Although this is my second time editing the Black River Review, I’m once again struck by the pairing of themes which seem to appear without any really conscious effort. This year, our cup runneth over with associations:
“The Fox and I” by Alexandra Woodruff combines nature and morning ritual as the narrator takes a journey on a beloved path; Mountain Majesty by Jaime Barton goes elegantly next to it with its bird spread out over a great mountain range. “Dog Lands Plane!” by t.s. ozula sioux is about an amazing cat that saves the day, while Coral Stokes’s Grim on the following page figures a real, live cat. “The Man Within” by Tina Morrison reminds us about war and loss and is aptly followed by Michael C. Ball’s Hand of God (in Contributors’ Notes we learn that Mr. Ball’s drawing was created in a warzone). “Cliché” by Linne Ebbrecht examines the absence left by a missing lover and mentions “your skin” and “your hand,” while the final piece of art, Sustainability by Cassandra Conklin, depicts a hand with hearts as in some great tattoo. And on and on. I love it when a plan comes together.
We can draw connections all over the place. And even the pieces that stand alone give us plenty to think about and appreciate, from Jen Newark’s Scorpions to Breanna Walker’s “Be Mine.”
We are very grateful for this 2012-2013 year, pairings or not. Twenty-three years and the Black River Review is still going strong. Let’s celebrate!