Welcome to Issue 6.1

Heather Rankin, “Lefty”

A Note From the Editor:

When I was a child I loved puzzles—I would scatter the large pieces over my bedroom floor and make a game for myself to see how fast I could put it back together. As I continued to grow, so did my love for discovering different types of puzzles and creating one-of-a-kind pictures. As a reader, I’ve used that love of puzzles to find connections between ideas, themes, voices, and details in my favorite books, and I found myself doing just that as I approached the wide range of work submitted to us this fall at the Rappahannock Review.

As Issue 6.1 came together, the fiction, essays, and poems began to reveal a variety of themes such as growth, emotionality, aspiration, conflict and morality. These surface in William Braun’s essay “Bear Country” through evocation of empathy for the narrator’s wife in an experience of trauma, in Carrie La Seur’s story “Warm Milk” through the loss of innocence and personal growth, and in Tanner Barnes’ poem “Hateful When You’re Sober” through the brutal honesty of the speaker. The meaning of these pieces feels real and relevant and dynamic, and the way they inflect each other adds to the depth and personality of the issue. As editors and as readers, we love how their meanings may change depending on where we are in life when we encounter them as readers. We hope that all of our readers can connect to the journal through its shared experiences of emotion and humanity.

For Issue 6.1 of the Rappahannock Review, it feels like our entire editorial team has been working on a giant puzzle, searching for pieces, setting them together and creating something that reveals connections between people and experiences and forms a complex composition. As Editor in Chief, I would like give my endless thanks to all of the editors here at the RR for approaching the journal with a sense of discovery, and we invite you to explore the pieces and find something for yourself in the journal. Enjoy!

Rachel Kirkland, Editor in Chief