Spring 2005



Editor's Note

photograph by Amy Holman

Guest Editor, Amy Holman:

Guest editing The Cortland Review has been easier than I expected…a breeze. I think of the man I saw bicycling one-handed down the middle of Hicks Street on Thursday with a strangely subdued rooster in the crook of his left arm. Shouldn’t this ride have been more trouble? But no, the editors let me loose with instructions and my own set of virtual keys; I entered their offices, scooped up my invitees and read from the general pool. I am pleased with my selections, and I have shaped an issue that has connections and correspondences.

Previously, I wrote book reviews of poetry collections by women for The Cortland Review, seizing an opportunity to support poets who may be reviewed less often. Similarly, my Issue 28 is comprised of more women contributors than men, since many magazines have the opposite. I had the opportunity to include fiction in my issue, too, which then meant I could take a collaborative fiction piece that gives opposing male and female viewpoints on the story of Midas (“Touch Me”). As counter weight to the one piece of fiction written by two authors, I include a contribution of two genres by one author (Terese Svoboda).

A bit of my community is here, both by invitation and happenstance. Jennifer Michael Hecht, John Brehm and I met at The Best American Poetry Festival in Huntington, Long Island, and hung out a bit as three of the youngest poets in the 1999 edition, and I could not resist having their great poems here. When I was perusing the magazine’s general submissions I found the poems of Steven Huff, who gave a talk at a publishing festival I co-hosted in Little Falls about five years ago, back when he was at BOA Editions and I was at Poets & Writers, Inc. These reunions in print are great fun. Of course, it’s not really, print, is it, here in cyberspace?

At this writing, Hannah Craig, one of the poets I chose from the general pool has not, alas, responded. Her poem on the beetle with its lyrical, sensual language would have kept Anne-Marie Levine’s dangerous spiders company. But at least the parent and child poems by Hecht, Lyman Grant and Rebecca Bednarz correspond. All my selections are a bit off-beat, I hope, whether in language, subject or attitude.

So now I have to let the rooster go, and not to any abandoned building for a fight, but to its nest with the real editors of The Cortland Review. May you delight in all the poetry and fiction I’ve chosen and find new favorites among the writers.

Amy Holman



Issue 28 Cover Page
Copyright © 2005 The Cortland Review Issue 28The Cortland Review