Exploring Modern Magical Realism

l e t t e r   f r o m   t h e   e d i t o r   ~   a u t u m n   2 0 0 5

To subscribers, contributors and friends of Margin:

Come join us for a terrific lineup of stories, poems, debates and more in our Autumn 2005 Edition, which includes the voices, visions and ideas of the marvelously familiar company we keep, such as:

Kathleen Alcalα • Sherman Alexie • Naomi Ayala • Joe Benevento • Jorge Luis Borges • Kamau Brathwaite • Joseph Bruchac • Michelle Cliff • Paola Corso • Maureen Tolman Flannery • Gabriel Garcνa Mαrquez • Ιdouard Glissant • Joy Harjo • Adrianne Harun • Linda Hogan • Steve Martin • Gina Ochsner • Nnedimma Okorafor • Daniel Olivas • Simon Ortiz • Gregory Rabassa • Dee Rimbaud • Garrett Rowlan • Bruce Taylor • Mark Twain and others
In this jam-packed issue, you'll find all the regular (ahem) goods...
an ailing girl with spirits for friends • Melancholy Whores • evidence of Aztec gods at play • a missing uterus • the romance of a flying cyclist • an entourage of birds • mystery berries at the market • a new conceptualization of shadow boxing • strange brew • a cigar-smoking ghost • great white ghost ships • a mermaid on trial for murder • mountains with real faces • a selkie who burns her own skin • the living flesh of trees • a 50-year-old tempest • art that truly comes alive • the knitting of a baby • books that change into bananas • a girl who lives in a tree • tiny, death-bearing angels • a triptych on the magic of air • Okay, Crazy Horse walks into a bar… • a condemned man surviving eight bullet-hole wounds • talking ice • an unwitting resurrection of road kill…
Just another typical day in the neighborhood, right?

Some announcements:

• You'll be seeing some major CHANGES at Margin in 2006. One we'll reveal to you right now. Starting in the first half of 2006, you'll be receiving several smaller (but no less dynamic and fabulous) editions based upon theme. We've had such a great response to our general calls for submissions and contests that we've accrued a tremendous bank of new work to share, and by bringing these works to you in smaller, for focused editions, we'll best manage to share our wealth with you.

First up: Season of Spirit, launch date December 15 (a broad cast into the world of spirits and belief systems). You can expect appearances from Rudolfo Anaya, Allen Braden, Joan Crooks, Maureen Tolman Flannery, Stephen Gibson, Richard Jay Goldstein, Daniel Jaffe, Sonda Kelly-Green, Sheila Nickerson, Richard Peabody, Shira Richman and others.
Also coming:
February 14: "Isn't It Romantic?"—the marvels of love
March 1: "Women's Wisdom"—celebrating National Women's History Month
April 22: "Celebrate the Earth"—naturalized magical realism
May 1: "Domesticities"—MR in the everyday
June 9: "A World of Magical Realism"—an international survey

The rest of the major changes are all SURPRISES. Look for the crystal ball icon at the top the contents page starting in December and with each successive edition of Margin for hints about our upcoming improvements.

• Our general reading period is still CLOSED. Sorry, we've got 2006 filled! Stay tuned for news about upcoming calls for submissions, and see below. There's also been a CHANGE IN PLANS regarding our "Passages to India" theme. Since we revamped the schedule, we've decided to turn that theme into an extensive article for inclusion in "A World of Magical Realism." Therefore, we're not accepting any more submissions for this special theme call for submissions; thanks, but we have everything we need for a fabulous article on MR from the subcontinent.

• ACTIVE CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS! Our Hurricane Relief project, Southern Revival: Deep South Magic for Hurricane Relief is off to a good start. We're collecting donations and manuscripts for a special edition of Periphery to be released in Spring 2006. Interested in reserving your copy, submitting a manuscript or giving a donation? We're asking for $10 minimum, 100% of each donation forwarded to First Book. Our goal? $2,500. That amount of money will enable First Book to provide 5,000 books to hurricane-devastated libraries in the South.

• Because we're in the midst of a vortex of cool changes at Margin, we're inviting everyone and anyone to give us their FEEDBACK. What's worked for you? What hasn't? What would you like to see at Margin that we haven't already done? What really isn't worth our effort? Go to the survey page to download your poll and let us know how we're doing. Your responses will help shape the coming future of Margin.

• What's Back? In case you haven't noticed, our MAGICAL REALISM NEWS BLOG is up and running again. We took a break over the summer and fall while we focused on producing the Autumn edition and outlining the broad array of changes coming to Margin next year. But the blog is back and better than ever. If you have any magical realism news you'd like to contribute, drop me an email at:

• What's Not Back (at least not yet)? Our MR re-reader's diary, TWO-WAY MIRROR, is still on hiatus until some time in 2006. It's resurrection will be held as part of the dramatic transformation of Margin later this year. Stay tuned.

• We're currently considering all suggestions for NOMINATIONS to Pushcart, The Year's Best NonRequired Reading and The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. If you've got some favorite works at Margin or Periphery that were published between January 2005 and now (including today's issue), do let us know. Make it soon, we'll be making our final decisions on Wednesday November 23. Send your nominations to:

• THROUGH THE DIGICAM, our anniversary year in pictures, has been officially updated. Not a lot of exciting footage over the fall, unless you consider a picture of Margin staffers reading or working on a computer as scintillating. We'll have a few more at the end of the year, but in the meantime, you can take a gander at what the year's been like for us. In three words: busy, gratifying, celebratory.

In the meantime, enjoy this amazing issue! And for our American readership, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Here at Margin, we always have lots to be THANKFUL for: great contributors, enthusiastic readers, thoughtful letters, generous donors, understanding families, the best co-workers in the world. Thanks to all of our subscribers, especially, for giving us that extra kick to keep things moving forward.

Tamara Kaye Sellman, Editor and Publisher
aka The Magical Realism Maven


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Rev'd 2005/11/18