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From the Editors

Introduction to the Spring/Summer 1999 Issue

In this issue of CLR we open with a selection of translations by James Hoggard of two fine South American poets. As we have not run translations before, this is new ground for CLR. Oscar Hahn and Osvaldo R. Sabino have been hailed in South America as two of the most powerful poetic voices in the last 30 years. The critic Graciela Palau de Nemes said as far back as the late 70s that Hahn was the most important poet of the fantastic in Spanish-American letters, and recently the Argentinian novelist and poet Alicia Borinsky said that Hahn seems to have gone further than probably any other South American poet of his time. We are pleased that Mr. Hoggard was so gracious with the work of both of these poets and we're delighted to be able to offer, although small, a solid group of poems by each.

Besides publishing a solid group of stories by emerging writers, we cross another boundary in publishing our first novella, a genre often left behind and forgotten because of a literary journal's limited space. H. Lee Barnes' "Tunnel Rat" takes us back to Vietnam once again to explore the horrors of the unknown, and in so doing he reminds us of the strength a novella can carry.

Outside of crossing new territory in this issue, we continue with the regular journey of finding good work from those established voices around the country and new voices as well. The days spent reading manuscripts, searching the terrain, is something akin to spending days scouting streams for good trout fishing. It's long work, most always the best way to spend a day, and exceptionally exciting when unexpectedly one finds splendor in new places. One new discovery for us is Ruth Ellen Kocher, whose voice is strong, resonant, and deeply provocative. While Ms. Kocher has her first book forthcoming from Lotus Press, we suspect that long into the future she will be adding fine work to the depth of American letters. Another voice we settled in on and are pleased to have is Ron McFarland, an Idaho poet and teacher whose poem "At The Salmon River Cafe" roots itself deeply in the sensibility of the West.

In keeping with the mission of CLR, we've tried to find space for new voices who have published little. And in this issue, a striking new voice from Washington state is Fernand Roqueplan, a social worker and steelhead fishing guide. His poem "Prayer for Vicente" drives its force with sharply crafted images and well honed metaphor. Moreover, we were able to put together a strong group of writers from the Northwest. David Axelrod, in "The Day Stafford Died," gives us a poem wherein we are forced to pause and consider Stafford as one of the country's greatest poets of the last fifty years. Besides Mr. Axelrod, two other longstanding Northwest poets appear, Madeline DeFrees and Chris Howell. Mr. Howell offers us sharply crafted and deeply intense emotional poems. And we're pleased to have the work of Pat Cason, Ann Copeland, Tracy Daugherty, Martha Gies, Steven Sher and Doug Spangle.

In closing, we would like to remind the reader of the newly created Willamette Award in Fiction and Poetry. This year, Craig Lesley will be judging the fiction contest and Alberto Rios will be judging the poetry contest, and in addition to a $500 award in each genre, the winners will be published in the Fall 1999 issue. The deadline for the competition is June 1 (an entry fee of $10 for three poems or a short story up to 10,000 words).

Enjoy.

Jeff Knorr and Tim Schell

Contact the Editors

Tim Schell
503-657-6958 ext. 2520
tims@clackamas.cc.or.us

Brad Stiles
503-657-6958 ext. 2609
brads@clackamas.cc.or.us

Kate Gray
503-657-6958 ext. 2371
kateg@clackamas.cc.or.us


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