All good things transform. The Kelsey Review, which has been publishing the works of Mercer County-area residents for over 30 years, is also transforming. If you are reading this, you are witnessing our transformation into a quarterly online literary journal with issues appearing Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. This is also my first issue as sole editor of Kelsey Review, and I am humbled and grateful to be able to publish the work of so many dedicated, passionate area artists. Many thanks to Kelsey’s previous editor, Ed Carmien, for showing me the ropes. Thank you also to long-time editorial board volunteers Roberta Clipper, Luray Gross, and Ellen Jacko, who have welcomed me into the fold.
Speaking of former editor Ed Carmien, did you know that he is also a talented author? One of the highlights of this issue is his story, “The Beautiful Accident,” which follows a young woman named Hana in her dogged pursuit of building a flying machine. The story moves beyond science fiction to touch on family, growing up, and one of the crucial characteristics of humanity: the ability to see beyond our ordinary world and do the work to make dreams come to fruition, which, in essence, is what writers and artists do every day.
Among our featured fiction in the Fall issue, we have another story that uses fantasy elements to expose truths about the vicissitudes of growing up, “Young Brown Man and the Laundromat Werewolf” by Mark Galarrita, who is new to our (virtual) pages. If the title alone doesn’t make you want to read it, I can assure you there is humor and heart to be found there. Annabelle Kim’s story “Taste & Odor” also contains elements of humor, but quite a bit of darkness as well. Finally, Daniel Picker’s nostalgic piece “That Fall” seemed to fit our Fall issue perfectly.
Much of the poetry to be found in our Fall issue hints at nostalgia as well, or at least grapples with the past. Carolina Morales, who has published with us throughout the years, is back again with two poems: “Self-Portrait, Pregnant, NYC 1945” and “Daguerreotype.” Donald Lasko, in his poem “Saying Goodbye,” shares his thoughts on the passing of famed poet Galway Kinnell. We are also lucky to have a poem entitled “Two Feet In, Six Feet Under” from Lois Marie Harrod, another talented area writer whose work has been published in our journal (and in countless other venues) for many years now. Finally, a new voice is added to our poetry mix, that of Patrick Walsh in his poem “Mercenaire,” a poem full of beautiful language which reminds this reader a bit of Gerard Manley Hopkins.
We can’t forget, of course, about our nonfiction and our art. While these categories have historically not received as many submissions, we were lucky to find a few gems for this issue. Luz Horta’s “They Are Taking Him Away” is a suspenseful piece written with the full emotion of a mother watching her child grow up, while Dorothy Kohrherr, in her piece “Home,” writes from the perspective of a child growing up in the 1950s, watching as her “mother ironed her way through the 1953 World Series.” Our artwork this issue is in the form of a photograph, an evocative, ominous image of Diamond Head State Monument in Hawaii rendered by talented photographer Jessie Liang.
Our Fall issue, like the season itself, is full of color, of darkness and light, of the past colliding with the present and transforming into the future. As the Kelsey Review continues to transform, I promise we won’t forget about our past or our “present”—our gift—you, dear readers. Thank you for reading, and enjoy.