Big news, which goes public tomorrow: I've accepted a position as CRAFT Literary Journal's first Creative Nonfiction editor.
I've been working on our launch behind the scenes with Katelyn Keating, the Editor in Chief, for a while. Chose some reprints to inaugurate their first-ever creative nonfiction publications and that was hard. Wrote craft-based introductions to the reprints, and that was hard too (also exhilarating, combining my scholar's and teacher's and writer's approaches to close reading). There have been some permissions difficulties, which Katelyn has been dealing with, so only three of the potential five are definite, all flash and essays that I love: Jaquira Diaz (who goes live tomorrow), Ryan Van Meter (a short essay I've taught many times), and Ira Sukrungruang. Fingers crossed about two more writers that I have my heart set on.
When I was thinking about the introduction for Ira's beautiful flash "Because, the Ferguson Verdict," I ran across something he said in ESSAY DAILY earlier that year about why stories matter.
"We live in a new America, I tell my students. A diverse America, a multicultural America, and our stories matter more now than in any part of our history. I tell them we are no longer under the thumb, but rather we are the thumb, and we are here to make an imprint on this country. … What I want to ingrain in my students—whether they will become writers or not, whether they will go on to write a memoir or not—is that they and their stories matter, that their tellings of their stories matter, that how they tell their stories matters most.”
So much of what he says informed my years of teaching creative nonfiction and ethnic American literature. And it applies to my new editorial job too. CRAFT has a long-standing commitment to publishing diverse voices, a great team of editors and large, diverse team of readers. True stories "matter now more than in any part of our history," and "how" those stories are told matters too.
I'm honored to be working with such a great editorial team and editor in chief. And excited by the challenge.