I am calling this issue “Presence before Absence.” It’s an adage of sorts from writing workshops: You can’t expect a reader to know about a character’s absence before first establishing that character’s physical presence in a story or poem. The title responds firstly to themes present in the work from our great contributors this issue. Please read their work and enjoy it!
And the title also acknowledges someone who is absent.
Our founding editor, Kurt Wilt, passed away from cancer this past summer. It is not an overstatement to write that Lightning Key Review would not have been possible without his vision, passion, creativity, and hard work. It gave him no end of pleasure to know that the work featured here was out in the world, representing the best of a poetic aesthetic he championed his whole life: brief, imagistic narrative.
He spent his last year rising above the illness with the help of his loving wife, family, and friends, all of whom were integral parts to his creative life. This issue is dedicated to his memory and legacy. May his peaceful spirit live on in all of us.
- Artist’s Statement–Christie Clancy
- Black Walnut–Alisha Bergliot
- Hummingbird–Alisha Bergliot
- Rope–Amanda Latrenta Crane
- Link–Amanda Latrenta Crane
- Carnies–William Derge
- Whisky and Merton in the Country of Spring–Charity Gingerich
- “My Noon, My Midnight, My Talk, My Song”–Charity Gingerich
- Strange Bedfellows–Kathy O’Fallon
- The Weight of a Man’s Head–Terry Ann Thaxton
- Clothesline and Chopping Block–Ellen Roberts Young
- An Interview with Orison Books’ Luke Hankins–Brent Short