When I moved to central Arkansas four years ago, people warned me about the heat–and especially the humidity–of the summer months. But I was no stranger to these things, having lived most of my life in Florida and the previous eleven years in the central part of that state. In just a few days, I’ll make my way back there, trading the early morning storms of Arkansas for the clock-like summer afternoon storms of Florida.
There’s much I’ve loved about living in Arkansas, which comes by its nickname “The Natural State” honestly, but I’ve missed the proximity to open water that much of my life has included. This quarter’s issue opens with two poems by Lisa Trudeau that explore the complexities of identity and relationship through images of the ocean: life and love and lust and loss (and even an arcade psychic like the one who seems to set up shop in every beach town).
The cover of Issue Twenty-One is a detail from a photo by Cheryl Merrill. Cheryl’s essay “Thirteen Ways of Looking at an Elephant,” influenced by the Wallace Stevens poem and reflecting her life and work with a small herd of elephants in Botswana, is included in this issue. Issue Twenty-One also features poetry and prose by Stephen Barile, Julie Barney, Jeff Burt, Thomas Elson, John Gidmark, Cynthia Good, D. E. Green, Robert Stewart Heaney, Evander Lang, Steven McCown, Edie Meade, James B. Nicola, Ellis Purdie, Naudia Reeves, Laurie Rosenblatt, and Lisa Trudeau.
Digital and print versions of this summer issue are available through Mag Cloud. Digital versions of the issue are free, and perfect-bound print copies of the issue will cost twelve dollars. You can order print copies and read the issue online at this link.