blackbirdonline journalSpring 2016  Vol. 15 No. 1
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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 Ruth Forrest & Charlie Russell

(Left to right) Kneeling: Charlotte Russell, Jake Branigan, Ruth Forrest; First Row: Mary Flinn, Randy Marshall, Erika La Forest, Chelsea Gillenwater, Ceanna Fisher, Jessica Kraemer, Chaundra Jones, Gregory Donovan; Second Row: Paislee Jahed, Christie Maurer, Lauren Chartuk, Taneasha White, Taylor Purcell; Third Row: Kayleigh Dumont, Julie Geen, Blake Davis, Shayli Lesser, Rebecca Jones; Fourth Row: Caleb Stacy, David Brunson, Ryan Bonner, Victoria Flanagan, M.A. Keller.

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, 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.

 


EDITORS
Gregory Donovan, senior editor, is the author of the 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), which won the Devins Award for Poetry. His poetry, essays, translations, and fiction have been published in The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, TriQuarterly, diode, Crazyhorse, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Gulf Coast, Copper Nickel, and many other journals. 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, the River Pretty Writers Retreat, 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 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 New Virgina Review, Inc. in 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, and Style Weekly recognized her as one of their 2016 Richmond Women in the Arts.

M.A. Keller, senior online editor (and for this issue, lead pagebuilder), 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.

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 poems have been published in Barrow Street and Hayden’s Ferry Review.

Victoria Flanagan, assistant copyeditor, is a first-year MFA student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned a BA in English and BFA in creative writing from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Christie Maurer, assistant literary editor, is a third year MFA student in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University. She received her BA from the University of Houston.

 

INTERNS
David Brunson, literary intern and pagebuilder, 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.

Lauren Chartuk, literary intern and copyeditor, is a junior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is the 2016–2017 editor-in-chief of Poictesme, VCU’s undergraduate literary journal.

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.

Kayleigh Dumont, literary intern and copyeditor, is an undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will graduate in May 2017 with a BA in English and minors in creative writing and psychology.

Ceanna Fisher, literary intern and page-builder, is a junior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will graduate in 2017 with a BA in English.

Ruth Forrest, literary intern and photo editor, is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will be graduating this spring with a BA in English and a minor in German. Her writing has appeared on the VCU Writing Center Blog.

Julie Geen, literary intern and page builder, 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.

Paislee Jahed, literary intern and audio editor, is a junior undergraduate student majoring in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has poetry published with Quail Bell Magazine.

Chaundra Jones, literary intern and audio editor, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will graduate in 2016 with a BA in English and a minor in world cinema. She is an associate editor for the undergraduate literary anthology plain china.

Rebecca Jones, literary intern and copyeditor, is an MA student in the English research program at Virginia Commonwealth University. She holds undergraduate degrees in English and art history from VCU and is a copywriter for the VCU School of Engineering.

Jessie Kraemer, literary intern and audio editor, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will graduate in December of 2016 with a BA in theatre and a minor in both creative writing and English.

Erika La Forest, literary intern and copyeditor, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will graduate in May 2016 with a BA in English and a minor in creative writing.

Shayli Lesser, literary intern and copyeditor, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will graduate in May 2016 with a BA in English and a minor in anthropology.

Taylor Purcell, literary intern and audio editor, is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will graduate in May 2016 with a BA in English. 

Charlotte Russell, literary intern and photo editor, is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will graduate in May 2016 with a BA in English and minors in creative writing and anthropology.

Angie Shaw, literary intern and copyeditor, is a senior undergraduate student in the English department at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Caleb Stacy, literary intern and pagebuilder, is a first-year MFA student in poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University. He earned a BA in English from West Virginia University.

Taneasha White, literary intern and copyeditor, is pursuing a BA in English with a minor in African American studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a contributing writer for publications such as RVA Magazine and GayRVA.

 

VOLUNTEERS
Michael Damon is a former Blackbird intern and returning volunteer copyeditor. He is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Nicole-Anne Keyton is a volunteer copyeditor for Blackbird. She is a senior undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University and will graduate in May 2016 with a BA in cinema and minors in media studies and creative writing.

 

& MANY THANKS
to all the editors, staff members, interns, and volunteers who made Blackbird, volume 15, number 1 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; and Randy Marshall for braving the helm of the photo editing team.

Thank to M.A. Keller for leading the pagebuilders and for taking on innumerable tasks integral to the journal’s existence.

Thanks to Mary Flinn and Gregory Donovan for their dedicated support of the lead associate editor and lead associate editor emerita.

Thanks to Randy Marshall and Christie Maurer for their extensive work with submissions and for leading the reading groups.

Thanks to Victoria Flanagan for lending her expertise to the copyediting team.

Thanks to Harrison Fletcher and David Wojahn for ongoing advice and support.

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

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


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