LITERARY ORPHANS ISSUE 19: Letter From The Editor [Reprint]

This Letter From The Editor was originally printed in the latest issue of Literary Orphans on June 10, 2015. It’s my debut as editor-in-chief of the journal, finally coming out of the shadows and getting a little more hands-on with LO. If you follow me and haven’t checked it out, I’d heavily recommend it. Not just because I’m involved. If you read the letter, you’ll see that I intend for it to be something greater than myself, something greater than all of us.

I’ve decided to reprint the letter on my personal site because of all the outpouring of support I’ve gotten for it. I was worried it wouldn’t fly, but people love it. One commentator even said it was reminiscent of Thomas Paine. The comparison made me blush.


Dear Orphans & Orphanettes,

When Executive Director Mike Joyce asked me to steer the Literary Orphans ship, I’ll admit, a sense of worry washed over me. Apocalyptic visions of cities crumbling to their foundations rattled me. I had memories of movies I had seen where all that stood of civilization was a weathered Big Ben jutting out of a pile of rubble. Mike was doing a great job, and the last thing I wanted to do was come in like a bumbling lab assistant and mix up the formula.

So I dipped into the LO ether. I revisited our earliest notes three years ago, back when LO was a mere thought, and imbibed those ambitions. I poured through old “Letters From The Editor,” starting with the very first one in Literary Orphans Issue 1: Babe. At times, my journey felt like being reintroduced to an old friend, and at other times, it felt like I had seen a ghost, as if I were viewing stills of a past incarnation no longer with us. It’s true that LO has gone through changes, many of which were cosmetic, but the same heart still beats at its core. It just looks different. The journal has grown into new clothes.

In my many notes I passed back and forth with Mike, one of the constants was this idea of Literary Orphans as a media identity. What were we? Were we a counterculture outfit? Were we a haven for the disenfranchised? Were we the explorers that sailed against the winds?

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