We called and you responded – “Show us your boundaries (or lack thereof).” Mindful of the unique location of Barely South Review (Norfolk, VA) and the immense diversity of the area due to a number of factors including our military bases, several universities, and the agriculture community that surrounds us, we wanted to hear what you, as writers, would do with the concept of “Boundaries.” We received poetry, short stories and essays, all examining the different kinds of lines people draw (or have drawn for them) in their lives. Geographical boundaries, of course; but also well-represented in the submissions we received were spirituality, relationships, gender, family, society and culture.
As a result of our concentration on this theme, our September issue is a lean, focused collection of poems and short stories that cover many of the topics above. We were pleased and excited by your response, and we plan on doing more theme issues in the future.
Also in this issue is artwork by Solomon Isekeije, an internationally-known artist originally from Nigeria. He crossed paths with Old Dominion University before moving on to his current post at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. Isekeije creates in a number of mediums, and the works included in the issue include photographs of his three-dimensional works. Make sure to click on the images to make them larger.
A new school year means changes at Barely South Review! First up is our new masthead, which reflects the inevitable turnover in a creative writing MFA program. We are grateful for the experience and insight of our graduates who were part of the inaugural staff of the journal, but this year we welcome our new staff editors: Ian Couch, Lucas Flatt, Tarah Gibbs, Eric Heald-Webb, Andrew Leask-Ortiz, Marion Thomas, and Jeffrey Turner.
Our second big change is the switch to accepting submissions via Submishmash, which many of you are already familiar with. This helps us track submissions much more efficiently without the possibility of losing anyone, and our editors are able to respond faster and snap up that quality writing. Please check out our Submission page for more details.
Speaking of our Submission page, Barely South Review is now accepting art! We like all of it: photography, drawings, painting, (photos of) sculpture or mixed-media art – let’s see it! We accept between 3 and 5 submissions per submission period (September 1st through November 30th). Those we accept may be featured on the cover, as well as included inside the issue.
And finally, in the near future, we plan to start offering Barely South Review as a downloadable PDF file that can be saved to e-readers and tablets. The PDF will have a different look to it – in essence, it will be a print-ready journal in electronic form. We at BSR are incredibly excited about the possibilities available to us using that format, and see it as just one step in the growth of Barely South Review.
Please enjoy this fall issue of Barely South Review, and if you are a writer or an artist (or both), send us your work! Coming up in January will be a double issue featuring both original works and craft interviews with some of the writers who will be visiting Old Dominion University for the 34th annual Literary Festival during the first week in October. If you’re in the area, be sure to check out the website and attend some events. As in years past, most of the Literary Festival events are free to the public, with the exception of the Monday evening program at the Diehn Center (located on the ODU campus).
Thank you, from all of us at Barely South Review, and have a beautiful autumn, wherever you may be.
Valarie Clark, Managing Editor