During the compilation of this issue of Blood Orange Review, I must confess: I developed crushes on the writers we selected to publish. I might have even googled a few.
Having read and re-read and argued for and pored over their work, I already had an affection for their writing. But as their bios came in and I read their answer to our standard question— “What keeps you moving forward as a writer?”—I found myself drawn toward them. It was like finding out that someone beautiful also has a really great personality.
I mean, who wouldn’t want to invite this guy out for coffee?
“I don’t have a reason to write just now. I used to have one—it was a good one too—but I lost it. Now I’m trying to save up enough poems for another one. Nothing too fancy, you understand, just something serviceable, maybe even second-hand. Just something I can buy.” – Aseem Kaul
Or take this writer out to the movies?
“Reading leads me back to writing. I feel a kind of desperate need to read as much as I can. And reading something that has been exquisitely formed makes my fingers twitch enviously, the way one’s legs may become restless while watching a ballet, or one’s fingers, while listening to ‘We Will Rock You,’ may feel the need to play air guitar.” – Scot Erin Briggs
Or fake a yawn just to be close enough to throw your arm around this person?
“The things that keep him moving forward as a writer are coffee, sex, and flowers. He is a bookworm and a lazybones.” – Shimmy Boyle
The writing in this issue speaks for itself. If you are lucky enough to have the time to read every word corralled herein, you will be rewarded. You’ll find the first-ever literary publication by Whitney Dibo, an essay about her grandfather, a stroke survivor and crossword fanatic, that weaves together family history with the puzzling history of the game itself. Then there’s Scot Erin Briggs, whose poems “Target Practice” and “Not for Identification” layer multiple voices and perspectives—a stripper, a mother, a photographer, a soldier—and unify them with alluring precision and urgency. And then there’s the baffling story by Jonathan Starke, “The Shoebox,” written from the perspective of an aging mannequin who is being deserted by her human spouse.
There’s a lot to love in this issue. The words. And the people who make them. Enough with this hand-holding. Go see for yourself.
Stephanie Lenox, co-editor
Blood Orange Review