No. 214 - Passages and Portraits for Spring.

Photograph by Alexandra Bildsoe

This is a new dawn; a new chapter, a new act ––– and literally, a new season. Spring is here and all of the ills and wills and freights and fears from this past winter may be cast aside and buried. With the entrance of spring and amongst the singing of the birds that I hear outside my window this morning I offer the next song of the Curlew journey.

The city in which our journal is based has descended into an abyss, overcome with a virus that cannot be seen but only felt –––though not only felt by those who have been infected. It's in the air not just physically, but also in the emotional environment that's created within an atmosphere of uncertainty and fear. How long will our city feel like this? It's the unknown that disturbs and haunts and hurts the most.

If we had our druthers we would offer a new printed issue to you today. Instead, like almost all of our city and our nation and our world, we have been asked to pause, to reflect, and to look back at what we've created over these last few years. The best vehicle for doing so is an extended piece, a field trip through our archives (beginning with Issue No. 1 and moving toward Issue No. 7), interspersed with new poems and short stories, of which we've titled Passages and Portraits for Spring.

What we mean by portraits is obvious: photographs of our contributors: glimpses in time caught by cameras and forever stilled in one moment, and held by a single frame. By passages we mean at least two different things: passages from the lines and paragraphs that our contributors have offered to our pages over the years, and also passages from the interviews that they've given in their homes and work spaces; and also, perhaps (we'll see in time) we also mean photographs of passages within these homes and work spaces. Areas of homes and places within the city that we have seen and printed before, but may not quite have noticed –––– or, through the passages of time, are now able to see in a new way.

Should it be for the highest good of all concerned, god willing, we'll have the space and time to print a summer issue by July, or August. Until then, at least we have this time of quiet and peacefulness as all is in bloom, amongst the dawn of a new season. Until then, at least we have our spring.

All of our best,

Curlew Quarterly

March 20th, 2020

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