Since 2004, Colorado Review has proudly hosted the Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction, celebrating the memory of Liza Nelligan, an accomplished literary fiction editor and also an alumna of CR’s home, the English Department at Colorado State University. This year’s winner is Amira Pierce, whose story “Anything Good Is a Secret” was selected by Kent Nelson. “This wonderful story,” writes Nelson, “set mostly in a small village in Egypt, has a quiet tone that accumulates through the story into an intense emotional background. The repression of the culture works under the surface to create a powerful longing of the spirit, and the observer, an American photographer named George, working at the edge of the desert, is brought back to a life he has drifted away from.”
With summer now in the rearview, don’t fret if you didn’t find yourself anyplace more exotic than your own backyard. Beyond Amira Pierce’s Egypt, this issue’s other fine stories will take you to a garlic farm in Japan, where rumbling family dynamics threaten to implode (Michael Larson’s “Harvest”); small-town Wisconsin, where two reconnected friends share heartbreak and ghostly sightings (Greg Schutz’s “To Wound, to Tear, to Pull to Pieces”); and the rattlesnake-infested oil patch of West Texas, where a young girl discovers the true depth of her survival instinct (Elizabeth Wetmore’s “Valentine, 1976”).
In nonfiction, Matthew Ferrence joins us with “Mos Teutonicus,” a beautiful essay that explores his encounters with bones—exposed, broken, venerated—and the related implications of ability and disability. And in “For the Sake of a Name,” Sarah Viren considers what it means to be named Sarah, examining the curious echoes that reverberate between her own life and that of the biblical Sarah.
Welcome to the fall/winter issue.
Welcome to fall, with all its tangy effulgence. This issue of Colorado Review waves its harvest in your general direction. Election season’s ratcheting up, the garden’s getting leggy, climate change riots in the city streets. Unleafing trees focus the sensory complex. What is the smell of that green-into-yellow? Where is my coat, and who knows the almanac’s view? For the poems in this issue of CR, that’s animals in the yard (Molly Damm’s “fossils,” Matthew Brady Klitsch’s foxes and otters, Joshua McKinney’s soaring hawk and humble earthworm). Or time at the window, aubade or dusk (Shara Lessley, Justin Runge, Pam Rehm), or myriad seething places (John Kinsella’s Western Australia, William Kelley Woolfitt’s Blue Ridge hollows, Michael McLane’s desert wells) or large and small happenings (Campbell McGrath’s enigmatic “pecha kucha,” Rosmarie Waldrop’s “Thinking” and “Doubting,” John Beardsley’s skewed locus amoenus). In a subjunctive mood, the world darkens to a point. And if/then, then others. I’m excited by the wonderful international offerings (and their translations) in this issue from Germany (Elke Erb), Sweden (Jonas Modig), Slovenia (Aleš Šteger), and Russia (Osip Mandelstam). “So much splendor stuns / the grounds of my acquaintance,” says Pam Rehm. May you savor the acquaintance of these poems.
Featured in This Issue
Kerry Banazek, John R. Beardsley, Julie Carr, Urska Charney, Alex Cigale, Molly Damm, Darren C. Demaree, Elke Erb, Matthew Ferrence, Christian Gullette, Joseph Harrigton, Evan Harrison, Brian Henry, John Kinsella, Matthew Brady Klitsch, Jordan Konkol, Michael Larson, Keith Leonard, Shara Lessley, Osip Mandelstam, Campbell McGrath, Michael McLane, rob mclennan, Jonas Modig, Amira Pierce, Pam Rehm, Justin Runge, F. Daniel Rzicznek, Greg Schutz, Aleš Šteger, Janet Sylvester, Sarah Viren, Rosmarie Waldrop, Elizabeth Wetmore, William Kelley Woolfitt