Issue 42
February 2009

    Issue 42


  valencia 5

"Valencia 5"
John Kay

It is my sole intention as a photo artist to find abandoned posters, stickers, and other forms of public advertising that have been ripped, torn, gouged or pasted over by man as well as weathered and eroded by nature--and transform them into art--breathing life into the neglected, the forgotten, the left for dead advertisements found on metropolitan streets everywhere. I aim to capture the unintended, "happy accident," of all this chaos falling into a beautiful, artistic image. I'm simply there to help the process along. This photo was taken in Valencia, Spain this past year.

 Editor's Note

How characteristic, for this issue and this time, that John Kay, TCR's cover photographer, should teach us to find reassurance in the "happy accident" of "chaos," art in "the neglected, the forgotten, the left-for-dead." Kay is a photographer/poet living in Heidelberg, Germany. His photography and poetry have appeared in various magazines through the years. His new exhibition, his "Valencia Series" of photographs, opens in Heidelberg this month. The photograph on our cover is part of that exhibition. For the rest of the Valencia series and more, go to

For this issue's work, poets reach into the "junkyard of oblivion" to make art of the "bullet holes of my complaints," the bones of an old roller coaster, fallen bridges, and "what history has left of this topography" to find the "fragile secret center of things," because wanting is what we do, "wanting like a child to stop the world with a footstep." What else is art for? And this is a great time to wish you optimism and health and happiness for 2009 and way, way beyond.

After browsing Issue 42, go back to peruse, for the first time or yet again, TCR's December '08 Feature with Gerald Stern and friends (and video even). Be sure to check out the three-part documentary on Stern, too, accessible via the news column. Past and present, good times and bad, Cortland Review, entering its eleventh year, is dedicated to delivering the best-of-the-best poems and short stories being written today. And let me begin 2009 by honoring each Cortland Review staff member. All volunteers, they are full of heart and dedicated to the literary arts, each with special skills and love. They are: Guy Shahar, Editor in Chief; Greg Nicholl, Web Manager; Amy MacLennan, Managing Editor; Jennifer Wallace, Poetry Editor; Elizabeth Cornell, Fiction Editor, Natalie Baszile, Fiction Editor; Bradley Radke, Submissions Manager; Brian Woodham and Seth Perlow, General Assistants.

Catch all of TCR's poetry on audio via Adobe Flash Player, probably already downloaded on your computer. With Flash, audio is instantaneous. If you can't hear the audio, you need to download Flash Player which is free here. Audio designated by the RealAudio symbol from Issues and Features prior to 2007 are still accessible via RealPlayer. RealPlayer can be downloaded free here.

NOTE: TCR is looking for a volunteer who will help convert our archived RealPlayer files to Flash files. If you have some spare hours each week and want to give something back to the literary arts, drop an e-mail to [email protected] to become a TCR hero.

Want one more way to be heroic? Each available book title mentioned on our homepage and in our contributors' bios is linked directly to You can help Cortland Review by purchasing any book title via a TCR link. We appreciate the support we get through your book purchases.

Thank you to all the Cortland Review staff for the dedication and hard work this represents.

Here it is! 2009! Issue 42!
Ginger Murchison

Haven't finished watching all of TCR's AWP (NYC '08) Tenth Anniversary Readings? Via the videos on YouTube, you can still catch one of the best '08 AWP events at:

Laure-Anne Bosselaar:
Anne Marie Macari:
Maurice Manning:
David Rigsbee:
Patricia Smith:



Issue 42 Cover Page
Copyright © 2009 The Cortland Review Issue 42The Cortland Review