blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1
poetry fiction nonfiction gallery features browse

A joint venture of the Department of English at Virginia Commonwealth University and New Virginia Review, Inc.

Copyright © 2004 by Blackbird and the individual writers and artists

ISSN 1540-3068

Subscribe to our
free newsletter for Blackbird news and updates.


   Charles Wright
 Kate Hill Cantrill
   Pam Durban
   Peter Schjeldahl

Where have we come from, and where are we going—such questions eventually must come to us all, and for an online journal they can be particularly pressing. How do you properly preserve material that lives in the electronic ether rather than on the page? What is the role of an archive in online publishing? Why and how should one issue of the journal be distinguished from another? To what changes in technology should we respond? How do we best serve our readers and contributors in our design?

As we welcome you again to Blackbird, we can provide a few answers. The LOCKSS program of Stanford University has found a way to preserve online publications in libraries around the world, and Blackbird is there, at Harvard, at Cambridge, at Goettingen, at the Library of Congress, and in many others, permanently protected for readers of the future. You can learn more about LOCKSS and catch up with some former contributors in our news section. All work that has been published in Blackbird is available for you to visit—it is a "live" archive—and we will be finding ways to recommend previously published work to read in concert with our current issue’s offerings. However, while we are an ever-expanding body of material, we also feel that drawing boundaries around each separate issue of the journal gives us, and you, our reader, a familiar sense of the manageable. (We, too, still like to get to the end of something.) Continually then, we best serve our contributors by helping their work to reach the thousands of readers who meet us here online, and we best serve readers by publishing the very best poems, stories, plays, art, interviews, and reviews we can find.

Therefore, we are grateful here for fine new poems from Charles Wright and Chase Twichell and take pleasure in introducing you to the less familiar voices of Rick Barot and Mathias Svalina. We also remind you of the complete book, The Spirit Tablets at Goa Lake by Norman Dubie, which continues to be available in the archive, along with many other remarkable and uniquely valuable works, such as the inimitable poems of Eleanor Ross Taylor.

New stories by George Garrett and R. T. Smith revisit a certain Southern landscape and remind us that the region is still haunted by the color line and its complex miseries. William Luvaas has provided us with a story that rides the whirlwind, and Kate Hill Cantrill and Jon Pineda are new voices in American fiction which are distinct, accomplished, and affecting.

In Nonfiction, Pam Durban offers a thoughtful and lyrical meditation on her father's later life, and Clara Silverstein brings a different point of view to the saga of school desegregation. We also offer reviews of new books by Talvikki Ansel, Tony Hoagland, and Wesley Gibson.

Peter Schjeldahl comments on the state of art and the art world in an interview; Mark Harris takes us on a wild ride through his lecture, "Aspects of the Avant-garde"; we take a long look at the work of sculptor John Newman; and Patrick Cribben demonstrates that short and witty are just the right theatrical ticket for a variety of Gallery offerings.

Excellence among a multiplicity of voices is our aim at Blackbird, and we are more than satisfied with the distinguished company we are presenting here to begin year three. Welcome, and read on.  

Return to top menus  |  Browse issue



A Reading Loop of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction focusing on the lure of the past

You've found your way to the Blackbird archive, Vol. 3, No. 1. The content of this issue is archived in its entirety.

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 up-to-date policies, submission guidelines, technical help, or contact information, you must visit our current issue at

Talvikki Ansel
Wesley Gibson
Brigit Pegeen Kelly
Tony Hoagland
Christine Schutt

Jon Pineda
Peter Schjeldahl