Posting from Eastern Oklahoma (where I’m outside-experiencing early spring in Bartlesville), I can’t help but marvel at the stimulus potential derived from visiting someplace I’ve never been, then having the bizarre sensation that I have been here before, as if part of one’s DNA can actually recognize something in an unfamiliar landscape. Did my Cherokee and German pioneer forbears depend upon the blooming shad-blow and wild daffodil to determine whether spring had finally sprung? My trance-like tramp through old Indian territories and past the 1930s deco storefronts of the early oil boom (while listening to “hits of the seventies and more” on my car radio) has certainly unleashed the imaginative power of das unheimliche for me. RWW Faculty member Marjorie Sandor expounds upon this phenomena in our issue’s cover essay, The Room at the End of the Hall, taking us beyond mere landscape to the psychic geographies that we sometimes fail to acknowledge in our work. Photographer John Vachon’s surreal image of a city man contemplating the ruins of a Blue Ridge mountain homestead seems an eerily apt expression of Sandor’s premise (which marks the first installment of a two-part essay series, which will be followed by Adrianne Harun’s examination of the architectural uncanny in our Summer issue).
For the pragmatic RWW participant, alumni Kelli Russell Agodon (2007) provides a concise and helpful overview of her adventures in eBook publishing in Beyond Print: What I Learned in Creating and Editing an EBook Anthology of Poetry, followed by Digital Book Trends, a thumbnail overview of the watershed changes that have come (and are still coming) in ePublishing, compiled by Stanislav Fritz (2013) who, in addition to being an RWW participant, is now a co-founder and editor of New Libri Press, a startup eBook and traditional book publisher. For our next issue, we will bring you an investigation of eBook prose publication.
Lastly, we launch an ongoing interview format for our Profiles section, beginning with my interview with our program director, Stan Sanvel Rubin, who gives us some insight into the genesis and vision behind the Rainier Writing Workshop, among other related topics. Hope you enjoy our early Spring beginnings, and that you will all soon enjoy your own spring beginnings in whatever geography you inhabit on the RWW Place Map.
Write on, people!