This issue of TLR is proud to point out that two Kentucky Poet Laureates accepted our invitation to serve as Guest Editors for this issue: newly appointed fiction writer and poet Crystal Wilkinson has participated in selecting fiction in this issue, and Maureen Morehead, a former Kentucky Poet Laureate, 2011-12, also participated in selecting poetry. Two feathers in our cap to have these remarkable women aboard! Along with Editor Sena Jeter Naslund, who also served as a Kentucky Poet Laureate in 2005-6, that’s 2 + 1 = 3 happy women who truly love the literary arts.

The front cover of this issue features a painted collage by Martha Corazon titled Mountain Village, a low relief sculpture made of hand-torn, painted paper, purchased by Editor Sena Jeter Naslund from the artist in Boston in the late 1990’s. Naslund reflects that she “especially loved its flamboyant, colorful, non-realistic response both to landscape and to the human creation nestled at its center. It seemed a most hopeful and jubilant idea: that we can coexist—mere people and mighty mountains; perhaps people can adapt to nature and practice joy and difference in many fragments, both large and small.” The painting is accompanied by a memoir of Corazon written by her friend, fiction writer Robin Lippincott, author of Blue Territory, a book about the life and work of modernist painter Joan Mitchell.

In Laurie Fader’s painting Perseverance, featured on our back cover, the human figure, a woman traveler, is challenged by the rising water and flotsam of a flooded city. In Biblical lore the man-made world was destroyed for its wickedness by water; here, perhaps in tandem with scientists’ little-heeded global warnings of rising ocean waters, a city is being swamped. In this chaotic world, the female figure that dominates the painting knows her own direction and energy, and the Devil can take the hindmost. TLR Associate Editor Flora K. Schildknecht comments on this work in the short essay, “Re/Visioning Female Resistance: Perseverance by Laurie Fader.”

This issue also engages something of the landscape and lifestyles of Tibet, in new poems by Emily Jane O’Dell with co-translations by Sonam Dungtso featuring Tibetan and English script, as well as stories set in Pakistan and Russia, by Samina Hadi-Tabassum and Anastasia Dreval.

TLR #89 also connects former times with the current national reckoning with racial injustice. Long ago, there was a city police commissioner, in Birmingham, Alabama (where Naslund grew up) who was the epitome of racism and injustice. Now poet Elizabeth Hughey has a new collection titled White Bull which addresses that difficult time, both in its racism and its sexism in repressing girls of any color. Every poem of Police Commissioner Bull Connor is made from the letters in his name, disassembled and rearranged. The Louisville Review is honored to be able to offer our readers a preview of this amazing collection, published in fall of 2021 by Louisville’s stellar press, Sarabande, edited by Sarah Gorham.

Editor: Sena Jeter Naslund
Associate Editor: Flora K. Schildknecht
Managing Editor: Amy Foos Kapoor
Guest Poetry Editors: Wanda Fries, Maureen Morehead, Alan J. Naslund

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