from the publisher
october 19, 2002
We are sorry to have kept you waiting since the release of our last issue and hope you have found other items to occupy your time. We at OtP have been on vacation, gone back to school, had babies, trained for a marathon, added new staff, lost old staff, written a book or two, climbed a mountain, found love, lost keys, and missed deadlines.
This brings us to our current issue, Kin.
Kin emerged from a Mothers and Daughters issue that was set to run in May, but somehow the glue that made it OtP wasn't there. So we read more submissions and waited, and read and waited. And when we received Joby Bass's "Armadillo Hunting with an Old Man," we found what we were looking for—stories, poems, and images that suggest the understandings and conflicts between generations and family members, not just mothers and daughters.
In her photos and accompanying essay, Sharing Talia, Andrea Coombes describes life as a young single mother, with a warmth, honesty, and humor that avoids clichés. Joby Bass's essay reveals how a shotgun, a Buick, and a slow-moving armadillo were part of a meaningful family ritual in rural Louisiana. In Edith Pearlman's story, On Our Own, the changing routine of the family dog reflects deeper changes in family structure.
In poetry, Leone Scanlon's Bedtime Story tells of coffee, jazz, and long nights in an island cottage. John Grey's poem, All Hell at 55, takes us on a funny but painful road trip. Angela Mankiewicz's The Touch of Her Skin portrays an odd and uncomfortable moment when a child becomes a caregiver. Poet Maggi Grace records the odd sensations of a grooming activity in Ironing My Hair. Todd Schindler's sharply funny limerick, McDadd Arrives Late to the Party, imparts a strange and clever twist on mother/son relations. And finally, in Return, Darcy Cummings subtly and beautifully depicts the challenges of a mother returning to her role after an absence.
Our tales from the past highlights some previously published work touching on issues of family, and in OtP suggests kin we offer a selection of books to read, films to watch, and music to enjoy.
We have more to say—that poetry submissions are still closed until 2003, that our next issue will be on Food, that we're sorry if you have submitted work but haven't yet heard from us because we are behind in reading submissions, and that we hope you enjoy this issue—but we'll save it until next time.