Letter from the Editor:
When you try something new, you hope for the best and then steady yourself for reality. In the past, Rockvale Review was a poetry and art journal, with music thrown in for good measure. We received a lot of submissions and published some really fine poems in seven issues. Then, we took a year off and came back to the world of online journals with a new vision. We wanted to expand the scope of the journal to include not just poetry and art, but also short fiction and creative nonfiction. This was to better connect the journal to Rockvale Writers’ Colony, a sister entity and retreat center for creative writers. (For more info on the colony, check out the website, rockvalewriterscolony.org.) We opened for submissions in January with five editors, three of them brand new to RR, but highly experienced in writing, reading, and editing our two new genres. We said to the universe, “Send us some good work!” and the universe graciously complied.
Then, a sad reality hit – the death of a spouse and two months of floundering – and what was initially meant for an early May release was relegated to the impermeable arms of grief. When you’re in the throes of loss, you find yourself, sometimes desperately, seeking some sort of consolation, some sort of distraction from the intensity of the moment. You don’t know if anything will really help; in fact, you doubt anything could, so when it does you’re sort of mesmerized with the sweetness of it.
That’s what it felt like to me to (re)start working on this issue. I read everything again, with new eyes, with a different understanding because I’m a different person now. What I found was blessing, over and over again. What I found was the power in words and the heart beneath them. And, I’m grateful – both for the generosity of the fine editors with whom I work (Roseann, Rhonda, Elizabeth, and Mark) and the kind understanding of so many of the accepted writers, whose work was slated for a spring release and now hits the web in late June. Thank you.
I hope you find in this issue some of the same sweetness I found. I hope you find blessing. I hope you find something relatable and something that makes you see the world in a light you are unaccustomed to. I hope you challenge yourself to read your fellow writer’s work in all genres and view the remarkable art of Rhonda Danette Owen. Most of all, I hope you know we’re honored to have you in Rockvale Review, that we believe in writers and in their words, and that this place, this issue, however late it meets the world, is here because of you.
Sandy – Founding Editor, Rockvale Review
Memphis Breaking into Autumn Nightfall – by Jeffrey Alfier
To Unknown Sailors – by Nicholas Christian
Darning Egg – by Charity Everitt
Altar of the Hospital Bedside – by Kasha Martin Gauthier
Everything Undone – by Cynthia Good
Imagination – by Judith O’Connell Hoyer
Rock Salt – by Yasmin Mariam Kloth
Along Tornado Alley – by Tom Laughlin
Leaving Primordia – by Ed McCourt
Dear Authenticity – by Daniel Edward Moore
Watching My Son with His Dog – by Cecil Morris
Palm Reading – by Brendan Praniewicz
What We See on Bikes – by Christopher Rubio-Goldsmith
Feathers in My Hair – by Marie Elizabeth Sar
I Wish That I Knew What I Know Now When I Was Younger – by Jonathan Travelstead
Chandelier – by Ruth Weinstein
Food for Healing – by Joyce Tomlinson
A Rose by Any Other – by Jeannette Brown
It Will Melt – by Duane M. Engelhardt
Featured Artist: Rhonda Danette Owen
Click HERE to view Rhonda’s art and read the artist statement