The previous two issues were anchored in work by or about such writers John McPhee, Charles Simic and Adrienne Rich. This issue establishes our commitment to writers who not as recognized, but whose voices are powerful and significant. These are writers who will influence and shape creative nonfiction in the future.
The definition of the term “emerging” differs for each writer. Janet Horsch and Kathleen Veslany are being published for the first time, while Maureen Stanton is just beginning to find an audience for her essays and stories. Kathryn Rhett is a poet and teacher, working on her first nonfiction book, while Jane Bernstein’s memoir, “Loving Rachel,” about her family’s journey from grief, has become a nationally acknowledged classic for families of children with special needs. Lauren Slater’s first collection of essays, “Welcome to My Country,” will be published by Random House next year. Diana Hume George has published poetry collections, scholarly books and many essays about travel and nature. But the essay included here, “Blowing in the Wind,” is excerpted from her first creative nonfiction book, to be published in 1996.
The concept of “emerging” contains a double significance in relation to the essay, “Magic,” by Jeanne Marie Laskas. Her book, “The Balloon Lady and Other People I Know,” in which “Magic” appears, will be the inaugural book in the Emerging Writers of Creative Nonfiction Book Series from Duquesne University Press. Laskas’s book, which will be awarded a $1,000 prize, will be published in the fall of 1995. The Duquesne University Press award, along with this use, “Emerging Women Writers,” are important contributions to the future of the creative nonfiction genre and to writers whose developing work deserves acknowledgement and support.
A final item—and another commitment. This is the first issue containing book reviews. Notice that the books being reviewed have all been published by small independent and university presses. The creative nonfiction genre is becoming increasingly accepted in this narrow, delicate area of high-quality publishing, especially for the emerging writer. By introducing and reviewing these books on a regular basis, we hope to encourage a broadening publication market, open to new and exciting voices.