Author’s Note: “When I was an infant of six weeks, my parents took the decision to leave Birmingham, Alabama, where I was born. The family—my parents, grandparents, my brother, and myself—journeyed from Alabama to Indiana south of Chicago. From there we moved again, this time to Illinois. “Weeping Willow” is inspired by my early experiences attending school as a transplant with a family from the Deep South to a place where the regional differences in speech were markedly different.”... [Continue Story]
Spy Reprints “The Bricks of Baltimore” by Michael Salcman
Author’s Note: “I believe I started writing ‘The Bricks of Baltimore’ after I read an article in The Baltimore Sun on the 10th of March 2021 about the deconstruction of Baltimore through the removal of bricks from Sparrow’s Point and a variety of other sites in our city. I was especially moved by the fact that the bricks were then taken to Washington and used for purely decorative purposes in expensive condominiums. I was further astounded by the fact that one could ‘source’ the bricks to different neighborhoods through a variety of colors and striations. By the end of October the poem had undergone six major revisions and was accepted for publication by The Delmarva Review.” ... [Continue Story]
Spy Reprints “Dippin’ Dots” by A. J. Granger
Author’s Note: Tradition is like a mighty river; no matter how vast its depths, no matter how calm or turbulent its waters, the river always has a beginning and an end. Provoked by questions over my need for over-priced ice cream, “Dippin’ Dots” is a conscious dive upstream, an attempt to traverse through memory and time to find the beginning of the river, to find truth in the mountain’s snow, and to understand why change feels so much like a waterfall... [Continue Story]
Spy Reprints “Love of Learning” by Esther Lim Palmer
Author’s Note: “To spend more time with my seven-year-old daughter, I started learning the piano with her. This process of learning filled me with childlike joy and prompted ‘Love of Learning.’”... [Continue Story]
Spy Reprints “I Want to Order a Man from the Sweets Catalog” by Fran Abrams
Author’s Note: “I wrote this poem after taking a class on how to write a cento. Looking for a source of words, I thought of the Sweets Construction Catalogue I had used when I worked in an architect’s office after college. ‘Sweets’ then was a large collection of three-ring binders but is now online. As I dipped into its pages, the poem began to form in my mind, moving readily from concept to completion.”... [Continue Story]
Spy Reprints “Authors” by King Grossman
Author’s Note: “This poem virtually wrote itself when I was hole up writing in Marfa, Texas, a thin place, as in hardly separated from the source. One afternoon outside my back door I espied through the coke-bottle glass, a young girl who sat at a card table on her porch across the street happy as you please writing in that red bird notebook. I simply stood there in solidarity with another non-civilian.”... [Continue Story]
Spy Reprints “Now Only in Part” by Marda Messick
Author’s Note: Since I first looked into a kaleidoscope as a young child, I’ve been fascinated by and deeply curious about perception. How do we perceive the world and apprehend mystery? How do we know what we know about anything? Our limitations and the possibility of enlightenment always are juxtaposed, as they are in the poem. I’ve come to rely on poetry itself as a way of perceiving and knowing the world, other people, and the divine.... [Continue Story]
Spy Reprints “Lemon Ginger Tea” by Robin Gow
Author’s Note: I wrote “Lemon Ginger Tea” after spending a winter afternoon with my brother. We are both at really transitory moments in our lives and this felt especially true that day. Both our conversation and where we sat felt so indicative to me of both being in a liminal space together. In a lot of ways, I see the poem as being about brotherhood and being able to know someone’s life from that perspective. I use the “you” to try to convey that closeness to the reader so hopefully they can feel it too... [Continue Story]
Spy Reprints “A Room Too Small for Sunsets” by Sayan Aich Bhowmik
Author’s Note: The poem tries to uncover the gnawing sense of loneliness and alienation that has become a characteristic feature of life in the cities. With every passing day, no matter how well we remain connected to the outside world through social media, there is always this sense of emptiness that devours us. This poem tries to capture that sense of angst and the problematics of belonging... [Continue Story]
THROUGH THE AUTHOR’S VOICE, we discover qualities and truths about ourselves. Perhaps more than anything else this describes the strength of our connections with literature.
Welcome to the Delmarva Review’s 15th anniversary edition. Writing from 60 authors was selected from thousands of submissions during the year. This issue includes 78 poems, 11 short stories, and 12 nonfiction essays. In all, the writers come from 18 states, the District of Columbia, and 6 foreign countries. The review welcomes the best new writing in English from all writers regardless of borders.
This year’s cover photograph of an osprey, The Fisherman, tells its own story. The osprey, with wings spread exhibiting his power, has positioned himself high above the water on a storm-broken tree trunk, his talons clutching a partially devoured fish. The osprey’s purpose is not so much the fish as it is his desire to lure a suitable mate for the season’s nest. Thematically, the image exhibits the territorial imperative shared by most animals, including humans.
Each story or poem in this issue has its own message. No singular theme was selected for the edition. As a literary collection, we focus on the most compelling new writing and what is at stake or at risk emotionally or intellectually in the author’s work.
Popular topics include grief, death, pain, love, living, place, acceptance, freedom, aging, and the uncertainty of life, among others. They have one quality in common—change—and the uncomfortable challenges of dealing with change.
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