As we close our series on literary microcosm, we’re enormously pleased to have our Program Director, Stan Sanvel Rubin, as faculty essayist. On the brink of publishing a new collection of poetry entitled There. Here. (forthcoming from Lost Horse Press in Fall 2013), Stan offers us a penetrating look at the compressed domain of the poet in “More or Less: On the Micro Realm of Poetry.” He shows us how the poet widens the lens even when focusing on the small (embodied by our cover girl—a Bethune-Cookman college student captured at her microscope by American photographer, Gordon Parks).
With my 2013 cohort’s graduation nigh, words from Marjorie Sandor’s moving 2011 graduation address resonate: “Keep us with you. In a shoebox, the vision of a thousand ping pong balls, a lifted glass, whatever’s in it, may it come with the blessing of remembering we’re all with you.” Tarn Wilson (2008) must have had such thoughts in mind when she crafted her “love letter” to the RWW program for Brevity Magazine’s blog back in May. For those of you who missed Tarn’s essay on the Brevity site, we are very proud to reprint it in this summer residency issue, along with a pastiche of memorable photos from several years of RWW residencies.
With a heavy heart, I (Sidney with an “i”) find myself editing my final issue as Soundings Editor (though I’ll be on hand next year as an editorial consultant and program assistant to RWW). By some miracle, I have actually completed all required thesis materials, have attended more workshops than I can count, and participated in more Rapid City Social Club silliness than I can remember. Officially, I now hand over the reins to the able Sydney Elliot (Sydney with a “y”) who will be the fourth Editor of Soundings beginning with the Fall/Winter 2013 issue in November. My thanks to Sydney for her dedicated work as Assistant Editor over the last year.
–Sidney Brammer, Outgoing Editor
As I think back over this past year, I can’t help but remember my years as co-editor for Fireweed: Poetry of Oregon. I worked with many wonderful editors during that time, and I have memories of sitting with stacks of submitted work. We prided ourselves in hand writing personal rejection letters with suggestions and encouragement. This inadvertently lead to a prison inmate developing an unintended crush on me, but, more importantly, it enabled me to make connections, and in some cases, lasting friendships with many Oregon writers. As non-profits go, we struggled to make ends meet, but after each bulk-mail, we felt rejuvenated and ready to tackle the next issue.
Entering the world of online literary journals was a big leap from the paper world I was accustomed to, and I am fortunate to have worked with Sidney, Katrina, Rebecca, and Karl this year. It was a bit of a learning curve, but I’m proud to be part of this team, and I look forward to future issues of Soundings. I am sure we will have yet another unique theme for the upcoming year, and we will continue to produce a journal that all RWW students, faculty, and staff can be proud of.
A big “thank you” is due to Sidney as she mentored me throughout the year; her encouragement, guidance, and skills as an editor were invaluable during the eight-packet first year. Thanks again to all the RWW staff and to Judith and Stan for affording me this wonderful opportunity.
I look forward to connecting with all of you at this year’s upcoming residency. I am confident that I will also make lasting friendships as a result of this program and as editor of Soundings. See you all soon, and as Sidney would say, until then—write on!
–Sydney Elliott, Incoming Editor