blackbirdonline journalFall 2018  Vol. 17 No. 2
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Founded in 2002 as a joint venture of the Virginia Commonwealth University Department of English and New Virginia Review, Inc.

Copyright © 2018 by Blackbird and the individual writers and artists

ISSN 1540-3068

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EDITORIAL STAFF

Blackbird Editorial Staff, Fall 2018 photo by Vincent Chavez
(Left to right) First Row: Mary Flinn, Katherine Mooney Brooks, Alicia Tropper, Gregory Donovan; Second Row: Brandie Gray, Jessica Wetzler, Gabrielle Leporati, Vincent Chavez; Third Row: Adeline Colebaugh, Chrislin Hearn, Caitlin Wilson, Samantha DeShazo; Fourth Row: Eunice Kim, A. Nora Blake, Anna-Claire McGrath, Sophia Wiltrout, Michelle Goshen; Fifth Row: Samantha Larrabee, Haroun Kamara, McKayla Conahan, Lasya Gundlapudi, Jennifer Lee; Sixth Row: AJ White, Addy Gravatte, Colin Bailes, M.A. Keller (Not Pictured: Rachel A. Hippchen).

spacer Lead Associate Editors
  Katherine M. Brooks 2018–2019
  Brandie Gray 2017–2018
  Victoria C. Flanagan 2016–2017
  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, founded in 2002 as a joint venture of the Virginia Commonwealth University Department of English and the former New Virginia Review, Inc., benefits from the contributions of graduate and undergraduate 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 in past years, as have community volunteers and MFA alumni. We are grateful for everyone's contributions.

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 in the historic Anderson House, 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 two poetry collections, Torn from the Sun (Red Hen Press, 2015), long-listed for the Julie Suk Award, and Calling His Children Home (University of Missouri Press, 1993), winner of the Devins Award for Poetry. His poetry, essays, translations, and fiction have appeared in Copper Nickel, Crazyhorse, diode, Gulf Coast, the Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Kenyon Review, New England Review, The Southern Review, and TriQuarterly, among others. His work has also appeared in several anthologies, including Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets of Virginia (University of Virginia Press, 2003). 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 a visiting writer and guest faculty member for a number of summer conferences and low-residency programs, including Bread Loaf, the Chautauqua Institution Writers’ Center, the Chesapeake Writers’ Conference, the VCFA Postgraduate Writers’ Conference, the Drew University MFA program, and the University of Tampa MFA program. With writer/director Michele Poulos, he is a producer of A Late Style of Fire, the feature-length documentary on the life and work of the late Larry Levis. Donovan is a founding faculty member of Virginia Commonwealth University’s graduate creative writing program.

Mary Flinn, senior editor, began her tenure as the director of the New Virginia Review, Inc. in 1985. She is 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 64 and the editor of the New Virginia Review. She has participated in 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, and Style Weekly recognized her as one of their 2016 Richmond Women in the Arts.

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 New Virginia Review, Runes, and The Southern Review, among others. 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 his 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 Blackbird, cream city review, diode, Gulf Coast, New South, and Richmond Arts Magazine. Marshall earned an MFA in creative writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a writing instructor at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, where he holds workshops in beginning poetry, multigenre writing, and the lyric essay.

Katherine Mooney Brooks, lead associate editor, is a second-year MFA student in poetry and nonfiction at Virginia Commonwealth University. She was the recipient of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Graduate Nonfiction Award. Brooks holds a BA in English and art history with a minor in gender, sexuality, and women’s studies from Fairfield University, where she served as the 2015–2016 managing editor of Dogwood. Her reviews and other work have appeared or are forthcoming in Blackbird.

Brandie Gray, lead associate editor emerita, is a third-year MFA student in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a featured Blackbird editor in an online interview with The Review Review, and her work is forthcoming in Appalachian Heritage, The Boiler, and Atticus Review. She is a recipient of the 2018 Sewanee Writers’ Conference MFA scholarship in poetry. Gray holds a BA in English and creative writing with a minor in communication studies from Hollins University.

Victoria C. Flanagan, book review editor, is the recipient of the 2017 Thomas B. Gay Graduate Poetry Award and the Catherine and Joan Byrne Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets. Her work has appeared in the Beloit Poetry Journal, Blackbird, and RHINO. Flanagan earned an MFA in poetry and nonfiction from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she served as the 2016–2017 lead associate editor for Blackbird. She is a lecturer at Central Washington University.

Chelsea Gillenwater, book review editor, has had short stories and reviews published in Blackbird and Philologia. She earned an MFA in fiction from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she served as the 2014–2015 lead associate editor for Blackbird. She is the assistant city editor for the Bristol Herald Courier and Washington County News.

 

ASSOCIATE EDITORS
AJ White, lead copy editor, is a second-year MFA student in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University. He earned a BA in English and a minor in creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Sophia Wiltrout, lead audio editor, is a third-year MFA student in fiction at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her work has appeared Word Riot and The Journal. She holds a BA in English and creative writing from George Washington University.

Vincent Chavez, lead photo editor, is a first-year MFA student in fiction at Virginia Commonwealth University. He earned a BA in English from the University of California, Berkeley.

 

ASSISTANT EDITORS
Michelle Goshen, assistant editor, is a first-year MFA student in fiction at Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned an MA in writing from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in English from Elon University.

Anna-Claire McGrath, co-lead audio editor, is a first-year MFA student in fiction at Virginia Commonwealth University. She served as an interviews editor for the feminist literary magazine The Fem and co-created a literary magazine called werkloos. She holds an MA in theatre and performance studies from the University of Edinburgh and a BA in English language and literature from the University of Virginia, where she served as editor in chief of the literary magazine three point seven.

 

INTERNS
Colin Bailes, literary intern and copy editor, is a first-year MFA student in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Hollins Critic, Rust + Moth, Saw Palm, Sugar House Review, and Whiskey Island. He earned his BA in English from the University of Central Florida.

A. Nora Blake, literary intern and copy editor, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her poetry is forthcoming in Pwatem. She will graduate in the spring of 2019 with a BA in English.

Adeline Colebaugh, literary intern and pagebuilder, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will graduate in the spring of 2019 with a BA in English and minors in creative writing and media studies.

McKayla Conahan, literary intern and pagebuilder, is a first-year MFA student in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University. Their poetry has appeared in Fall Lines, Hollow, Miscellany, Rabbit, and Sink, among others. They are the recipient of the South Carolina Student Poetry Prize, the Susan Laughter Meyers Scholarship, and winner of the Sweet Inaugural Poetry Competition.

Samantha DeShazo, literary intern and copy editor, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will graduate in the spring of 2019 with a BA in English and minors in creative writing and history.

Chrislin Hearn, literary intern and pagebuilder, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will graduate in the spring of 2019 with a BFA in communication arts.

Rachel A. Hippchen, literary intern and copy editor, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will graduate in the spring of 2019 with a BA in English and a minor in psychology.

Haroun Kamara, literary intern and audio editor, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. He will graduate in the spring of 2019 with a BA in English.

Eunice Kim, literary intern and copy editor, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will graduate in the fall of 2018 with a BA in English.

Samantha Larrabee, literary intern and copy editor, is a junior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will graduate in the spring of 2020 with a BA in English and a minor in mass communications.

Jennifer Lee, literary intern and photo editor, is a junior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her work has appeared in UnSung. She will graduate in the spring of 2020 with a BA in English and a minor in creative writing.

Gabrielle Leporati, literary intern and pagebuilder, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will graduate in the spring of 2019 with a BA in English and a minor in history.

Alicia Tropper, literary intern and photo editor, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will graduate in the spring of 2019 with a BA in English and a minor in creative writing.

Jessica Wetzler, literary intern and audio editor, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will graduate in the fall of 2018 with a BS in mass communications with a concentration in digital journalism and a minor in creative writing.

Caitlin Wilson, literary intern and copy editor, is a first-year MFA student in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her work has appeared in ENTROPY and Rogue Agent. She earned a BA in English with a minor in creative writing from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she was the recipient of the 2018 Henrietta Spiegel Creative Writing Award and served as the 2017–2018 editor in chief of the literary journal Stylus.

 

VOLUNTEERS
Addy Gravatte is a recent graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a BA in English and minors in French and creative writing.

Lasya Gundlapudi holds a BS in bioinformatics with minors in chemistry and creative writing from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she served as the 2016–2018 editor in chief of Le Monde. Her work is forthcoming in Anomaly.

 

& MANY THANKS
to all the editors, staff members, interns, and volunteers who made Blackbird, volume 17, number 2 possible.

Special thanks to Katherine Mooney Brooks, our lead associate editor, for keeping us all focused on this big effort, and for bringing the work of the contributors and the Blackbird team to fruition.

Thanks to Brandie Gray for her stalwart support and dedicated mentorship efforts as lead associate editor emerita, as well as for leading the reading groups.

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

Thanks to AJ White for running a tight ship in the copyediting room; and to Sophia Wiltrout and Anna-Claire McGrath for their audio capturing and editing, and for leading the audio team with a sense of humor. Thanks also to Vincent Chavez for his patient guidance of the photo team, and to Michelle Goshen for editing bios with never a dull moment.

Thanks to Victoria C. Flanagan for her ongoing dedication to Blackbird as book review editor.

Thanks to Chelsea Gillenwater for her meticulous book review editing and continued support.

Thanks to Rebecca E. Jones for her outstanding PR and social media efforts.

Thanks to Mary Flinn for contributing the foreword text, and thanks to everyone who wrote metatext for this issue.

Thanks to our volunteers, Addy Gravatte and Lasya Gundlapudi, for their dedication to the production of this issue, and to Scott Selden for his willingness to return and lend a hand.

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


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