scissors & spackle: 2023, Issue 20
“Goodbyes always make my throat hurt…I need more hellos.” –Charlie Brown
Issue 20 is the final issue of scissors & spackle. It was not an easy decision because my passion for this journal flows through my veins with the warmth of a first, unforgettable love, the journal that first published me. But do you know that feeling of finally realizing it’s time to put a rewrite down & start a new story? That’s how I feel. You will always love your darlings, but to grow as a publisher, you need to constantly be ready to open a new file & type FADE OUT.
Despite a hiatus, for almost 10 years I have been blessed to have published scissors & spackle. Founded in 2011 by Jenny Catlin, scissors & spackle has been home to some of the best odd, experimental, edgy, unique, fun, literary work with a clear concern for the language itself & not just formulaic technique. It’s harbored work that has exceeded expectations & surprised readers in both context & form. It’s bestowed the weird, the nebulous, the gritty, the insecure, & the radical. In short, in every issue it has published work that simultaneously cut & repaired. However, the growth of ELJ Editions, the parent press of scissors & spackle, has unearthed many unexpected insights, including the importance of not taking anything for granted as well as the value of knowing when to reach for a new quest, because life is indeed short.
It’s impossible to sum up twelve years in one note. Any framing inevitably leaves out so much. Twelve years is a long time, even if it is only a blip on the ever-scrolling screen of literary history. When it comes to personal notes like this, I tend to think that someone else has already expressed how I feel better than I can, so I look up quotes, just like I did when I was thirteen, trying to find wisdom outside of song lyrics. As a writer & editor, I feel a bit ashamed of the habit—I should know how to express myself, right? But words get stuck. Charlie Brown understands. I know goodbye must happen. I accept it. I will say it, & I will honor that it isn’t truly an end, but still, my throat hurts with the words.
When I first took on scissors & spackle, it was because I wanted to broaden my experience within the literary community & not let another great journal fade into the ether. Moreover, running a journal with scissors & spackle’s mission allow me to see my own emotions reflected through someone else’s art. This artistic power is about connection, about mirroring beauty & pain. That’s the power of writing, of reading, of publishing. I’ve seen & I’ve grown & I’ve twisted & I’ve communicated by reading the work we’ve published.
Much love to Jenny Catlin for bequeathing me her baby. Much love to everyone who’s guest edited. Much love to Jody McNeese Keene for taking the helm in the final years of the journal. As I move on from publishing scissors & spackle, I leave with many lessons about voice, poetic form, second chances, & grace. I am thankful for the opportunities to read work from writers all over the globe who trusted me with publishing their work. I am especially thankful that our contributors have nurtured my growth in the literary community. You all have given me more than I could’ve ever done for you. You are forever my family, & what is a publisher without her literary family? & finally, to the reader: There is no journal without your support. You, the literary community, are who we publish for & why we publish. The opportunity to serve the literary community of scissors & spackle is an honor & I privilege I’ll never forget. Thank you.
So long & thanks for all the fish.
Be Well. Write Well. Read Well.
skin is stretched canvas || Ethan Hsiao
BLOOD & BATTERY PACKS || Rachel Vinciguerra
Fireworks || Brighton Grace
Living in the Moment(um) || Megan Wildhood
EXCURSION OF THE HOMELESS || Dan Flore III
OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP || RS Fernandez
ANSWERS TO QUERIES: WHO WAS SHE? || Leslie Lindsey
Full Empty || Melanie Maggard
Photobombing || Frank Jackson
Review: Escape Route || Joe Panzica
Cabinda || Lando Wo
Google Search: Do rabbits scream || Florianne Che