At last, the warm, sticky days of summer have finally found us. Your favorite literary magazine staff is now able to go outside, lay in the sand, take a hike, and enjoy the great outdoors. We will have to sacrifice SOME time in the sun, though, as we received submissions for our July issue from over 50 different contributors. We're really looking forward to seeing how everyone interpreted the theme of "home".
For our June issue, we present to you a beautiful new background image (which you can also see in our new header), courtesy of previous poetry contributor Kelsey Dean. Kelsey tells us all about her work as an artist - particularly a photographer - in our first Tumblr feature on Wednesday. We're sure photographs are not the only thing Kelsey takes away from her travels, and we hope to feature more of her written work in the future.
We received a really eager response from our readers after last month's newsletter asked for more non-fiction submissions, as well as ideas for columns. Thanks to everyone who reached out, and please - keep those great ideas coming! We would love to feature more work on current events, columns (even ones that aren't featured every month) and whatever else our talented contributors can cook us. Email us to brainstorm!
We also want to send out a big thank-you to everyone who shares the word about RPD. We have readers now on five continents, who have a variety of countries of origins, and speak a host of languages. Thank you to all of our readers for sharing us, and for returning to us every week days for a new work of art.
Quick reminders: we will be accepting works of poetry, fiction, & non-fiction from the 15th to the 30th of June. Work sent before then will not be considered. We are always looking for new ideas or projects, so if you have something you'd like RPD to be involved in, don't hesitate to ask! We love our big, beautiful RPD family, all of whom are ready for some UV rays, ready to get their gears turning, and (as always) are -
Not For the Faint of Heart.
Remember to check out RPD's weekly artist features every Wednesday on our Tumblr! You can access it by clicking "blog" on the RPD site or visit rpdsociety.tumblr.com
Transitions in Time The Editorial Staff contemplates how time moves us all:
JORDAN: I always saved my agenda books when I was in school. I would look back through them at the end of the year to relive all of the wonderful things I'd done. But I also know what it is to have an empty agenda book, devoid of checked off lists and plans. We think of the transition of time in many ways, linear and non-linear, but we always find a way to mark it. Moon cycles, sunrises, birthdays, seasons. When one thing bleeds into the next we begin to wonder - where does one's time start, and has it already ended?
JEN: You may have heard otherwise, but in Buffalo there's actually a lot to do year-round; it's just that most of it takes place indoors. So when the weather starts to warm up, Buffalonians celebrate with outdoor festivals galore. To me, there are four seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and festivals. For several years now, I've tried to hit up just about every festival, and that's the thing I most associate with summer: walking around on a blocked-off street that I'm used to driving down, smelling all the amazing food, trying to convince one of my friends to go on the rickety carnival rides with me, stopping in every tent to see what they're selling, etc. It's the best time of the year.
ADAM: Thinking on transition, a Margaret Atwood poem ticks 'round the crevices in my brain: "Last year I abstained / this year I devour // without guilt / which is also an art."In my case, I suppose, certain parts are transposed. I've devoured, and now I abstain. Last year was mess and cigarette breath. This year is smaller messes and compulsive gum-chewing, yet still playing with lighters to occupy some strange anxiety manifesting in my fingers that relentlessly taunts, "unhinge that zippo in your pocket, over and over." A mantra and a ritual. Even without the cigarettes, the metallic clicks feel and sound a little bit like an uncomfortable nostalgia, dregs from the mess and the cigarette breath, that still yearn to be felt.
BEE:It used to be that every story I told about my childhood "happened at the age of 7." There's no way this is possible, but it's as if all of my memories fell off their shelves, and in a rush, I just threw them all together on one. Time is an ocean of bookshelves, probably. Or perhaps it's buckets of scrap paper. It used to be something I fought against, non-linear and argumentative. Now, it's postulatory. I don't know when it happened (ironically?) but I seemingly let go of the reigns of knowing mine and other's history and find myself presented with new pasts and old futures every day. The stories of my childhood are happening as we speak.
WILSON: Soon, those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere will experience the longest day of our year (June 21st, for those of you following along from home). Usually this means very little to me – I live on the forty-third parallel, where the changing lengths of days can be hard to spot. My family, however, lives in Alaska, where they will lose almost half an hour off their day over the course of a single week. For them, June 21st marks the beginning of shorter and shorter days, until, in 26 weeks, there will only be a few hours of sun. Thinking of them reminds me that, despite how it may seem, days are getting shorter. If you need me, I’ll be capitalizing on the sunshine while I’ve still got it.
KAITY: any one of my friends could tell you one (or two... or three...) stories about how i HAVE no concept of time, when it comes to being on it. i'm generally late for everything, always five minutes and a breathless excuse behind. i've always just accepted it as a flaw in my makeup, my tendency to wait just a bit too long and push just a bit too far when it comes to getting ready or leaving the house or movin' and shakin' when i oughta be. but here's the question - why? what am i really doing instead of paying attention to the time? and how much have i already missed?
Writing Prompts There are many ways to perceive time. The staff offers these prompts to help you write about it:
JORDAN:Pick a song that meant a great deal to you five or more years ago. Listen to the song while laying down in a quiet room (preferably through headphones.) Close your eyes. Spend the duration of the song trying to picture yourself laying down and listening to that song during the time when it was important to you. Relive that moment, relive who you were. Write about the things you felt, the things that triggered the memory.
JEN:Get a physical calendar or date book, close your eyes, flip through it and randomly pick one day. Write about the associations your culture has with the date or time period (for example, if the 18th of October isn't significant, try writing about late October) and whether it means the same things to you or something different.
ADAM: Unearth some old photographs--whether they be of you, loved ones, etc. Compare and contrast the changes you see in them, then vs. now. Write any reflections that might occur on the past represented in those photographs, how they differ from the present.
BEE:Write out a memory you have as if it's happening in front of you, and you've never experienced it before.
WILSON: Write a story that takes place over the course of a single hour. Then, go out into the world – and leave behind your watch, your phone, and your sundial. Try to return home in exactly an hour. Repeat this exercise until you are intimately familiar with what an hour feels like. Return to your story and add, cut, and revise until it becomes an accurate hour.
KAITY: take a moment and think of one of the most important memories in your life - a celebration, a death, a new beginning, a small occurrence that moved you. now, imagine that instead of actually being there... you've missed it. write about the feeling that invokes in you. it could be extreme; happy, sad, defeated. feel that emotion deep in your molecular make up and transcribe it onto paper.
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