Now. The trice in which we remember this summer’s riverside sunsets, when we sipped anxiety from paper cups while watching the light for an antidote, when our shadows slipped out along the silt and said, “read something.” Something dark as something you forgot and even forgot to remember until someone put their intention into writing something: that’s the muse twirling around and around on one foot. And we read widely, wildly, over and including all the submissions for this fall’s issue of River River. The wine-drunk river muse loosens her hair.
As River River means to encompass a community reaching from our local, back-table-at-the-diner writing group to halfway around the world, the editors are pleased to present this work, celebrating the universality of human worry and, therefore, the need for true connection. While the works selected treat the dark (illness, funerals, joyrides, the usefulness of skulls…) these stories and poems reflect a deeper light, through their language, image, and swirl of emotions.
I’d like to point out a group of poems included in this issue that have come from members of our local writing community. Three of these poets participated in our ekphrastic writing session based on an exhibit of art made by patients at Rockland Psychiatric Center. As we observed, wrote, and then discussed our experience, the poets’ evoked a compassionate vision. Our hope is that we’ve captured some of the essence of that particular moment of shared inspiration and intention. These poems reflect a deeply personal experience of mental health issues; “Feared,” “Desert/Sunset/Friend,” and “Simplon Pass.”
As an independent journal and non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, we are grateful for the support of many people. Our thanks especially to David e Bell for web design and support. Thanks to Cuppa Pulp Writers’ Space, Art Café Nyack, Seranam Literary Arts, JohnnyCakes Cafe, Patisserie Didier Dumas, the Orangeburg Library, and the Nyack Chamber of Commerce for co-hosting literary events and writing groups. Thanks to all the writers and artists who sent us submissions for this issue; we appreciated the opportunity to see your work. Huge thanks to our board of directors and recent donors for your contributions to the literary arts. And to our members, for whom all this inspiration flows.
Ku’s Aina by Melissa Llanes Brownlee
Cruelties by Terry Sanville
Estar sin Blanca By James McAdams
SIMPLY Pass by Katherine Dering
Shoe Lesson by Katherine Dering
All Around Us by Seth jani
Rainbowed Train Cars by A.J. Huffman
Leaves of Smoke by Charles Kell
Lead Pedal by Charles Kell
Recovery Room by Jennifer Hambrick
Feared by Mikayla Amaral
Desert/ Sunset/ Friend by EllYn Joyce
Notes on the photography in this issue.