Barely South Review January 2012

“Winter in Rhode Island” by Jéanpaul Ferro

So much to talk about for this issue!

First up: you’ll find eleven new poems and two new stories from some talented writers who have been patiently waiting since January 2011 to see their work in print. They are the last of the crew from before Barely South Review implemented a new submission schedule that includes two submission periods: one in the fall and one in the spring. As the journal continues to grow, thanks to readers and contributors, we found ourselves needing to change the format a bit. Effective immediately, all works accepted in the fall submission period (September 1 – November 30) will appear in our April issue, and works accepted during the spring submission period (January 1 – March 31) will appear in our September issue.

Second on my list of Important Things You Need to Know is that, like last January, this issue has craft interviews with some of the writers who appeared at Old Dominion University’s 34th Annual Literary Festival in October 2011 – thirteen to be exact, but there’s nothing unlucky about that number. You’ll find writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, a playwright, and even a lone photographer. In an issue close to my heart, you’ll see a stark contrast between authors who have embraced computers and the internet – Adrian Matejka filled his interview with links to his inspirations – and those who are getting along just fine without it, thank you very much (Joy Williams’ responses showed up typed on what I could swear was a manual typewriter). Some of our interviewees were able to share their work with us here so you could get a taste as well. You’ll be among the first to see some of it.

Take a gander at the photograph for our cover this month – “Winter in Rhode Island,” by Jeanpaul Ferro. Mr. Ferro submitted his work to us through Submittable. That’s right – we’re looking for your artwork! You could end up on the cover, you might have a spread of several works on the inside, you could have both! Check out our Submission guidelines for more information.

Finally, we at Barely South Review and Old Dominion University are pleased to announce our first ever literary prize, named after Norton Girault, a beloved and familiar face around Old Dominion University. An annual event, this year, in honor of Norton’s chosen genre, the competition will be in fiction. One winner will receive $1,000 and publication in Barely South Review. This year’s judge is the amazing Cristina García. Click for more details, guidelines, and the link to the official entry form.

As we enter a new year, and leave one behind that was undeniably rough for a lot of people, I want to take this opportunity to thank our readers, our contributors, the good sports who interviewed with us for this issue, our faculty director, Dr. Luisa Igloria, and my staff of talented, hard-working editors and administrative volunteers. Let this January issue be representative of an excellent year to come.

Valarie Clark, Managing Editor

Table of Contents

Last Days


Ghost Tour

Lump in the Gutter

Instructions for My Funeral

As For the Exiles


The Harmonica

A Moon Walks Into a Bar

Slash & Burn



Just a Few Thoughts Away from Poetry: An Interview with Adrian Matejka

Two Poems

Making Larger Sense of Our Little Lives: An Interview with Naomi Shihab Nye

A Messy, Raw, Maximalist: Porochista Khakpour

The Girl Next Door: Elizabeth Searle Dispels the Shadows of Suburbia

From Girl Held in Home

From Baby Safe

Our Heroes Simply Write: Joy Williams, Unedited

A Conversation with Renée Olander

Spectrum of Survival: Megan Stack and Every Man in This Village Is a Liar

Know You’re a Nobody, Say the Horrible Thing, and Make Every Sentence Brilliant: An Interview on the Craft of Memoir with Claire Dederer

From Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses

Memories Are Never Really the Whole Story: An Interview with Scott Heim

Quiet Reflections: David Swerdlow Talks Poetry

Our daughters,

Writing As a Reason to Write: A Discussion with Indigo Moor

Meaningful Exposure: Photographer Yola Monakhov

Minor Things Within the Major: Mark Halliday Talks Poetry

The Theater of Young Jean Lee: An Experiment in Perturbation