Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

Note from Nonfiction Editors

BY LAURA CLARK AND RACHEL WILKINSON

There was something wonderfully liberating about approaching this issue without a theme in mind. Relieved of subject restrictions or requirements, we were free to seek stand-alone pieces that connect to each other only through the strength of their prose. Yet, as we worked to narrow down our selections, we realized that theme had come to find us. Within the three fine essays we present, you will find stories dealing primarily with family—how it is shaped, understood, remembered, and forgotten. These are also essays unified by their impressionistic qualities. In each piece, we found both lyrical prose and images that stuck and begged to be revisited—a disintegrating mountainside coal town in Anthony J. Otten’s “Bon Jellico,” the darkening ocean waters in Christine Kaiser Bonasso’s “The Family Way,” a thriving mulberry tree growing new fruit over the low, black wires of a high voltage power line in Stephanie L. Liberatore’s “Under My Father’s Tree.” Read together, what makes these essays intriguing are the different doors they take to enter the subject, and the conclusions—both explicit and not—they are able to reach along the way. Separately, they each act as reflective explorations of the individuals and impressions that come to shape our lives. Thank you for reading.