KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 12: 21 July 2019
Nonfiction: 954 words

Introduction: KF-12

by Clare MacQueen, Publisher

Welcome to our Summer 2019 issue, our dozenth! Say, this may be the first time I’ve used “dozenth” in a sentence. (Twelfth sure, but dozenth?) A word I just tried saying aloud five times fast. Duhzzznnnttthhhfffff! Yes, I’m easily entertained.

Speaking of entertainment, we have “a really big shew” (as Ed Sullivan used to say) for you here in KF-12. Including a dozen dance performances, which Charles D. Tarlton enthusiastically reviews in his signature genre—ekphrastic tanka prose—in his case, a unique blend of critique, memoir, and poetry. To our knowledge, no one else is writing this kind of art criticism, much less on the subject of dance works! And Tarlton’s Get Up and Dance is one of four wonderful e-Collections we’re presenting in this milestone issue.

About Our Featured Theme

In our call for submissions to Issue 12, we promised to showcase material this summer that addresses the climate crisis. My co-editor and I have no doubt that it’s the existential issue of our lifetimes, and the more ways we can express our thoughts and feelings about it, the better chance we have to grapple with its implications, re-examine our choices, and inspire sustainable course corrections.

A determinedly eclectic journal like KYSO Flash offers an irresistible forum for a diversity of creative voices like few others can. We’re grateful to include 15 works of art and literature in this issue related to our featured theme, in nearly every one of our favorite genres: poetry in several forms (including hybrids like haibun and tanka prose), flash and micro-fiction, painting, haiga and photo-poems, lyrical CNF, and even a film review (of Cowspiracy, truly an eye-opener). One of these topical works, “Earth Hymn” by Bianca Glinskas, receives our Editors’ Choice Award.

So here’s a hearty, Knock-Your-Socks-Off thank you! to our very own Friends of the Earth for sharing your poignant and powerful works with us. You’re all winners in our book.

Additional Highlights

Here in Issue 12, you’ll find literally dozens of works we believe are worthy of acclaim, and which address a number of themes. Of course, I cannot list all of those works in this intro, so I encourage you to visit and revisit KF-12’s cyberpages, until you’ve experienced the whole burrito. Which is even bigger than the whole enchilada, wink wink.

In addition to works mentioned above, here are more than a dozen highlights:

Featured Artist Roy Beckemeyer savoring the sounds of his poem “Blackberry” in this delightful video. KYSO Flash also includes audio files for the first time: readings of three poems which Roy kindly recorded for this issue.

We’re pleased to announce the return of artist MaRco Elliott with a compelling painting, Paradise Lost: Fire. (MaRco lent his painterly touch to our previous issue’s Trees Please, an essay by Jack Cooper.)

Must-see: The energetic and energizing ekphrastic partnerships between Devon Balwit and Lorette C. Luzajic, and between Robert L. Dean, Jr. and Steven Schroeder.

And speaking of dynamic duos, be sure to treat yourself to the pair of new haiga by George Digalakis and Gary S. Rosin. We’re great fans of their collaborations and we look forward to seeing more.

For KF-12, we called for submissions of haiga and other works that combine visual art and literature—and we’re delighted to present nearly two dozen haiga, taiga, and photo-poems for your enjoyment.

By the way, we learned about “taiga” (i.e., the combination of tanka poems and visual artworks) from artist and poet Pamela A. Babusci, who may be the first to coin the term.

(You’ll even find a rarity: two taiga by yours truly, which were selected by my co-editor from among several works I submitted for evaluation. Why call them a rarity? Because, given my happy obsession with producing KYSO Flash, both online as well as the books, there’s rarely time in my life to create anything else!)

While we rarely publish political or polemic rants, or the kind of writing that Robert Eugene Rubino calls sarcastic outrage, we gladly made an exception with his clever and timely satire: Hollow Be Thy Name.

We also rarely publish individual haiku. But this one by Robin Anna Smith knocked my socks off: algal bloom, a tiny powerhouse that also inspired me to write a brief commentary about its charms.

Also appearing with “Earth Hymn” on the list of finalists for our Editors’ Choice Award were these works, listed here in alpha order by author name (and unranked):

Legacy’s Sunset [photo-poem] by Roy Beckemeyer

Scattering the Ashes on Lake Geneva [micro-fiction] by Linda Nemec Foster

Field Trips [flash fiction] by Daryl Scroggins

Tell Us a Story...

Especially for fiction fans, KF-12 has on tap 35 hand-selected, finely crafted stories:

12 flash fictions,

20 micro-fictions,

and three haibun stories (one under Climate Crisis and two under Haibun Stories).

Of the 28 writers represented in this category, 10 are new to KYSO Flash. Welcome aboard to Salil Chaturvedi, James Claffey, Laurette Folk, M. K. Hutchins, Raima Larter, Patience Mackarness, Kathleen Thomas, Deborah Tomkins, Alexandra Umlas, and Tony Steven Williams.

Thank you!

To my treasured co-editor, Jack Cooper, buckets of gratitude for his time and dedication, his continued commitment to excellence, and his contributions of content for this amazing issue.

And to all of our lovely contributors and readers, our heartfelt thanks!

If you’re on Facebook, please consider supporting KYSO Flash—and the 375+ writers and artists whose works we’ve published—by “liking” our Facebook page and by sharing our link with your friends, family, colleagues, and beyond.

Thanks so much for dropping by. As always, we appreciate your visits here and we hope you find much to enjoy at our smorgasbord...

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