Continuing our focus on microcosm, Rebecca McClanahan delves into the memoirist’s struggle to balance the inherent minute-ness of the personal with the macrocosmic scope that comes of exploring our ancestral or historical past. In (Small) World Without End: From Me-More to Memoir, she takes on the suppression of self that often confines our imaginative range. We are very pleased at the kismet of Rebecca’s essay gracing a Soundings issue just as her latest book, The Tribal Knot: A Memoir of Family, Community, and a Century of Change, is being released by Indiana University Press (see Publications for more on that).
Speaking of our own RWW tribal knot, Anne McDuffie (2007) provides us with something more than just a routine report on the 2012 RWW Alumni Retreat at Silver Falls, Oregon. Thanks to Anne for her delicate insights into the ways in which an alumni retreat is beneficial and inspirational to the recently matriculated. And thanks to Katie Humes (2007) and Katie Eberhart (2010) for rendering those insights in such exquisite photographic images!
In our last issue, our Grand Master Flash of Fiction, Jim Heynen, threw down the gauntlet to RWW participants to tell story in 200 words or less in “Explorations in the Short-Short.” Short-shorts written by those RWW-ers who rose to meet Jim’s micro-challenge can be found in this issue. Thanks to all who submitted. Yay, everyone’s a winner!
Last August, another master of the spare, writer and editor Sam Ligon, received our 2012 Stanley Lindberg Editors Award for his outstanding editorship of Willow Springs. Katrina Hays (2010) interviewed Sam about his relationship to the short-short, and how a novelist came to the micro side of prose—included here as our Profile for this issue.
As we go to press, I’m sure many of you are either abuzz with fresh insights and inspirations or recovering from a Boston winter head cold after attending the 2013 AWP Conference. We hope it is the former, not the latter. An impressive number of names from our RWW community appeared on the AWP schedule for new book signings or panel discussions. Faculty authors and/or panelists included Suzanne Berne, David Biespiel, Mary Clearman Blew, Kevin Clark, Lola Haskins, David Huddle, Judith Kitchen, Dinah Lenney, Brenda Miller, Scott Nadelson, Lia Purpura, Marjorie Sandor, and Peggy Schumaker; and alums Barrie Jean Borich (2009) and Jill McCabe Johnson (2008) were also on hand for new book signings (see Publications and Announcements for more updates on the exploits of our Tribe).
…and please let these be an incentive to…
Write on, tribal members!