Geraldine Cannon Becker
Volume II (Summer 2007)
ISSN 1934-4324

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Chaos & Creativity:

The Healing Power of Art


At long last, we have our second issue ready for you. We apologize for the long delay. The theme for this issue is: Chaos and Creativity: The Healing Power of Art-and this was strangely appropriate on many levels. We have had much chaos to work through to get this issue up and running. We are proud to present such a variety of creativity.

Our featured poet is, of course, Lewis Turco. We are delighted to showcase five of his poems and to present you with an interview he granted me last year. I wish we could have had this issue up sooner, because we have a Christmas Card collaboration by Lewis Turco and George O'Connell-contemporary painter and printmaker. This is a true Christmas treat in July.

In addition, we are thoroughly delighted with the student interview of the renowned Appalachian photographer, Shelby Lee Adams. Several of you who have gotten our "newsletter" notices will know that we had hoped to feature some work by young Appalachian poet and scholar J. D. Schraffenberger, but that fell through. I do hope to feature some of his work in another issue.

At this point, I would like to remind everyone that work on The Aroostook Review is a volunteer effort, and I would like to thank all the readers of our many submissions (none of whom read their own work-should it have been accepted for this issue, by the way): Jenna Joy Beaulieu, Anna Desmarais, Jan M. Grivois, Will and Stacey Horner, Dustin Martin, Mike Pelletier, and Rebecca Sawyer. We had some trouble opening certain types of files, so we have established new submission guidelines (see "submissions"). Any book reviews will need to be sent to our new book review editor, Earl J. Wilcox.

We have had a bit of server trouble, and we know that some of the acceptance/rejection letters may have been waylaid, since several people wrote to us asking for information on submissions. We had to check files and resend some letters. Everyone who is in this issue should have gotten notice thereof. Ah! Chaos and creativity…

Both my husband and I work full time, usually with overloads, and his mother, Annis H. Becker, passed away in September of last year. We've had a lot of stress to deal with on many levels, while working through the grieving process. Also, the Virginia Tech shootings brought back memories of when we lost our mentor, Dr. John Locke, out in Arkansas-back in 2000. He was victim of an on-campus shooting by a disgruntled student. My husband was in the building on the way to Dr. Locke's office when this happened. I remember being terrified while watching the "breaking news" and I didn't rest much easier after my husband called me from the campus writing center, because even though they hadn't identified anyone on air, I knew from the office number which faculty member had been involved in the shooting they were discussing. The shooting at Virginia Tech brought these memories back to the surface in unexpected ways for us and we had to find some time to nurture old wounds. It helped me to be able to read Dr. Locke's unpublished book: The Troika Technique (see "Links").

Our spotlighted student even attended Virginia Tech for a time, so there are lots of connections. While I was Sarah E. Smith's teacher at Central Virginia Community College, her grandfather was a guest in our classroom. He has written a book that touched me in ways that I find hard to put into words. Though I had wanted to write a review of Andy's Mountain: Fathers Grieve Too, A Journey Through Grief, by Dwight L. Patton, I find that I am too closely connected to the material to be thoroughly objective. It touched my heart and soul and in some unexplainable way. I feel as if something in me is out there with Andy. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has lost a child and who may be having trouble coming to terms with it-especially men who may have been taught to keep a brave face, even in the light of such circumstances. What a heroic journey!

And now, it is time for me to close this "Welcome" so that your reading journey may begin.


~Geraldine Cannon Becker

In Memoriam:  Virginia Tech Tragedy April 16, 2007


Featured Author

Lewis Turco

Lewis Turco at the West Chester University Poetry Conference, 2004.
Photo: Robert Ward

The author of over forty-five books, chapbooks, and monographs including published A Sheaf of Leaves: Literary Memoirs, The Collected Lyrics of Lewis Turco / Wesli Court 1953-2004, and Fantaseers, A Book of Memories, The Museum of Ordinary People and Other Stories and Fearful Pleasures: The Complete Poems of Lewis Turco.