From the Editor’s Desk
  Kate Bernadette Benedict

A Thriving Time for Umbrella Journal

It has been an especially lively and challenging reading period, as it always is when we publish our annual double issue of Umbrella and Bumbershoot. Our thanks to the myriad submitters who came to us from all over the world. Visits to Umbrella continue to grow, with an average of 8,000 per month, and as many as 30,000 page views per month, with only about 600 attributed to the submit page, always a popular page for journals with an online presence. Of course, it’s hard to determine how many “unique” visitors these statistics entail, but even if that figure is as low as 10%, these stats are a measure of how wide-reaching an electronic journal can be.

Speaking of Bumbershoot, for this issue we are very pleased indeed to be featuring children’s verse by Richard Wilbur. Do check it out!

A Little Summer Cento 

It’s been some time since I celebrated Umbrella’s contibutors by composing in their honor a cento (a poem composed of isolated lines from poems). So here is one with a line from each of this issue’s Orsorum poets, verbatim lines with only some new punctuation for easier reading.

Summer Cento

Perhaps you don’t remember him at all
a varmint striped by mange and shivering in the desert,
marshaled, tethered and starved out of its mind.
But even if you didhow could you know?
Stalin in 1932 decreed
something is wrong with the earth.
I already have some sense of how
the fuzzy impersonality of his vision
was missing more than one upright. They made
lewd displays of irregular anatomy:
gang language, I’ve been told, and I’ll admit
shouting again at the slightest infraction.

Blow hot breath on us, constricted in fists!
Slowly fall into bottomless sedation,
a black suspension in the cobalt sky.
It turns night day, God godless, love abstract.

Call for Submissions

For the Fall 2009 Umbrella (pub date September 1) we will be reading both unthemed and themed poetry and prose. For the themed section, we are looking for poems that have something to do with school subjects, e.g., history, geography, science, math, languages, etc. Understand, we are not looking for retrospective poems that deal with your school days, but rather poems that engage with the subjects themselves. We welcome your submissions. Deadline: August 10th.

This Issue’s Art

Since this issue of Umbrella includes the Bumbershoot annual, we thought some whimsy was in order for both our lighter and our serious editions. For the main journal, we welcome the art of Nanette J. Purcigliotti. Nanette writes feature articles and is an illustrator in New York City. Her work has been exhibited at the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and in The Marymount Manhattan Review. Her illustration “The Runners” was one of the selected posters in the juried show of ACM SIGGRAPH, the special interest group of the Association for Computing Machnery on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, founded in 1947 and the world's first scientific and educational computing society.

She recently finished Orpheus Redux, her novel for young adults which portrays Orpheus in the 21st century, plucking his strings and kicking a soccer ball.    Visit her website.

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