From The Editor

Welcome to Maryland Literary Review. Nice to “meet” you. A pleasure, really.

What the hell am I supposed to say here? Editorial introductions are inherently awkward and ungainly. I don’t know…A few mumbling words about us? We are a Libra. We like words and ideas, also stories. We appear twice a year. Our favorite color is an off-red. We like to garden, cook, and take long walks in the woods. We believe sunsets can be a bit over-rated.

Sorry, let’s start over. We apologize for our wobbly hands. This marks the first issue of our existence, so we fret about first impressions.

We are nice people—and by “we” I mean me (see below for other people who are not me). Please do not be afraid; we do not bite. In fact, we have published some well-crafted words here to keep you company in this space-that-isn’t-a-real-space. These poems, short stories, essays and other miscellaneous works are meant to act as a kind of fuzzy digital blankey in the dead of winter and beyond.

My apologies again; it’s just I’m not sure how I feel about long, distended editorial introductions. I could go on and on (and here I am going on and on). Though I created this literary magazine, this is a place for authors. MLR is all about the authors—and I included many such authors here. I do hope the words speak for themselves and I hope you find comfort here; also, I hope your cages get a wee bit rattled. Those ideas are not incompatible.

One brief mention about our name. I live in Northern Virginia but I am from Maryland. For those of you not from the Mid-Atlantic—Virginia and Maryland nurse a little (mostly healthy) rivalry. Though I now call Northern Virginia home, I am a Marylander. The title is a small nod to this bit of Maryland I keep tucked away.

As for the work itself, I view selecting the poems, essays and short stories for these pages as a creative process. Sorry, that sounds precious. I mean, I reflected, cogitated, ruminated and landed on the words you see in front of you here. These are good words. Some writers e-mailed over the summer and fall asking about my aesthetics. So here goes: I like good words, carefully arranged.

I was delighted to read so many strong submissions this summer and fall—I am continually astounded by how many inventive and imaginative writers are out there. Thank you; please keep the submissions coming my way. It remains free to submit to MLR; of course, the best things in life….I mean, c’mon: charging real life money to read someone’s heartfelt inner pleadings. Tsk, tsk. That is not us.

Big thank you to the amazing Shad Itschner for the wonderful design of this page and its maintenance. Too few words are said about the web designers and digital Svengalis who make these interweb offerings possible. He is the man behind the curtain here and without Shad the MLR curtain itself would not exist.

Hope you enjoy.

Happy end of 2018!

Nathan Leslie
Publisher and editor, Maryland Literary Review