Contributing Editors! We Love Them Too

Now that summer is here, the West Branch submissions queue is quiet, I want to take a moment to recognize the journal’s Contributing Editors. Various journals use their contributing editors in various ways. Here at West Branch, we’re glad to have them associated with our journal, and with the project of contemporary literature that journal represents. Some of them steer work our way by writers we might have missed; some of them also contribute micro-reviews for the Marginalia section of our print journal.

We’re glad to acknowledge our longest-serving contributing editors: Dinty Moore, Ron Tanner, and David St. John (who recently paid Bucknell a lavish visit). Shara Lessley and Garth Greenwell have been staunch supporters of, and contributors to, our extensive reviews section, with which managing editor Andrew Ciotola and myself are rather inordinately pleased. Laura van den Berg served for years as one of our most incisive and valued associate fiction editors. Dan Beachy-Quick and Dana Levin have both served as visiting faculty for the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets, and Dana also guest-curated a recent feature of West Branch Wired. Dan and Dana are among a small number of contemporaries whose poetry I turn to most often for inspiration and ecstatic recognition of the possible.

Special thanks to Matthew Ladd and Sarah Kennedy, who have served as contributing editors and regular reviewers at West Branch for many years, but who are now stepping off the masthead. We will miss you!

I’d like to recognize three new contributing editors who join the journal this year. Jane Brox ranks among North America’s most subtle and probing writers of creative nonfiction. Her books include Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light (a Time magazine top-10 nonfiction pick for 2010) and Five Thousand Days Like This One: An American Family History (a finalist for the 1999 NBCC Award in nonfiction). We were pleased to have her visit Bucknell in 2007. Brian Teare is the author of four collections, most recently Companion Grasses from Omnidawn. He teaches at Temple University and is the founder and proprietor of Albion Books, a micro-press specializing in handmade editions. We look forward to his joining us on the faculty for next year’s Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets. Finally, Sally Keith, whose fourth collection, River House, is just out from Milkweed. Sally, who currently teaches in the MFA program at George Mason University, also happens to be a Bucknell alum (class of 1996).

As the foregoing suggests, we see West Branch as not just a literary journal, but also a focal point for a community of readers and writers whose works we admire and support. Speaking of which, if you haven’t yet checked out our new print issue, please do so! Stories from Benjamin Parzybok, Victor Robert Lee, and Roxane Gay, as well as poetry from Cole Swensen, Sasha Steensen, Corey van Landingham, et al.


—G.C. Waldrep, Editor

March 2015

I was planning to take a moment to recognize a rather lengthy slate of recent and forthcoming publications from our contributing, advisory, and associate fiction editors, who are wonderful on their own grounds, I mean beyond all they do for WB. But first, I want to crow a bit that this year West Branch will be featured in both Best American Short Stories (edited by T.C. Boyle) and Best American Poetry (edited by Sherman Alexie). Congratulations to Sarah Kokernot and Natalie Scenters-Zapico!

February 2015

I've always loved when (other) editors post lists of the topics they've seen far too much of, or (more rarely) not enough of. It's a guilty pleasure, if for no other reason than that I immediately embark upon a delightful thought experiment trying to stitch together as many proscripted elements as I can into a single story or poem of my own. But it's also a more serious reflection of one aspect of what we do as editors, what we have access to: an evolving, scintillating core sample of immersive culture. To work in an editorial queue is to see what's out there ... and to think about what's not.


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