We’ve had the first sweet taste of spring here in Gambier after a brutal winter. After a couple three days now of 40s and 50s there’s still a fair bit of snow on the ground, especially in the shade of trees, the shadows of buildings. For a few weeks yet we’ll be in transition, with flurries and showers, sun and the swift scut of cloud, all translating to the suck and stammer of mud.
Transition is quickening in our offices as well. As you’ll soon be seeing in announcements and newsletters, a second class of KR Fellows has been selected from an outstanding pool of applicants. A poet, Jamaal May, and a prose writer, Melinda Moustakis, will be coming to Ohio in late summer. I’m excited, to be sure–these are dazzling writers and delightful people, and I know that over the next two years they will be terrific members of our literary community.
At the same time, I’m increasingly reluctant–all of us are–to bid farewell to Elizabeth Rogers and Natalie Shapero, our first two Fellows. Readers will be hearing from them for decades to come. But when I say they’ve been part of the KR family for two years, I’m not speaking in metaphor. We’re a small band here. Natalie and Beth arrived in Gambier with tremendous hearts as well as exceptional talents. Because of them I’m more certain that the KR Fellowships will represent a capstone to our mission: finding, supporting, mentoring, and publishing superb younger voices, while also strengthening the literary experience of students and bringing fresh energy and vision to the Review and KROnline as well. As these two poets move on to the next stages of their careers, we will surely miss them.