Letter from the Editor

Dear Reader,

I've been traveling a lot the past month or so, to various reading series and conferences in Baltimore, Providence, Ann Arbor, Pittsburgh, Chicago, State College, and Bowling Green, as well as planning future events for the next few months in other parts of the country. The travel has been really fantastic so far, and has also served as an excellent reminder of the importance of literary communities, and of the way that readings series and magazines and presses can gather like-minded people together and put them in contact and conversation with each other. All of these cities have incredibly active and impressive literary communities, and seeing the number of writers and readers that serve as both audience and participants was an inspiring way to spend my month.

The internet, of course, is full of communities that are just as diverse and interesting, with the added characteristic that many online groups probably couldn't exist in a physical space: the people involved aren't geographically near each other, maybe, or else work different schedules, or are even just not the kind of folks given to gathering together in person. One of the primary benefits of the internet to me personally over the past decade or so is that it's enabled me to meet other writers and readers, and to find people to discuss books and magazines and the art of writing with, all the kinds of people I didn't have in my day-to-day life until more recently. I wouldn't be writing this letter right now if it weren't for those sorts of people and groups, and my guess is that many of you reading this feel similarly.

One such group—HTMLGiant's Literary Magazine Club—was recently organized by Roxane Gay to ensure that the readers had a place to discuss at least one literary magazine every month. Last month, the group's first, the LMC discussed the latest issue of New York Tyrant, both in guest posts at HTMLGiant and through an e-mail-based Google group. Next month, they'll be turning to the next issue of Ploughshares. This month, they will be reading this issue of The Collagist, which I'm very excited about. So welcome to all of the LMC members who are joining us for the first time, and welcome back to everyone else. If you're not a member of the LMC now but would like to join, please email Roxane Gay at or visit the Google group directly. It'd be great to have your voice as part of the month's conversation, and those to come as the group continues.


In Issue Sixteen, we have the return of our Classic Reprint series, where we reprint a previously published short story alongside an introduction by another writer. This month, that story is Amy Hempel's "The Most Girl Part of You," which originally appeared in Vanity Fair, and most recently in Hempel's The Collected Stories. The story is introduced by Blake Butler.

In addition, we also have fiction from Erik Anderson, Andrew Borgstrom, Gavin Pate, and Kellie Wells, as well as an excerpt from Charles Dodd White's Lambs of Men, out this month from Casperian Books.

In poetry, we have work by Cathy Linh Che, David James, Maya Janson, and A. Van Jordan. Our non-fiction includes an essay by Chad Simpson, as well as book reviews of The Wilding by Benjamin Percy, Hygiene and the Assassin by Amélie Nothomb, My Bright Midnight by Josh Russell, Our Island of Epidemics by Matthew Salesses, and A Geography of Secrets by Frederick Reuss.

As always, thanks to all of our contributors for letting us publish their fine work. Thanks also to everyone who reads the magazine, everyone who sends us submissions, and of course everyone who takes the time to post about the issue to their blogs, Facebook, or anywhere else. We appreciate your time and talents, and can't thank you enough for sharing them with us.


Matt Bell
The Collagist