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Before

by Jaydn DeWald

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Jaydn DeWald serves as Senior Poetry Editor for Silk Road Review, and his own work has appeared or is forthcoming in Barn Owl Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Columbia Poetry Review, Fairy Tale Review, The National Poetry Review, West Branch, Witness, and many others. He currently lives with his wife and daughter in Athens, Georgia, where he’s pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Georgia.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Before”?

“Before” is part of a series of prose pieces, each of which takes as its engine of composition a single word—in this instance, “space.” These pieces allow me to explore the flexibility and mutability of words as material, like wood, and to stretch the work’s capacity for leaping.

Hitchcock used to appear as an extra in each of his films. But later, when he realized that his audience was inspecting every scene, essentially removing themselves (in order to spot him) from the drama of the story, he began to appear within the first few minutes. “Before” is quite the opposite—it makes Hitchcock, so to speak, an extra in every scene. The continual appearance of the word “space” becomes, in other words, a distracting game that facilitates unusual movement: the rest of the language can travel more freely and yet remain, however tenuously, connected.

The Delany epigraph (from Dhalgren) plays on the erotic shifts in pronouns: “. . . in this spaceless preserve where any slippage can occur . . .”

News

Congrats to the Best Small Fictions nominations from Matter Press for Compressed Creative Arts: Sara Backer’s “Oh, What a Night”; Dan Crawley’s “Powers”; Jill Talbot’s “Malahat Highway on Boxing Day”; Christopher Allen’s “Falling Man;” and Kathy Fish’s “Five Micros.” Congrats to Christopher Allen for being chosen to appear in BSF 2019 from Sonder Press.

Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

Submissions

Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions is now open. Check out our new category triptychs! The submission period closes June 15, 2019; submit here.

Upcoming

05/23 • Nance Van Winckel (1 of 8)
05/30 • Nance Van Winckel (2 of 8)
06/05 • Rachel Rodman
06/06 • Nance Van Winckel (3 of 8)
06/10 • Erica Soon Olsen
06/12 • Beverly Jackson
06/13 • Nance Van Winckel (4 of 8)
06/17 • Avra Margariti
06/19 • Tommy Dean
06/20 • Nance Van Winckel (5 of 8)
06/24 • Stephen Reaugh
06/26 • Hege Lepri
06/27 • Nance Van Winckel (6 of 8)
07/01 • Danielle Hark
07/03 • Shirley Harshenin
07/04 • Nance Van Winckel (7 of 8)
07/08 • Matthew Barrett
07/10 • Andrew Stevens
07/11 • Nance Van Winckel (8 of 8)
07/15 • Peter Cherches
07/17 • Christopher Ryan
07/18 • Alex Durham
07/22 • Jessica Kehinde Ngo
07/24 • Jillian Pretzel
07/25 • Danielle Hark (1 of 6)
07/29 • Theresa Senato Edwards
07/31 • Stephanie Dickinson
08/01 • Danielle Hark (2 of 6)
08/05 • Callista Buchen
08/07 • Sara Elkamel
08/08 • Danielle Hark (3 of 6)
08/12 • Steven Ostrowski
08/14 • Karie Luidens
08/15 • Danielle Hark (4 of 6)
08/19 • Nick Ackerson
08/21 • Tyler Friend
08/22 • Danielle Hark (5 of 6)
08/26 • Suzanne Verrall
08/28 • Amelia Wright
08/29 • Danielle Hark (6 of 6)
09/05 • Richard Baldasty (1 of 4)
09/12 • Richard Baldasty (2 of 4)
09/19 • Richard Baldasty (3 of 4)
09/26 • Richard Baldasty (4 of 4)
12/23 • Tara Campbell