Letter from the Editor (10)

by Dave Clapper September 15, 2005

Don’t you love autumn? It seems somehow appropriate that this issue coincides with the beginning of the school year, because it reminds me very much of those crisp autumn days when I returned to campus some twenty years ago. The week before classes started was always spent tracking down old friends, making new ones, and drinking far, far too much. Ah, those were the days.

How does this issue remind me of that? Well, look at all the old friends returning to “campus.” Jeff Landon, Nance Knauer, and Bob Arter all make their third appearances in SLQ. Astrid Schott comes back for a second appearance. Jeff and Nance also previously guest edited here. Joseph Young jumps on board as Guest Editor, after having appeared in our pages twice before. And the new faces are tremendous as well. Joe introduced us to Otis Brown, Laura Stallard Petza, and Robert Bradley. We even have “exchange students” in Edgar Omar Avil├ęs and Kuzhali Manickavel. This has been, to me, the most interesting mix of long beloved voices with exhilarating new ones since we started publishing SLQ.

I also think of the staff, and how their incredible work and wisdom contributes so greatly. If I could have had Kathy Fish, Randall Brown, Steven Gullion, Thomas White, and Marty D. Ison as faculty advisors back in the day, I never would have wanted to graduate. The work they all do and have done, on a daily basis, humbles me. And how amazing is “guest lecturer” Joseph Young? Be sure to read his comments about his SLQ experience in his interview with Randall Brown.

And many of the stories themselves have a crisp autumnal scent to them. Bruce Holland Rogers celebrates Halloween. One can almost smell burning leaves in Alan Girling’s “Arks.” Summers end, along with innocence, in the works of Tom Saunders, Laura Stallard Petza, and Cally Taylor. In glancing at the list of amazing stories in this issue, each and every one summons for me a bit of the essence of fall.

My suggestion for reading this issue? Fire up the barbecue one last time. Grab a six-pack of good, cold beer. Take the laptop (with the wi-fi connection, naturally) outside and dribble hamburger grease over your fingers while you devour your final bit of summer reading. The kids are back in school and the leaves will be falling soon. Wear a sweater if you must. Savor the words, the flavor, and the twilight. And maybe look up an old friend when you return indoors.

Save a beer for me,

Dave Clapper
Founding Editor, SmokeLong Quarterly

September 15, 2005

— Cover Art “The Creation of Time and the Plagiarism of Bosch” by Marty D. Ison

About the Author:

Dave Clapper is the founding editor of SmokeLong Quarterly.

About the Artist:

A native of Ohio, Marty D. Ison lives with his wife transplanted in the sands of the Gulf of Mexico. He studied fine arts at Saint Petersburg College. In addition to the visual arts, he writes poetry, short stories, and novels. See more of Ison's work here.