The Kelsey Review is back in print!
As you may know, for the past two years the Kelsey Review has been publishing solely online, and while this accessible format is becoming more popular among literary journals and is a good avenue for showcasing our work worldwide, many of us longed for the good old days when one could hold the Review in one’s hands and touch it and smell it (because, yes, even though the Review does not carry the odor of an old library book, who can deny that smelling works of literature is a time-honored tradition?).
We are happy to announce that now, with the help of the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission as well as the good folks at Mercer County Community College, you can hold the Kelsey Review in your hands while you admire the literary crafts of the talented Mercer County area writers published therein. (As you can see here, of course, we are also continuing to post the work from the print issue online as well, so we have the best of both worlds!) There are a few people I have to thank for helping this issue come together (with apologies to anyone I have left out): Thank you to fellow editors Roberta Clipper, Luray Gross, and Ellen Jacko; graphic designer Francis Paixao; Wendy Humphrey and Brad Kent; Kami Abdala; and Dr. Robert Kleinschmidt, the LA Division, and Dr. Jianping Wang at MCCC. Thanks to you all, to our wonderful contributors, and even to those who submitted but did not get in this time—please try us again next year!
In this issue, we have an exciting mix of art, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from contributors old and new. Our cover art by Dave Olson is an evocative drawing of a “Man from the Thirties” that is reminiscent of a Van Gogh sketch. Poets returning to these pages include (but are not limited to) Lauren Fedorko, whose poem opens the issue, as well as Wanda Praisner, Lavinia Kumar, and Lois Harrod, whose poem ends the literary selections in this issue. New poet Lillian LaSalle shares a poem in memory of Maria Rodriguez, who was a beloved professor at Mercer County Community College. Our fiction includes two stories from Nancy Demme and an interesting take on the writing life from Arlene Feldman, among other stories.
We are excited to see our nonfiction submissions growing, and we include several in this issue, including D.E. Steward’s poetic and impressionistic piece and Judith Salcewicz’s “Panic in the Dark,” which describes her memory of the day Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Our issue ends with two book reviews. Former Kelsey Review editor Edward Carmien reviews Pecking Order, a debut book of poetry by Nicole Homer, who is a professor at Mercer County Community College and the editor of Aspirations (a literary journal of Mercer County-area high school students). Finally, I was honored to review Annabelle Kim’s debut novel, Tiger Pelt, which was published earlier this year. Annabelle Kim has been a frequent contributor to Kelsey Review, and her novel lives up to the promise she has shown in our pages.
If you are a contributor and didn’t see your name listed above, please don’t fret—there is so much work in this issue and not enough space to discuss it all! Also, of course, great works of literature need no introduction; they speak for themselves. I hope that readers of this journal will hear the voices within loud and clear, singing, shouting, commiserating, reaching across time and space and the boundaries of human disconnection to connect with you. Because that is what writing and art do—they connect. Even when we live in a time that may seem broken, artists have the power to build bridges across the shattered pieces of the world. I hope you will feel this connection when you read the words of the talented Mercer County-area writers and artists published in this issue.