English.

Blake Davis, literary intern and copyeditor, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. He will graduate in May 2016 with a BA in English and a minor in world cinema.

Julie Geen, literary intern and audio editor, is a first-year MFA student in fiction at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has published creative nonfiction and fiction in several anthologies and worked as a freelancer writer for various publications.

Christopher McDaniel, literary intern and copyeditor, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. He will graduate with a BA in English and a minor in creative writing and Italian studies.

L.G. Parker, literary intern and pagebuilder, is a Callaloo fellow and undergraduate student, pursuing a BA in English at Virginia Commonwealth University.

John Pettis, literary intern and photo editor, is an MA student at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received a BA in English Literature.

Caroline Rodrigues, literary intern and copyeditor, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will graduate with a BA in English.

 

VOLUNTEERS
Morganne Tinsley August is a former Blackbird intern and returning volunteer copyeditor. She is a second-year MA student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned a BA in English from Virginia Tech in 2010 and a Master’s of Education in secondary English curriculum and instruction from the College of William and Mary in 2011.

Cade Varnado is a former Blackbird intern and returning volunteer submissions reader. His fiction has appeared in Product, and he has presented research at the national PCA/ACA conference. He is a second-year MFA student at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he coordinates the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award.

Meagan Lawrence is a former Blackbird intern and returning volunteer copyeditor and bio editor. She is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University and will earn a BA in English with a minor in media studies in December 2015. Her writing has appeared in Virginia Horse Lovers Magazine.

 

& MANY THANKS
to all the editors, staff members, interns, and volunteers who made Blackbird, volume 14, number 2 possible.

Thanks to Ryan Bonner for his meticulous audio capturing and editing, and for leading the media team; Chelsea Gillenwater for taking charge of the copyediting team; Patrick Scott Vickers for editing and taking photos, and leading the photo editing team; and Joe Woods for shepherding the pagebuilders.

Thanks to Randy Marshall for his extensive work with submissions and photos, and for leading the reading groups.

Thanks to M.A. Keller for organizing and designing innovative gallery builds and keeping everyone on track under a tight deadline.

Thanks to Chelsea Gillenwater for her above-and-beyond mentorship efforts as lead associate editor emerita.

Thanks to Joe Woods for his tireless efforts in renovating code, creating special builds, updating the index, and designing useful tools and procedures which have invaluably streamlined the myriad processes involved in creating this issue.

Thanks to Meagan Lawrence and Morganne Tinsley August for lending their expertise to the copyediting team.

Thanks to Randy Marshall and Mary Flinn for contributing to the foreword text, and thanks to Meagan Lawrence and everyone else who wrote metatext for this issue.

And to all others—manuscript readers, pagebuilders, audio editors, photo editors, transcribers, and copyeditors, our sincere appreciation.  bug


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