This, our first issue of Mud Season Review in our new roles as co-editors, finds us feeling deep appreciation and gratitude for the care, dedication, and expertise Erin Post has offered the publication as managing editor these past three years.
Erin has juggled the many facets of the editor’s role. She produced the high quality publication that Mud Season Review enjoys, and this quality has remained constant in every issue that has gone live during her tenure.
In selecting the authors and artists to be showcased in Issue #52, we did our best to follow Erin’s example of choosing high-quality work that delves deeply into the human experience – or that “tramp and track in the mud” of this experience, as our mission statement describes. In the fiction piece “Curtain Call” Bari Hein portrays a mother attempting to care for her children, support her husband and pursue a career while her community and her nation reel from disaster. The small acts of love and optimism the main character engages in, set against the backdrop of the New York City theatre scene, seem especially poignant given current events.
Megan Saunders interweaves descriptions of her body art with memories of her mother’s struggles with substance abuse in the creative nonfiction work “Ink.” Saunders shares a history of family relationships that is both painful and touching, and so important to her sense of self that she has this history literally written into her skin.
Christine Butterworth-McDermott’s poems use striking images of flowers, fungi and insects to convey a sense of the sinister side of romance and relationships. The amanita mushroom is a “[d]estroying angel” that looks “so familiar and benign,” and honeysuckle is a maker of false promises that brings “brood death” to the beehive. You may think differently about your own garden after reading these.
Jana LaChance pairs the bright and the bleak in her beautiful watercolors. In the piece “Deep Ocean Near” a pink hillside is set off against a slate-colored sky. In “Sand Spots” a nude that appears to be mostly in shadow with an obscured face stands on bright orange calves. While some pieces lean more toward the abstract and others portray more realistic images, they all contain intricate details and an understated shine that calls to mind the light in early spring or late autumn, those in-between times when shadow and color exist layered over one another, with neither one ready to give way.
We hope that we have lived up to the high standards that Erin set in her work as editor, and that you enjoy this issue’s writing and art as much as we do!
Elaine Pentaleri and Grier Martin, co-editors-in-chief