Summer has always been for me the most reflective of seasons—a period of downtime, a quiet and sometimes purposefully lazy stretch that allows us to consider (and reconsider) what looms so large the rest of the year and to imagine, perhaps, letting go of attachments that are no longer serving us and figuring out how to move forward. In keeping with that sense of the season, this issue features stories and essays that explore memory and forgiveness, letting go and moving forward. In Barry Pearce’s “Creatures of a Day,” a man haunted by his behavior with a young woman some years earlier now finds himself unable to grow in his current relationship. The characters in James O’Brien’s “The Bones Inside Your Skin” struggle to communicate with and find comfort in each other after a miscarriage. Caroline Arden brings us “Yolo County,” in which a woman responsible for a child’s death must find a way to forgive herself. And in Joe Hiland’s “When the Green Went Away,” winner of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ Intro Journals Award for fiction, the residents of a neighborhood plagued by a mysterious blight are forced to evaluate their attachment to their perfect lawns and examine what it really means to live in community with one another. In this issue’s nonfiction, Andrew D. Cohen revisits his twelve years in a private school in his essay “Boys School,” attempting to understand why he is still so troubled by the experience, and Diana Wagman writes in “Mess” about the only person who remembers her past and yet forgives all her mistakes: her sister.

Somewhere between the landscaping projects and the road trips, between the family reunions and the neighborhood cookouts, find a quiet space, settle into the terrific stories and essays in these pages, and let go.

Featured in This Issue

Sherman Alexie, Caroline Arden, Laynie Browne, Susanna Childress, Andrew D. Cohen, Dot Dannenberg, Stuart Greenhouse, Nicholas Gulig, Joseph Hiland, Mark Irwin, Jason Labbe, Norman Lock, Michael McClane, James O’Brien, Barry Pearce, Jody Rambo, Margaret Ross, Stephanie Schlaifer, Kascha Semonovitch, Laura Solomon, Jane Sprague, Craig Morgan Teicher, Susan Tichy, J. A. Tyler, Diana Wagman, Cori Winrock

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