Letter from the Editors

Issue Fifty: September 2013


Welcome to Issue Fifty of The Collagist. Fifty seems like one of those magical numbers; it’s the “gold anniversary,” and we’re happy to have made it to this milestone with you. Since a couple things have changed, it seems like a good time to reflect on how we got here, together.

One of the many remarkable accomplishments of Matt Bell's tenure as editor of the magazine was that—of our first 49 issues—every single one was released on time, on the 15th of the month. To make that happen, he had to be not only organized and relentless, but also creative. For example, according to one legend, he launched an issue of The Collagist from the bathroom of a wedding reception using only his iPhone.

Neither of us has an iPhone, so that particular feat isn't likely to be duplicated anytime soon. However, aside from that little detail, we hope you will notice few other differences in The Collagist. As both of us have been a part of this magazine since its beginning or shortly after (editing book reviews and poetry), we understand the responsibility of bringing excellent writing to a wide audience, and we're excited to continue the work Matt Bell began.

We both feel a debt of gratitude to Matt for all of his work in making The Collagist what it is. We are also very grateful to Steven Gillis and Dan Wickett of Dzanc for the opportunity to carry on that work, to our fellow editors, Michael Jauchen, Rachelle Cruz, and Elizabeth Morris for all of the many things they do to help put this magazine together, and especially to all of our contributors who have entrusted us with their writing. It is an honor to be publishing so much great work in our first issue as editors.

In fiction this month, we have new stories by Michael Martone, Greg Gerke, and Dolly Laninga, plus a translation of Pierre Bettencourt’s “Incidents of Travel Among the Metamorphosians” by Edward Gauvin, as well as novel excerpts from Damnation by Janice Lee, Fort Starlight by Claudia Zuluaga, and The Desert Places by Amber Sparks and Robert Kloss.

In poetry, we have new work by Weston Cutter, CJ Evans, Suzanne Marie Hopcroft, and Phillip B. Williams. This month's non-fiction comes from Chris Daley.

Our book review section contains coverage of The Pet Thief by Kassten Alonso (reviewed by Alexander Lumans), Let Me Clear My Throat by Elena Passarello (reviewed by Nicole Sheets), Palimpsest by Kristina Marie Darling (reviewed by Julie Babcock), and The Palace of Contemplating Departure by Brynn Saito (reviewed by Tyler Mills).

Again, thanks to all of the above contributors for being a part of this issue, and thanks to you and all the rest of our readers for visiting us this month.

Matthew Olzmann and Gabriel Blackwell
The Collagist