A Note from the Editor
Over the last decade, Watershed Review has published hundreds of poets, essayists, fiction writers, and visual artists. To select for this special issue we spent a semester reading and discussing all 19 issues in our digital archive. The student editors in this particular class got a unique view of our magazine, surveying the choices of all the editorial groups who came before them. In certain moments, I found myself retelling our past editorial conversations—how a particular piece won everyone over, how something was fought for and prevailed, or how one piece or another had become a reference point for those to come after. Every literary magazine's lineage is made up of these conversations, strung from one issue to the next, becoming the lore and guidepost by which the future of a publication continues to create itself. And for every poem, story or essay chosen, three got away, and countless were admired and spoken well for, but didn't end up in our final curation.
We are as proud to be a writer's first publication as much as their fiftieth, and there's no pleasure like seeing those we read years ago publish their first book, then second, and so on. Too, our student editors have gone on to impressive places, both professionally and creatively (check out our Instagram to see where some of these folks are now). Hundreds of students have taken their moment at the editorial table—through a pandemic, the catastrophic Camp Fire in 2018, personal losses, and collective upheaval (sometimes simultaneously)—and gathered voices and images together to bring another issue to life. Literary magazines are pivot points, for authors, editors, and their readers, capturing the movement of language, history, and the conversations of a moment. The world has changed since our first digital issue in the spring of 2013. Who can say where we'll be in another ten?
We want to thank all of our contributors for trusting us with your words and art. Without you, there is no Watershed Review. As well, the support of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts and the English Department here at CSU, Chico have never wavered in their support of our publication and its growth. We thank you for believing in the preservation of literary editing and publishing at our institution and beyond. And finally, a thousand thanks from me to all of my students who've spend countless hours imagining and shaping Watershed Review into what it is and what it will become. Ten years ago, a group of students asked to keep our magazine going even after the programs that supported it were cut. We sat in a classroom together every Friday for months re-visioning what it could become and how to make it a sustainable effort. Now, all of the support programs are reinstated and we have a Literary Editing and Publishing certificate program in full swing. Everything was built back up from this magazine and the refusal of a small group to allow the destruction of something beautiful and essential.
We hope you'll stay a while and explore this stunning gathering of voices from the archives.
Sarah Pape, MA, MFA