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Table of Contents
From the Editor’s Desk (editorial)
Meg Eden – 4 poems (“Habu Sake”, “Bark Paintings of Fuji”, “I Don’t Like to Think About Emergency Rooms”, “Outdoor Wedding”)
Howard Winn – Saul Bellow, Chanler Chapman and Me (essay)
Claire Oleson – 2 poems (“Galleries”, “Currents”)
Thomas Elson – Through the Veil (fiction)
Russell Brakefield – 1 poem (“The High and Lonesome Sound”)
Interview with Debra Reid Jenkins
Marilyn Schotland – 3 poems (“Hymn to Aπλουν”, “after the fall”, “Sonnet for V.W.”)
Howard Hecht – Be Good (fiction)
John Davidson – The Hakl Trust (essay)
D.R. James – 2 poems (“Catalog of the Recover”, “Where the Water and Sand Dance”)
Jessica Demarest – How She Ended Up (fiction)
Kathleen Kelly – 2 poems (“Companions”, “Tree”)
Kathy Kehrli – Cousin Don (essay)
Cameron Morse – 3 poems (“Just Between the Two of Us”, “Route Setting”, “The Number Line”)
Jason Gillikin – From the Corner Office (editorial)
Front and back cover artwork courtesy of Debra Reid Jenkins
From the Editor’s Desk
Welcome to the Autumn 2016 issue of The 3288 Review. We have made it through another year, awash in submissions, suffering the slings and arrows out outrageous fortune and outage misfortunes. Once again we bring to you a volume of superb fiction, nonfiction and poetry from a pool of predominantly West Michigan talent.
In this issue we are finally able to fulfill one of our long-standing goals: to publish long-form journalism exploring the artistic landscape of our community.
Back in mid-July I spent a wonderful evening interviewing local artist Debra Reid Jenkins. Debra has been a friend for almost 20 years, and in that time she has achieved national success and recognition with her paintings of the Lake Michigan shoreline. The interview went off without a hitch, though the transcription service had some difficulty with artist names and technical terms. The wine might have had something to do with that.
Readying an interview for publication is a delicate process. Edit it too strictly and it reads like a school assignment or book report. Edit it too loosely and the interview is difficult to read and can feel inaccessible, like eavesdropping on a conversation in a noisy cafe.
I enjoyed listening to the recording of the interview as I edited. It was quite a learning experience. I discovered that I tend to stutter when trying to ask intelligent-sounding questions. I also, like, say “like” a lot. Like, easily 100 times throughout the evening. In my defense, I am a child of the ‘80s.
The audio recording of the Jenkins interview was around 90 minutes long. The raw transcript was just over 12,000 words. The completed interview as published is a little under 6,000 words. Most of the excised conversation was just that: conversation—places where we digressed into discussing our personal lives, or commenting on Debra’s dogs or the changes in the bird songs as the sun set. These were human moments—wonderful in person, but they didn’t translate well to the page. Much of the editing of the interview involved removing the informal elements, making it more literary and less personal.
The final version of the interview was the result of four complete rounds of edits. In each round I peeled away a layer of interpersonal communication. First I removed the vocal quirks. Then I cut out the banter and casual conversation and repetitive dialog. Then I removed the pieces which felt like I was trying to insert myself in the story or ask particularly leading questions. Finally I put on my editor hat and cleaned up the writing, just as I would with any other submission. Verbatim transcripts may be factually correct, but they are not always the truest representation of the experience.
As of this writing, we have conducted approximately three dozen short interviews with past contributors to this journal. With one exception, I have never met any of these people. I only know them through their work and through the answers to the questions. Where possible we conduct research beyond the brief author biographies, finding information so we can ask questions beyond the usual “What are you reading? What are you writing?”
The written interviews are more formal than those conducted in person. They progress more slowly, allowing contemplation and editing of both questions and answers. They allow our contributors to exercise at length the talents which brought them to our pages in the first place. They allow for a level of subtlety and nuance which is difficult to achieve with transcribed personal discussions. This helps to balance out the necessarily reduced personal connection.
But all of the interviews are interesting. And all of them are fun. And we have many more on the way.