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A joint venture of the Department of English at Virginia Commonwealth University and New Virginia Review, Inc.

Copyright © 2014 by Blackbird and the individual writers and artists

ISSN 1540-3068

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Virginia Commission for the Arts

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EDITORIAL STAFF

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photos and Flash animation by Patrick Scott Vickers                                                     

(Left to right) Sitting: Patrick Scott Vickers; First Row: Mary Flinn, Chelsea Gillenwater, Sarah Vaughan, Gregory Donovan, M.A. Keller; Second Row: Leia Darwish, Kayleigh Conner, Michael Shafer, Meagan Lawrence, Sarah Doerfler, Allison Breeden; Third Row: Justin Carmickle, Gaston Arze, Morganne Tinsley, Molly Wright, Tavia Gilliam, Lyndon German; Fourth Row: Brennan Chambre, Trevor Hart, Joe Woods, Ryan Bonner, Nelia Dashiell; Fifth Row: Jake Branigan, Mary Selph, Ashley Holston, Meagan Dermody (Not Pictured: Randy Marshall, Susan Settlemyre Williams, Annie Rudy, Gabriel Boudali, Lenore Gay, Paige Powers)

 

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
  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 co-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 64 and 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 Review, New Virginia Review, Runes, 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 Magazine, New South (formerly Georgia State University Review), cream city review, and Blackbird. Marshall earned his MFA in poetry from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Chelsea Gillenwater, lead associate editor, is a second-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.

Leia Darwish, lead associate editor emerita, is a third-year MFA student in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her work has appeared in journals such as diode, The Journal, PANK, The Pinch, and The Paris-American. Darwish has also worked as a managing editor at Copper Nickel.

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 Poems, Strange Horizons, Mid-American Review, Touchstone, 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 Schooner, diode, and Shenandoah, among other journals, as well as in various anthologies.

 

ASSOCIATE EDITORS
Justin Carmickle
, assistant literary editor, earned a BA in English from Indiana University. Currently he is a third-year MFA student in fiction at Virginia Commonwealth University. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Louisiana Literature and Midwestern Gothic.

Annie Rudy, lead pagebuilder, is a third-year MFA student in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her poetry has appeared in The Journal, Salamander, TriQuarterly, and West Branch. She earned a BA in English and art history from the University of Virginia.

Mary Selph, associate production editor, is a second-year PhD student in the Media, Art, and Text program at Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned an MFA in poetry from Texas State University–San Marcos and a BA in liberal arts from Hofstra University.

Sarah Vaughan, lead copyeditor, is a first-year MA student in English literature at Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned a BA in English with a minor in writing from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Joe Woods, lead developer, is a first-year MA student in English research at Virginia Commonwealth University. His multimedia work has appeared or is forthcoming in several publications, including failbetter.com, Bandcamp’s Staff Picks, and The Commonwealth Times. He earned a BA in English from Virginia Commonwealth University.

 

INTERNS
Gaston Arze, literary intern and photo editor, is a sophomore undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Honors College. He will graduate with a BA in English in 2017.

Ryan Bonner, literary intern and audio editor, is a first-year MFA student in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University. He earned an MA in English from Texas Tech University.

Jake Branigan, second-semester literary intern and pagebuilder, is a first-year MFA student in fiction at Virginia Commonwealth University. He earned a BA in English and an MAT from James Madison University.

Allison Breeden, literary intern and pagebuilder, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will graduate with a BA in English and a minor in Spanish in May 2015.

Brennan Chambre, literary intern and pagebuilder, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. He will earn a BA in English with a minor in creative writing in 2015. His poetry and nonfiction have appeared in Poictesme and Former People.

Kayleigh Conner, second-semester literary intern and pagebuilder, is a junior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will graduate with a BA in English, a minor in creative writing, and an MT in secondary education in 2017.

Nelia Dashiell, second-semester literary intern and copyeditor, is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will graduate in May of 2017 with a BA in English and a minor in media studies.

Meagan Dermody, second-semester literary intern and copyeditor, is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will earn a BA in English in 2015, and is the print managing editor of The Commonwealth Times.

Lyndon German, second-year literary intern and copyeditor, is a junior undergraduate at Virginia Commonwealth University studying for his BA in English Literature with a minor in creative writing.

Tavia Gilliam, literary intern and copyeditor, is a senior undergraduate at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her fiction has appeared in Amendment. She will graduate with a BA in English with minors in creative writing and psychology in May 2015.

Ashley Holston, literary intern and audio and video editor, is a senior undergraduate at Virginia Commonwealth University working towards her BA in English with a minor in writing.

Michael Shafer, literary intern and copyeditor, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. He will earn a BA in English in 2015.

Morganne Tinsley, literary intern and copyeditor, is a first-year MA student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned a BA in English from Virginia Tech and an MEd in secondary English curriculum and instruction from the College of William and Mary.

Molly Wright, second-semester literary intern and pagebuilder, is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University and will earn a BA in English with a minor in Russian in May 2015.

 

VOLUNTEERS
Gabriel Boudali is a former Blackbird intern and a returning volunteer submissions reader. He earned a BA in English with a minor concentration in creative writing from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2014.

Sarah Doerfler is a former Blackbird intern and returning volunteer copyeditor and bio editor. She is a first-year MA student in English literature at Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned a BA in English from the University of Michigan and an MEd in curriculum and instruction from the University of San Diego.

Lenore Gay, volunteer manuscript reader, has an MS in sociology and an MS in rehabilitation counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her essay “Mistresses of Magic” is included in the anthology In Praise of Our Teachers (Beacon Press, 2003) and her short story “The Hobo” won first prize in Style Weekly’s 2005 fiction contest. She has been awarded two writing fellowships from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Gay is a retired adjunct faculty member in the Department of Rehabilitation Counseling at VCU.

Trevor Hart is a former Blackbird intern and returning volunteer copyeditor. He is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University, and will earn a BA in English with a minor in creative writing in 2015.

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 2015. Her writing has appeared in Virginia Horse Lovers Magazine.

Paige Powers is a former Blackbird intern and returning volunteer submissions reader. She earned a BA in English with a minor in creative writing from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2014.

 

& MANY THANKS
to all the editors, staff members, interns, and volunteers who made Blackbird, volume 14, number 1 possible.

Thanks to Mary Selph for her meticulous audio and video editing and for leading the media team; Sarah Vaughan for taking charge of the formidable copyediting team; Meagan Lawrence and Sarah Doerfler for volunteering and managing bio notes; Patrick Scott Vickers for editing and taking photos; and Annie Rudy and Joe Woods for shepherding the pagebuilders.

Thanks to Randy Marshall and Justin Carmickle for their extensive work with submissions 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 Joe Woods for his tireless efforts in renovating code, creating special builds, and leading the way in updating the index.

Thanks to Leia Darwish for crafting and curating the production manual.

Thanks to M.A. Keller, Randy Marshall, Mary Flinn, and Jake Branigan for contributing to the foreword text, and to everyone who wrote metatext for this issue.

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


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