As we start to welcome submissions for the next issue of Little Patuxent Review, we also welcome a new editor on board. After seven years at the helm of LPR, Steven Leyva has stepped down. We will dearly miss Steven and all that he’s brought to the journal, but we’re also thrilled to welcome Chelsea Lemon Fetzer as our new editor.
Chelsea is no stranger to the LPR community. A poet and fiction writer, she has served as a reader for LPR. and her poem “Sponge” appears in our Winter 2019 issue. Chelsea holds an MFA from Syracuse University and her work has also appeared in journals such as Callaloo, Tin House, Mississippi Review, and Minnesota Review. She lives in Baltimore, where she is mothering, teaching, working on a novel, and serving on the board of the CityLit project.
Chelsea recently shared what makes her most excited about taking on the editor role.
First, I’d like to give praise to Steven Leyva. One of the smartest readers I know, he served Little Patuxent Review with such elegant professionalism—for seven years! His example fills the sails for me. At Steven’s nudge, I first worked with LPR in 2018 as a poetry reader. It was a little glimpse into the collective dedication and generosity shared by those who work behind the scenes of this journal. Now, I am thrilled to get to rejoin the LPR team in this broader way.
We are awakening to how connection matters and what kind.
The immediate excitement for me, as we’ve just opened for submissions to LPR’s 29th issue, is in awaiting new creative work. This submission period, we are approaching half a year living with the COVID-19 pandemic, called to unrelenting action in support of racial justice, and anticipating a charged presidential election. I want to rant: times like these, we artists must… but I know it has all come beyond that. Right now is not like anything; it’s a question all its own. So many questions intersecting. We are isolated, divided, and at the same time delving more intentionally into the ways we can still communicate and find closeness. We are awakening to how connection matters and what kind. We are making things.
I won’t minimize the infinite ways artists may be working in this moment by attempting to name what we must…or might…. But I am clear that I am approaching my own writing in changed ways now. Listening to it closely. Depending on it more. And I want to know what you all are working on. I’m curious—what are you writing? Painting, shaping, playing, redoing? What are you inventing/holding/obsessing/no longer able to ignore? What grief, what joys, what beautiful little weed did you see for the first time ever? All of it.
So my excitement is there—in the possibilities of the work Little Patuxent Review will have an opportunity to publish and make known. I am excited about the ways two or ten submissions might speak to each other, though maybe their creators never met. I am excited how the connections and conversations possible within the pages of a literary journal are resilient, enduring. Every issue represents a unique collaboration unlike any before or any which will come after, the result of its own moment in time. This moment, this historic time, I get to be a part of that symphony.