LRR 2009

Letter from the Editor

Listen. It’s past midnight on a Wednesday. I’m in clas 147, editing the magazine you’re reading the preface to. I have a little portable radio. I have lamplight. I also just bought a reeses whips bar from the vending machine down the hall. It was awful. They tried to make it light and fluffy, like whipped cream, but the consistency was way off.

A passing mention of dairy, however, brings up an important issue: a stupidly high number of people call Connecticut a cow state. I hear students complain about how there is nothing in this state but cows. People joke about going cow tipping. Every time someone comes out with a “You Might be from Connecticut if…” list one post is always “…If you have cows in your backyard” or “…If you live within 100 feet of a farm.” The thing is, Connecticut is not a cow state. In fact, it’s probably one of the least cowy states of all. Regard a statistical comparison: In Connecticut there is one dairy cow for every 146 people. In Vermont there is one for every five. In Connecticut there are about four dairy cows per square mile. In Wisconsin, there are eighteen. Information on beef production in Connecticut is tough to find, but I’m certain we don’t have thirteen million heads of cattle, which is how many they produce in Texas every year.

This rash of people claiming that Connecticut is a cow state suggests to me a collective misunderstanding among the population, an ignorance of how much the 3rd smallest state can offer. What exactly it offers beyond insurance and beaches with no waves I haven’t fully cataloged, but I do know that, if nothing else, it offers the 2009 Long River Review. It’s this little magazine you’re reading, and it’s what’s keeping me now, sustained at a time when vending machines have failed me and I’m prone to tangents on agriculture. It’s the poems and stories inside that sustain me, these works of literature that could never be individually wrapped, retrieved with quarters and keystrokes, then restocked; these stories of aging astronauts and anamorphic teenagers, of partially digested women and time-travelers; these poems of dead mice and dead ladybugs and living origami; these accounts from the deserts of Iraq and the deserts of film school; these beautiful works of art. And within these subjects there is such profound nutrition, such evocative presentations of loss, of death, of love, and of growing up on what is admittedly a very cowy campus. Separately they represent the broadest variety of style and emotion. But here they are combined into a single volume, perfect in its consistency of quality and passion. Student writing is so often dismissed as unrefined and unimportant, as mere candy. I promise you, reader: the magazine you hold in your hand is as refreshing and enriching as a cold glass of milk.

Michael Pontacoloni


Prize Winners

The Wallace Stevens Poetry Prize

For the best group of poems by a graduate or undergraduate
Isla Providencia” by Sean Forbes, First Prize
Dandelion Patch” by Lori Carriere, Second Prize
How to Fold a Paper Crane” by Nicole Rubin, Third Prize

The Edward R. and Frances Schreiber Collins Literary Prize

Given by David and Emily Collins for the best poem and best prose work by an undergraduate
What the Body Does” by Jennifer Orlando, Poetry
Nahariya” by Emily Lyon, Prose

The Jennie Hackman Memorial Award for Short Fiction

Awarded in Memory of Jacob and Jennie Hackman for the best work of short fiction by an undergradate
Goodnight, Jack” by Val Doughty, First Prize
The Turtle Problem” by Miranda Depoi, Second Prize
Deer” by Daniel Gregory, Third Prize

The Aetna Undergraduate Creative Nonfiction Award

Given by the Aetna Chair in Writing to support excellence in undergraduate creative nonfiction
Memories Fade” by Michael Schrage

The Long River Graduate Writing Award

For the best piece of writing in any genre by a graduate
Serial Monogamy” by Gordon Fraser

The Long River Art Award

Sarah McKay, Silkscreen

The Gloriana Gill Art Awards

Madeline Mackey Bey, Photography
Paulina Perlwitz, Painting


Staff

  • Editor in Chief
    Michael Pontacoloni
  • Faculty Advisor
    Ellen Litman
  • Managing Editor &
    Public Relations Manager

    Amanda Wisniewski
  • Poetry Editor
    Jennifer Orlando
  • Poetry Panel
    Katie Jordan
    Iliana Luciano
    Tina Parziale
    Liz Bologna
    Joe Welch
    Michael Pontacoloni
  • Fiction Editor
    Brian Brennan
  • Fiction Panel
    Benjamin Guerette
    Daniel Gregory
    Michelle Firestone
    Nathan Bean
    Reed Immer
    Chelsea Dodds
  • Creative Nonfiction Editor
    Annie Brooks
  • Creative Nonfiction Panel
    Michael Samiotes
    Amanda Wisniewski
    Kenzi Wilbur
    Rachel Madariaga
    Michael Schrage
    Crsytal Maldonado
    Ali Jaffery
  • Copy Editors
    Nathan Bean
    Amanda Wisniewski
    Michelle Firestone
  • Art Director
    Edvin Yegir
  • Designers
    Stephanie Mullins
    Kristi-Lynn Jacovino
    Emily Giorgione
    Kathryn Keller
    Heather Lumley