Issue Seven | Contributors & Excerpts
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Letter From the Editor
We are pleased to present here, in our seventh issue, the winners and finalists of our inaugural October Prizes in Fiction and Poetry. Fiction judge Sara Pritchard lauds Lara Palmqvist's winning story "Beneath New Skies" for its ability to "make the ordinary seem extraordinary and the extraordinary seem ordinary," its "lush language and concrete details." Poetry judge Phillip B. Williams commends the "beautiful, taut mystery" of Caroline Chavatel's winning poem "The Given, These Bodies."
Our interview series Five Questions for Five Poets continues, this time around, with important, irresistible discourse from Kazim Ali, Laura Mullen, Chloe Honum, Stuart Barnes, and Benjamin Myers. Appearing in this issue for the first time in English are stories by Tony Duvert and Manuel Moyano.
The uniqueness of language as a force at once tender and dispassionate unfolds throughout the work collected here, from Allan Peterson's three poems that faithfully wed thought and observation, to Joe Aguilar's backward glance forward at aging, to the messages that appear from Evelyn Hampton's "Jay" in writing and in the gestures of the physical world, to the inside-out interrogation of the soul in Owen McLeod's "An Argument from the Phaedo," to the effervescent brutality that gives way from a Russian pie hat, a song, and a mutton dinner in Sara Pritchard's "Notes on Rudolph Nureyev's Hat."
Since this body of work was written prior to the recent ascension of demagogues to power in the US—dangerous people, in our context, because they represent a large authority not generally inclined to acknowledge the importance of language to compassion and the human condition—it is tempting to read this book as an alarm bell, a paean, even a protest. While The Cossack Review has not thus been in any way a "political" magazine except insofar as we—the editors, contributors, and readers—are all together and altogether political individuals, I urge you to read it in this way. Think this way about all the writing and reading you do. Refuse to stop or change course in using art and language to make life go forward in a way that would make your worst critic afraid to miss what you have said.
- Christine Gosnay