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 Reese’s ‘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 cow-y 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 cow-y 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
Sean Forbes, First Prize
Lori Carriere, Second Prize
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
Jennifer Orlando, Poetry
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 undergraduate
Val Doughty, First Prize
Miranda Depoi, Second Prize
Daniel Gregory, Third Prize
The Aetna Undergraduate Creative Nonfiction Award
Given by the Aetna Chair in Writing to support excellence in undergraduate creative nonfiction
Michael Schrage
The Long River Graduate Writing Award
For the best piece of writing in any genre by a graduate
Gordon Fraser
The Long River Art Award
Sarah McKay, Silkscreen
The Gloriana Gill Art Awards
Madeline Mackey Bey, Photography
Paulina Perlwitz, Painting


Editor-in-Chief | Michael Pontacoloni
Faculty Advisor | Ellen Litman
Managing Editor and Public Relations Manager | Amanda Wisniewski
Poetry Editor | Jennifer Orlando
Fiction Editor | Brian Brennan
Creative Nonfiction Editor | Annie Brooks
Copy Editors | Nathan Bean, Amanda Wisniewski, Michelle Firestone
Art Director | Edvin Yegir

Poetry Panelists:
Katie Jordan
Iliana Luciano
Tina Parziale
Liz Bologna
Joe Welch
Michael Pontacoloni

Fiction Panelists:
Benjamin Guerette
Daniel Gregory
Michelle Firestone
Nathan Bean
Reed Immer
Chelsea Dodds

Creative Nonfiction Panelists:
Michael Samiotes
Amanda Wisniewski
Kenzi Wilbur
Rachel Madariaga
Michael Schrage
Crsytal Maldonado
Ali Jaffery

Stephanie Mullins
Kristi-Lynn Jacovino
Emily Giorgione
Kathryn Keller
Heather Lumley


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