The theme of the 2023 spring issue of Valley Voices is “Goodbye,” which may mean departure, detachment, death, divorce, breakup, change for a new life, promising career, or bright future. There are different ways to say goodbye, such as farewell, adieu, bon voyage, or zaijian. Sometimes the word carries nuances of meaning. Pretty much the opposite of the word is badbye or sadbye, so bye can be awful, beautiful, fearful, joyful, mournful, mirthful, painful, peaceful, sorrowful, tearful, or wistful. Goodbye has been a charming theme that attracts writers to explore from different viewpoints. This special issue includes 7 fiction/nonfiction, a photo essay about the South, poetry by 24 poets, 10 book reviews, and a featured interview with DC Berry.
The call for the Fall 2022 issue of Valley Voices (v22 n2) was themed, “Where Are You From?” and meant to be a simple question that may not have a simple answer. In his introduction, John Zheng writes, “There are different answers because the question can be geographical, political, racial, and ethnic, it can also mean curiosity, attitude, suspicion, or exclusion.” This issue spotlights Mississippi Delta poet and musician Jack Crocker, and in response to the call, includes over 100 pages of nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and reviews. A full table of contents can be found for each issue on the Valley Voices‘ website. Writers – the next call for submissions ends December 30, 2022, and the theme for their spring issue is “Goodbye.”
Valley Voices: A Literary Review 22.1 is a special issue on “The Sense of Place” dedicated to Dr. Marla Cowie (1942-2021), former Professor of English and Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mississippi Valley State. It begins with a special feature with several works by and an interview with Elaine Terranova. The issue is filled with poetry by Angela Ball, Lois Baer Barr, Matthew Brennan, David Dear, George Drew, Theodore Haddin, Juliet Hinton, Na’Taki Osborne Jelks, Steve Myers, Mamie Osborne, Charles Rammelkamp, Anina Robb, Kelly Talbot, Larry D. Thomas, Susan Weaver, and Michael P. Wright, and includes prose works by Bob Chikos, Gary Fincke, Jacqueline St. Joan, DC Berry, and Jon Peede. Front cover photograph, “Hongmei 120 Folding Camera” by John Zheng.
This issue’s Special Feature is “Beyond Illusory Space” by Albert Wong, who is also interviewed by John Zheng. Lauri Scheyer interviews Lenard D. Moore. In Haibun & Tanka Prose: Rich Youmans, Keith Polette, Ce Rosenow, and Terri L. French. Poetry by Elizabeth Burk, Ambrielle Butler, Andrea DEeken, Theodore Haddin, Charlene Langfur, Ann Lauinger, George Looney, Ted McCormack, Adam Moore, Steve Myers, Dan Pettee, Margo Taft Stever, and Jason Visconti. Find prose contributors at the Valley Voices website.
The Spring 2021 issue includes a special feature with work by Jim Kacian. In this section, John Zheng also interviews the poet. New prose by Ted McCormack, Sierra Tribbett-Collins, Khem K. Aryal, and DC Berry. Poetry by K. S. Hardy, and more.
The Fall 2020 issue of Valley Voices features poetry by Paul Mariani, Gary Fincke, Janet McCann, Luci Shaw, Marge Piercy, Ted Kooser, D. S. Martin, Walter Bargen, Virginia Sullivan, Ed Madden, Le Hinton, Joseph Pearce, Jean-Mark Sens, John J. Han, and more; memoirs by Billy Middleton, Frederick W. Bassett, and Carol Coffee Reposa; and articles & interviews by Bruce Boyd Raeburn, Adam Gussow, Joseph Millichap, Janet Greenlees, Dominic Reisig, John J. Han, Gab D. Smith and Thomas H. Sayre, and David Tisdale.
Visit this special issue on Mississippi. Poetry by George Drew, Jerry W. Ward Jr., Diane Williams, Charle R. Braxton, Kalamu ya Salaam, Angela Ball, Annette C. Boehm, Allison Campbell, Kendall Dunkelberg, and more; articles by John J. Han, Junying Jia, William Ferris, and Cassie Osborne Jr.; nonfiction by Hermine Pinson, Joseph Holt, and Kevin Baggett; and interviews with George Drew and Bennie Mae Fortune Harper. Plus, six book reviews.
Valley Voices brings readers a special edition on ekphrastic poetry with the Fall 2019 issue. Fifty-seven poems by forty-two poets follow the theme, and John J. Han pens the essay: “A Verbal Response to Visual Art: The popularity, Types, and Composition of Ekphrastic Poetry.”
Opening the issue is a sort of call and response between husband and wife duo Leo Touchet and Elizabeth Burk in “Louisiana: A Duet of Photographs and Poems.” Touchet’s photographs serve as inspiration for Burk’s poetry. After the selection, the two speak with Editor John Zheng about their work, both as individuals and as a creative pair.
Zheng introduces the issue with, “[ . . . ] ekphrastic expressions are not simple interpretations; they are, instead, reinterpretations that experiment with imagination, language, and synesthesia in the creative process of writing poetry.” Check out the creative experimentations in the Fall 2019 issue and let it inspire you to experiment with your own ekphrastic work.