What a pleasure it is to present the newest issue of Good River Review to our readers! With this, our fifth edition, I find the magazine settling into its identity as a place to find eclectic and meaningful original creative writing, but I’m also pleased that Good River continues to fulfill another aspect of our founding mission, offering our literary community interviews, book reviews, and more.
In this issue, makalani bandele’s lyrics accompanied by videos and Jack Ridl’s meditations on aging make wonderful bookends in approach and subject matter for the many beautiful poems included this spring. I am grateful we’re publishing their words along with the work of talented poets Bea Bolongaita, Terri Brown-Davidson, Jane Donohue, Mitchell L. H. Douglas, Devin Kelly, Iris A. Law, Claudia Putnam, Mervyn Seivwright, and Jason Tandon.
In our prose section, we include fiction and creative nonfiction that is diverse, evocative, and eloquent. Our contributors’ prose settles into landscapes that include a backyard garden with a pesky opossum, Monet’s Giverny gardens overburdened with tourists, and a punk rock bar! I thank DeMisty Bellinger, Kris Bigalk, Cindy Corpier, Tony Crunk, and Monic Ductan for their contributions to this issue. I know our readers will be engaged with their work.
Our recent Naslund-Mann graduate Adeleke Adeyemi has provided a splendid interview with Nigerian author Ndidi Chiazor-Enenmor, who offers insight on her writing for children. In this issue, we also publish three important book reviews: Naslund-Mann poetry faculty member Debra Kang Dean reviews The Lost Etheridge: Uncollected Poems, edited by Norman Minnick; Jeremy Paden, our faculty member in translation, reviews Alexandra Méndez’s debut young adult novel What the Jaguar Told Her; and current MFA poetry student Melanie Weldon-Soiset reviews Victoria Chang’s most recent collection, The Trees Witness Everything.
As always, I thank our student editors, all MFA or MA students of the Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing, for their insight and meaningful editorial discussions and recommendations. I also want to express gratitude for our contributing editors, who not only help lighten the workload but more importantly bring us dynamic work to consider. I appreciate, too, the good humor, smarts, and hard work of the staff of Good River, but especially want to give a shout-out to Ellyn Lichvar, our managing editor and very talented poet. After a busy and fun but tiring trip to Seattle for the AWP Conference, Ellyn came home to a heap of last-minute work necessary to bring out this Spring 2023 issue. And I’m grateful that she continues to polish Good River’s beautiful design. Thank you, Ellyn, for giving us something beautiful to read.
Editor in Chief