Introduction

This Independence Day, we launch new literature instead of fireworks. The fall of white-gray-white ashes, nature’s purifying bargain, fills us with watchfulness, but the dogs, at least, look at us with hope. We sing songs through all the rooms of the house in new voices, we shelter from the cloud that eclipses the Northern Lights. Does it occur to you to ask: what are we looking for? Look up! The world was never upside-down. There’s nowhere we’ve not already been. Dig out that one good moment. This is the backdrop for the whispers of our shared prayers.

Thank you again to our contributors for the words filling Issue 11—some of which we borrow to color this Introduction. Thank you to the hundreds whose thousands of words washed over us during the lockdown. We are glad to have arrived here with you.

As an independent journal and community arts non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, we are grateful for the support of many people. Our thanks especially to Ken Herndon and David e. Bell for web design and support. Thanks to our friends at Cuppa Pulp Writers’ Space, CSU’s Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians, Manhattanville CollegeSeranam Literary Arts, Patisserie Didier Dumas, the Nyack Library, and the Nyack Chamber of Commerce for co-hosting literary events and writing salons. Much gratitude to ArtsWestchester and the New York State Council for the Arts, which awarded grant funding for our 2020 readings series. Thanks to our readers and editors for careful and smart selections from the submissions pile. 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.

Find us on Twitter and Instagram (@riverriverlit) and Facebook (River River Writers Circle). Thanks for reading!

All best,

Donna Lee Miele


PROSE
THE QUALITY OF FIRE, ASH, MUD
MAUREEN FOLEY
HOW WILL I TELL MY MOTHER I LOVE HER?
ANNIE MCHUGH
COMPASSION
TERRY ENGEL
THE SHUT-INS
RYAN STONE
ACROSS THE STREET
BENJAMIN MURRAY
THE RABBI UNDER THE NORTHERN LIGHTS
ERIC MARGOLIS

POETRY
HOW TO LOVE A BAD DAY
REBECCA WATKINS
DIG
CATE ROOT
INTERSECTIONS
JEFF SCHIFF
PLANS
MARK ROBINSON
TELL ME A STORY
REBECCA WATKINS
PHOTOGRAPHY FOLIO: TRANSITORY SPACE, NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA
LEAH OATES
 

cover image by Leah Oates