into this project, I think the staff of M Review wasn't
quite sure of what to expect. None of us had ever worked on
a literary magazine, save our faculty advisor, and at the
beginning there was a lot of uncertainty about whether or
not we could produce a decent online magazine. The creation
of M Review has been stressful, time consuming, and
at times difficult, but it has also been a lot of fun and
a tremendously valuable learning experience.
was pleasantly surprised at the volume of submissions we received
from the Marylhurst community, especially considering our
status of being a brand new literary publication. For a school
that prides itself on the vast diversity of age, ethnicity
and background of its student body, I think that the Marylhurst
community was excited and incredibly enthusiastic about the
formation of a literary magazine. In a sense, it gives a traditionally
independent student body the opportunity to share and participate
in something exclusive to this university. With the creation
of this magazine, now students, faculty and alumni of Marylhurst
University have a place to submit their creative and critical
works, a place where they can be seen and appreciated by a
wider audience, as they should be.
inexperienced newcomers to the inner workings and processes
of a literary magazine, much of the staff approached the project
a bit timidly; I know I did. We were put in the very difficult
position of accepting and rejecting what turned out to be
a lot of quality work. It's not an easy thing to do; it's
a process that's difficult for even the most experienced editor.
Without a doubt, it was the most painstaking part of the job
for all of us as readers. As editors, I think we should strive
to be as objective as possible, to divorce ourselves from
our own personal preferences of aesthetic and read with an
open mind. As nice as that sounds, it is in truth idealistic,
a virtual impossibility. Our very ideas of quality are intrinsically
bound to our tastes and preferences. Still, it is the job
of the editor to strive for this divorce of sorts in our reading.
The best we can do is to try to live up to this ideal as much
as we can. It was challenging for all of us to make these
kinds of decisions, but in time, I think we came to trust
more in our judgements.
this issue of M Review has no formally cohesive theme
tying all of the work together, I do see everything we have
chosen to publish as displaying a unique and distinctive voice
that sets them apart from the others. In some instances, it
is the tone itself that distinguishes the writer's work; in
others it is exceptional and original use of language and
image to convey thoughts, feelings. In some, it is the perspective
of the ordinary rendered in a fresh, extraordinary way. In
Sophia Farrier's poem, "Dandelion," a dandelion
wish contemplates its ephemeral existence as it is blown away.
Kim Heinrich's poem, "Do you see, what I see?" portrays
an animated refrigerator and stove, positioned to fight as
a result of poor space planning disturbing the balance according
to the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui. In short story, "The
Reconciliation of Opposites," character Ray, a twenty-something,
self proclaimed Hindu, comes to many humorous realizations
about herself and the nature of faith as she drives her elderly,
conservative Christian uncle home from the airport while desperately
having to "pee" as a result of a bladder infection.
On a heavier note, Stacy Alexander's short story, "The
Clipping," gives an intimate, yet almost numbing, surreal
account of a woman and her aunt saying their final goodbyes
to a departed loved one. These are just a few examples of
the dynamism of student work we've published in the magazine.
are very fortunate to have two published writers and master
teachers contribute to the issue. Ger Killeen has published
two books of poetry, among them, A Wren, published
by Blue Stem Press. He has also been included in several literary
anthologies. Ger Killeen teaches poetry, Celtic studies, and
Irish language and culture classes at Marylhurst University.
Ger Killeen's poem, "Weather Signs" makes use of
an impassioned and heady voice, conjuring up his lost ancestors
also had the privilege of interviewing novelist and college
professor Kevin McIlvoy. Kevin McIlvoy teaches writing classes
at New Mexico State University, and has published four novels.
His two latest novels are Hyssop, published by Tri-Quarterly
Books, and Little Peg, which is now being reprinted
by Perennial. McIlvoy speaks candidly and extensively about
voice, craft, his own writing, and offers some great advice
to up-and-coming writers.
addition to writing, we also have some conceptually interesting
and challenging visual art in the magazine. In Katrina Campbell's
painting, "Grabbing Belly," the artist challenges
the viewer to question our culture's perceptions of body image
through the subject of the painting's own scrutinizing eye.
In Rydeen Stevens' charcoal drawing, "NE 9th Ave,"
the artist draws the people she sees living in her neighborhood,
an area of the city in which many minorities live. Through
her art, Stevens challenges preconceived perceptions and stereotypes
by drawing the details in her subjects faces in a way that
reveals an intimate sense of their personality.
feel very confident that the work chosen for this magazine
is high quality work, work that I hope will leave an impression
on you, challenge your own perceptions, and move you. Enjoy.