EDITORIAL REMARKS by M.R. Branwen
MY DEAR FRIEND AND MENTOR, Christina Thompson, is very meticulous about the way she assembles issues of Harvard Review. You will notice that each piece in an issue of Harvard Review has something to do with the piece before and after it -- themes, word echoes, title puns; often several things at once. I, on the other hand, used to assemble issues of Slush Pile rather lazily by the authors' names alphabetically, unless I was presented with a specific reason to do otherwise. I am not admitting this to you as a point of pride. On the contrary, I aspire to be more like Christina in many ways but alas, Christina is Christina and I am myself. Her talents as an editor surpass my own. However, my desk is neater than her desk. I guess I'll take what I can get?
In any case, I tried a novel approach with this issue and put the pieces in absolutely no order at all. I am relying on chaos and chance, or the mysterious workings of my subconscious brain, to tell us something about how these pieces relate to each other. However that turns out, I am pleased to say that these stories represent something of a thematic departure for Slush Pile and I really like them all: John Vurro's "Some Strange Bird" follows a frustrated father around Wal-Mart as he looks for his lost autistic son; Samara Rafert explores family dynamics and anorexia in her piece "Something Heavy;" Keya Mitra introduces us to two Indian-Americans in Houston who reflect on the loved ones they've lost and inter-generational cultural identity; and Luke Dani Blue has contributed a fascinating, magical-realistic piece that takes us inside of a tornado and the resulting psychological link that is forged between two strangers. The only ruminations on romantic relationships can be found in the poetry, where we welcome Mischelle Anthony and Cara Lorello as our featured poets.
Our featured artist this month is Jennifer Moses, who describes her work as a "seamless world of opposition, line and solid form, the tragic and the comic" which is perfectly well suited to the writing in this issue, I feel, in addition to being so much fun to look at.
Last but not least, speaking of successes and failures of organization: welcome to our new website! You may notice that the older issues appear to be in place but the links are not yet live. Excuse us. Someone (me) thought that populating the new website with the back issues would be the work of a few weeks. Ha! Bear with us while we work through our more realistic timeline of three to six months.
My desk may be tidy, but obviously my time management skills could use a little sprucing up.
— M. R. Branwen