I’m writing this letter on Thanksgiving Eve (that’s a thing, right?), and I’m finding myself thankful for so many things. First, for the truly talented folks that surround us in Mercer County who generously submit their work to be published in the Kelsey Review. This year’s issue is filled with a variety of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction that can move the reader to laughter or tears, and sometimes both. I’m thankful too, for our readers: those of you in Mercer County and beyond, family, friends, strangers, who all love literature and art and the wisdom that can be found in these creative works. I’m also incredibly thankful to my fellow Kelsey Review editors: Robbie Clipper, Luray Gross, and Ellen Jacko, who always have such a good eye for picking out the best work for our (virtual, this year) pages, and who are such a joy to meet with each year. My gratitude goes out, as well, to Mercer County Community College, especially the Liberal Arts Division, the English Department, the Publications department, the President, and VPAA, who have all supported this project in some way. Thank you all! Often, in the face of overwhelming gratitude, it’s hard to know how to repay it. Well, in this case, I think the repayment is in the form of the poems, stories, and creative nonfiction in this issue. I’ll also leave you with a poem from the famous poet Mary Oliver, who always has such a clear voice of gratitude. This is a poem entitled “Messenger” from her book, Thirst.
My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.
I hope you take some time to enjoy the creative works in this issue, and everything else in life.
Editor, Kelsey Review