Issue 33 marks the end of yet another school year at the University of New Mexico and my tenure as Editor-in-Chief of Blue Mesa Review. Like most literary magazines affiliated with a university, our staff rotates as students graduate. It’s a bit surreal to know that in a few days my work for this magazine will be complete. Working for BMR over the last three years is one of my favorite things I’ve ever done. Running a magazine is never easy work, but it is deeply rewarding. I’ve been involved in every part of the process from poring through submissions as a graduate reader to actually getting to select work to publish as Fiction Editor for the 2014-2015 school year. This year it’s been a pleasure to be at the helm of the ship making sure things run smoothly, picking art for the issue, and corresponding with writers. Whether you’re a submitter or a dedicated reader of this magazine, thank you for including Blue Mesa Review in your life. You’re part of what made my experience so lovely these last few years. I hope you enjoy what we’ve selected for the newest issue.
Take a moment to brew a cup of coffee or tea, sit down at your desk or pull your laptop onto the couch with you, and hunker in with Issue 33. Stop and read the experimental short story, “Twitch.” Fiction Editor Jason Thayer admires this story because “it challenges our notions of what we call fiction and what format the genre can take. It’s forward thinking in both its content—a sort of literary realism for the digital age—and in its form.” Be sure to read “Dark Horse.” Poetry Editor Aaron Reeder found “Dark Horse” to be “incredibly focused. The surprising images work well with the fragmented form. What the poem is able to include in its emotional range from start to finish is vast.”
Read the essay “Fear Circuitry,” which Nonfiction Editor Cat Hubka describes as effective because it uses “the form to bring the reader into the narrator’s experiences of how she’s coping with PTSD. Her prose is clear, her descriptions are vivid, and the narrator offers no long term answer to her dilemma. The result is an authentic emotional experience for the reader.” In nonfiction we also have the winner of the 2015 Louisville Literary Arts Contest that BMR had the pleasure of judging. Though Christiana Louisa Langenberg’s piece is short, it leaves the reader with much to think about in regards to possibility and truth.
I can’t tell you how excited I am that we were able to interview Erika L. Sanchez for this issue! Erika attended the MFA program at UNM before I was a student here, but I actually first learned of her work on Twitter. I find Erika’s prose and poetry inspiring, as she tackles difficult issues with honesty and grit. I also love how outspoken she is about feminism and issues impacting the Latinx community. She has two books coming out next year: one with Knopf and one with Graywolf. If you don’t know of this writer, start reading her work now. I particularly love this poem: “Six Months after Contemplating Suicide” up at Poetry Magazine.
Dedicate an early morning or an afternoon to read all of the excellent writing in Issue 33. You won’t regret it.