The same day China lands a probe on the moon the Arecibo Observatory crashes in on itself. The parallel and opposite pulls of aspiration and collapse seem exactly apt for this year that began with so much hope, optimism in everyone I knew, a view that a new page was turning, a renewed energy and purpose suddenly shattered and shuttered in isolation and uncertainty. I should leave it at that, another metaphor for a year that is already a meme, but I keep thinking of Arecibo listening long decades, awaiting contact, warning us of cosmic dangers veering close. I think of its shattered shell, the deaf ear, the silence from which one wakes too late to a storm.
Amy Sage Webb-Bazais Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Emporia State University, where she was named Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor and directs the Donald Reichardt Center for Publishing and Literary Arts. She is managing editor for Bluestem Press and Flint Hills Review. She publishes fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, and is author of Your Own Life: Kansas Stories (Woodley Press, 2012).
Editor-in-Chief Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize). Her poetry has appeared in such journals as TheNewVerse.News, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, and Valparaiso Review. Harbor Review’s microchap prize is named in her honor.