blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1
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A joint venture of the Department of English at Virginia Commonwealth University and New Virginia Review, Inc.

Copyright © 2002 by Blackbird and the individual writers and artists

ISSN 1540-3068

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Welcome to the premiere issue of Blackbird, an online journal of literature and the arts. Subsequent issues will appear May 1 and November 1 each year, and features will be added every two weeks during the run of each issue.

  Philip Levine
Clockwork Prayer
Flight Song
  Carrie Brown

We celebrate our good fortune in having such a strong group present at this initial gathering and are grateful to all the writers who answered our call to help us launch this journal well—including Philip Levine, Margaret Gibson, David St. John, Beckian Fritz Goldberg, Elizabeth King, Romulus Linney, Carrie Brown, George Garrett, on and on—a diverse and richly accomplished group, as you will see, too many to list here.

While each work published in this first issue was chosen individually for its excellence, the mystery of synchronicity is also present here, in so many poems that find their focus in the body, and the stories which so artfully celebrate the telling of the tale, each of them holding a story within a story, like chambers of a nautilus, or secrets of the heart. The actual mystery of narrative and history presents itself in the two essays, one investigating the realm of mind and memory, the other exploring the creation of a figure with an uncanny power to mesmerize. We also offer you a short play that traces the counterpoint of loss, and a piece of video art tirelessly climbing into its own particular playground of the moment.

Please open the electronic page and read. And hear, and see. There are many fields here to roam, and ways to roam them, and the journal will grow throughout its run. Come back often. Welcome to Blackbird, all.  



You've found your way to the Blackbird archive, Vol. 1, No. 1. And it is with both satisfaction and regret that at this writing, we archive this, our inaugural issue.

The literary and artistic content, except where prohibited by timed permissions or licensing, remains available; in any case where something has been removed, we let you know.

Business documents with a potentially shorter shelf life remain linked in the left menu as a matter of record, though, of course, if you are seeking policy, submission guidelines, technical help, or contact information, you must do so by visiting our current issue at

Blackbird grew from an idea—no design, no clear online models, no content—to a fully realized journal in the space of a year. A staff, in part wary of the electronic delivery of text and image, came together; a working name, nodding to Richmond's Mr. Poe, became our real name; and we began to feel, even in the abstraction of cyberspace, the journal's tangible shape.

As technologists, producers, writers, and editors, we wrestled hard with this new world of electronic publishing—and sometimes with each other. We hope the push and shove of our collaboration brought forth our best in service to the artists and writers published here, and to the readers we continue to welcome.

—the managing editors,
midnight, October 31, 2002