Welcome to Issue 8.1

Alice Stone-Collins, “Herd Immunity”


A Note from the Editor:

My mother is a librarian. Even when she isn’t in a library, she has a passion for literature which she has been sharing with me since I was old enough to recognize the alphabet, and it is because of her that I have learned the importance of collections of writing. I spent a lot of my time as a child wandering between shelves taller than my head, running my fingers along the spines of books and getting lost in endless combinations of words. Books and writing were my first introduction to a naïve concept of love, and ever since they caught my attention, I’ve found myself unwilling to part with them. When given the opportunity to influence even a small corner of the literary community, I knew I couldn’t pass up my chance to work on the Rappahannock Review.

We didn’t begin reading for issue 8.1 with a specific direction in mind on where to take the journal. It was only after we finalized our publication list that I realized we had been gravitating towards works that explore time and identity and that embody the unique relationship that exists between time and an internal perception of self. The events of this past year have been tumultuous and strange, with time feeling suspended as we all wait for the opportunity to go back to the status quo. I know that I myself have felt chronologically unmoored more than once, so it made sense to seek out works that explored the nature of the individual’s experience with time. Some of the pieces we chose to include, like Jim Roberts’s “Jackshit Bastards,” ruminate on the past and explore the dynamics of memory. A few contemplate the present, such as Heather Diamond’s “If You Spot a Crow,” and Robert Slentz-Kesler’s “Waterman Hemisphere.” Others, like Brandyn Johnson’s “Pendulum Theory” seem to hang suspended in a moment of timelessness. I think that, in considering the passage of time and the ways in which we interact with it, we must also acknowledge the forward momentum that compels us all, unbidden, to keep moving. While the inevitability of time slipping away is anxiety-inducing, I think there’s also a kind of comfort in knowing that no matter what else has happened, we’ve managed another revolution around the sun.

This issue of the Rappahannock Review has been a challenge and a pleasure for me, and I extend my appreciation to the entire editing team. They put an incredible amount of effort and attention into this issue, and I’m grateful I had the chance to work with them. Thank you especially to the writers and artists who have contributed their work—we couldn’t have made this issue without you. Though the future is still shrouded in uncertainty, I hope Issue 8.1 allows everyone who reads it to find a small escape, passing the time reading and perusing our digital shelves. We invite you to lose a little time as you read, and enjoy!

Theresa Platenkamp, Editor in Chief