From the Editor
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.
West Branch will be in the exquisite and capable hands of the poet K. A. Hays, as Acting Editor, for the year. Katie is the author of two books of poetry: Early Creatures, Native Gods (Carnegie Mellon, 2012) and Dear Apocalypse (Carnegie Mellon, 2009). Her poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, Colorado Review, Ploughshares, Southern Review, Best American Poetry, American Poetry Review, and many other venues. She has also published her fiction and verse translations in such magazines as The Hudson Review, Cimarron Review, and Gulf Coast. She holds an MFA from Brown University and was 2011 poet-in-residence at the Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire. In addition to editing West Branch, she'll also be serving in my stead as a Visiting Assistant Professor of English and as Interim Director of the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets.
Please send Katie your best work! She'll be editing alongside our redoubtable managing editor, Andrew Ciotola; our associate poetry editors, Carolina Ebeid and (in Spring 2014) Justin Boening; and our crack squad of associate fiction editors, about whom more in a bit.
We also want to announce that henceforth our regular submission period will open on August 1, rather than August 15, as it has been for many years. This way your best work gets to us sooner, that we may revel in it.
Finally, if you haven't seen our latest print issue—WB 75—may we invite you to check it out, on our website or (even better) in print. You may explore it here.
Wishing you all the very best for 2013-14. Pob hwyl i chi,
- 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.
- February 2013
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.
- 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.