From the Editor
Our editorial staff here at West Branch includes myself as Editor-in-Chief; Andrew Ciotola, our extraordinary (and long-serving) Managing Editor; two undergraduate interns; and—most importantly, for present purposes—six associate editors who play major roles in the process of reading and evaluating manuscripts. While our Stadler Fellow (who doubles as Associate Editor for poetry) is here at Bucknell on a fellowship, our five Associate Editors for fiction labor in the submission queue out of the goodness of their narrative hearts. I have learned or am learning to adore all six of them and thought I'd start the new year by introducing them to our readers:
Carolina Ebeid, Stadler Associate Editor, was selected as the 2012-2014 Stadler Fellow at Bucknell University's Stadler Center for Poetry. She holds a degree from the Michener Center for Writers, where she was also poetry editor for the Bat City Review. She is a 2011 CantoMundo Fellow. Her work has appeared in Kenyon Review, Poetry, Crazyhorse, Gulf Coast, Agni-online, West Branch, Forklift, Ohio, 32 Poems, Memorious, and other journals.
Laura van den Berg was raised in Florida and earned her M.F.A. at Emerson College. Her debut collection of stories, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us (Dzanc Books, 2009), was a Barnes & Noble "Discover Great New Writers" selection and shortlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Award. Her second collection of stories, The Isle of Youth, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux in November 2013. Laura lives in Baltimore and teaches creative writing at George Washington University.
Cam Terwilliger's stories have appeared in many magazines, including The Mid-American Review, Post Road, The Literary Review, and Narrative, where he was selected as one of the magazine's "15 Under 30." His fiction has been supported by a scholarship to the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference as well as fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Elizabeth George Foundation, and the American Antiquarian Society. A graduate of Emerson College's MFA, he now teaches at Louisiana State University.
Matthew Pitt's debut story collection, Attention Please Now, won the Autumn House Fiction Prize. The book was also a winner of Late Night Library's Debutlitzer Prize and a finalist for the Writers League of Texas Book Award. His individual stories may be found in Oxford American, Epoch, BOMB, The Cincinnati Review, The Southern Review, Best New American Voices, and Forklift, Ohio and have also been cited in Best American Short Stories. Matt has taught at NYU, Hendrix College, Illinois College, and Penn State-Altoona, and moved this fall to Fort Worth, where he is an Assistant Professor of English at Texas Christian University.
Carrie Messenger teaches English at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her fiction has appeared in magazines including Crab Orchard Review, Fiction International, and Witness. She translates from Romanian, which she learned as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Republic of Moldova, the only other Romanian-speaking country outside of Romania.
Alex Streiff is a native St. Louisan currently living in Ohio with his two dogs. He is a graduate of the MFA program at The Ohio State University. He previously served as Editor of The Journal and as editorial assistant at The Missouri Review. His poetry has been published in Hobart and Slipstream. He recently completed a novel titled Let Me Go, Missouri and is working on the beginnings of what may or may not be a science fiction novel. In his spare time, Alex brews beer.
It's also time to bid a public farewell to Stadler Fellow Jamaal May, who was our Associate Poetry Editor for 2012. We will miss him! Jamaal's first collection, Hum—which he worked on while a Stadler Fellow here at Bucknell—won the Beatrice Hawley Prize and is due out from Alice James Books in November 2013.
- September 2013
It's an act of hope to submit work to a journal. We editors, in turn, read with our own hopes: that writers are sending us what they believe to be their best work, that the next piece we read may startle, give us pause, transport us—take off the tops of our heads.
- August 2013
We all have places we want and long to be; as it happens, the place I most want and long to be right now is South Wales. Delightfully, Bucknell University is affording me this opportunity (and many others) as I prepare to go on leave for the 2013–14 school year.
- November 2012
A few interested parties have written over the past month asking, in one form or another, how West Branch operates.
- August 2012
Editing a literary journal is a professional calling, but it is also a labor of love.
- June 2012
What does it mean, in the world of contemporary American literature, to be an "outsider"?
- March 2012
Each year at AWP, those of us who edit presses or journals compare notes about what we are and aren't seeing in our slush piles, what we are or aren't wanting to see.
- December 2011
As a child, I was terrible with riddles. (As a bright child, I resented my inability to master the form on the form's terms-which only added to my antipathy.) A successful solver of riddles must decode on two levels.
- October 2011
Speaking of translation, some of us suffer from the suspicion that truly great literature is being written somewhere else, by somebody else, in a language we can't read.
- September 2011
It's axiomatic-or should be, and especially in the American poetry of our moment-that in fact there are many poetries, many overlapping constituencies of readers, poets, and poems.