Back to Issue Thirty

Editors’ Note

Peter LaBerge, Founder & Editor-in-Chief
Heidi Seaborn, Editorial Director


The 30th issue of The Adroit Journal came together over many months, yet it arrives as the perfect response to this season. TR Brady’s short story “Missouri” sends a chill down our spines with “November’s hard residue”. Alexa Winik sets the stage in “Rusalka, to Her Therapist” with her beginning lines: “When I left for the river, the townspeople called it / a bad death, a haunting.”

More than anything, however, we’re approaching November—our ninth November as a literary publication—with immense gratitude. On the heels of a fantastic reading as part of San Francisco’s 2019 Litquake Festival, we bid adieu to San Francisco. This is prime time for us to reflect on all that our homebase, and the last three years, have given us.

Indeed, ghosts from the past appear throughout this issue. Sometimes one’s own history is haunting, such as in Oliver La Paz’s “Diaspora Sonnet 42” and Gabriella R. Tallmadge’s “Ex-Votos for Alcoholism”. Or Erika Meitner’s “Missing Parts”, which journeys the topography of loss and love. From Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach’s “Potatoes Don’t Have Much to do with Light” and Eileen Huang’s “Apocalypse Now” to Jakob Maier’s “Ghost Chair”, ghosts are acknowledged, present, and desired: “We keep / each other from vanishing.”   

As you read this issue, we invite you to meet—or at least recognize—your ghosts and how they’ve led you to the person you are today. We hope the work in Issue 30 will surprise and linger with you—perhaps even haunt you. As Mary Ruefle says in her conversation with Lisa Grgas, “What matters [is] that poetry has a long life of its own, not dependent on poems ‘lasting’. It is poetry itself that lasts.”


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Peter LaBerge (Founder & Editor-in-Chief) has been recognized—from TED to Teen Vogue—for his work as a writer and publisher. He is the recipient of a 2020 Pushcart Prize, and his work has appeared in AGNI, Crazyhorse, Harvard Review, Indiana Review, Iowa Review, Kenyon Review Online, Pleiades, and Tin House, among others. He founded the Adroit Journal in 2010, and founded the Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program in 2013. Click here to learn more about Peter.


Heidi Seaborn (Editorial Director) is the author the award-winning debut book of poetry Give a Girl Chaos {see what she can do} (C&R Press/Mastodon Books, 2019). Since Heidi started writing in 2016, she’s won or been shortlisted for nearly two dozen awards including the International Rita Dove Award in Poetry and been published by numerous journals and anthologies such as the Missouri Review, Mississippi Review, Penn Review and Tar River. She’s also the author of a chapbook and a political poetry pamphlet. She is a New York University MFA candidate and graduated from Stanford University and is on the board of Tupelo Press. Click here to learn more.


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