Artist Spotlight: P.J. Sambeaux

When P.J. Sambeaux submitted her non-fiction piece “Gordon Reynolds” to us, we were intrigued by her descriptions of life in Appalachia and instantly wanted to know more. Here she provides us with descriptions of the very worst and very best aspects of a community that has a  culture all its own. It is an eye-opening and thought-provoking essay that details life in a part of America that is often caricatured, but rarely talked about honestly.

- Jen Lombardo, Non-Fiction Editor

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Artist Spotlight: Claire-Madeline Culkin

Claire has been with us since the beginning, with lines about her body, about her running eggs, about her ex-lovers. This time, she came with her arsenal in tow: a strong online presence, one foot in literature and one foot in research, a firm voice for identifying herself. We approached her to write an Artist Feature speaking to these pieces of herself and her dual identity as artist and woman. She approached the assignment with forethought & grace, exploring form, engaging rhetoric, & bringing us into her process. We were in awe of her before, but we are in deep worship now. Claire-Madeline Culkin, ladies and gentlemen. 

xoxo Bee Walsh, Poetry Editor

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Artist Spotlight: Anne Spollen

Anne Spollen introduced her short story, published today at RPD, with the following e-mail message:

Hello,
This is a piece from a collection of essays/fiction I am working on that are thematically connected. Thanks for the read ~ Anne

If her note was simple and unassuming, that’s because her piece spoke for itself, and after reading it, I immediately knew I wanted to see more. If I had to explain “good writing,” one requirement would be that the author puts words to a feeling that is recognized, but has not been previously defined, by the reader. The way that Anne describes the giving away of possessions—”You were shedding; you understood the relief animals feel as their fur thins”—did exactly that for me. The perspective demonstrated in her work is not one we often see, and I look forward to seeing more.

- Alecia Eberhardt, Fiction Editor

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Artist Spotlight: Erin Jendras

It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen, when a poet submits work whose genius escapes me and it takes our Editor-in-Chief Jordan (@tutticoccinelle) to shake sense into me. Such was the case when Erin Jendras submitted her piece, 14., a work I described as “a formed piece in an age of free verse.” The stunningly crafted meter and verse weren’t immediately apparent to me on my first read through, and while that might seem counter productive to a metered piece, I think it speaks to her work. I did not read 14 and think, “oh, a sonnet,” or “oh, look, iambic pentameter” (which this is not), I read 14. and couldn’t quite figure out why the lines stayed so rhythmically in my mind. When Jordan was reviewing the poetry submissions, she messaged me, “BEEZY, SHE WROTE IN VERSE,” to which I replied “a literary curse?” (for all you The West Wing fans out there.) Jendras’ piece is far from cursed, so when I asked her to be one of our featured artists for August, I asked her to reflect on where the desire to write formally in these informal times came from. Her answer is three-fold, and so beautifully honest. 

xoxo, 

Bee, Poetry Editor

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Artist Spotlight: Editor Alecia Eberhardt

Now that Alecia Eberhardt has taken over as full-time Fiction Editor, we wanted to give our readers another chance to peek into her mind. Check out her Artist Spotlight from back in June, and make sure to send her your fiction this month!

rpdsociety
:

this month we’re changin’ it up: june’s spotlights will feature the editors as writers. 

with the rapid evolution and expansion of rpd, the four horsewomen have had to adapt [& just as we were getting the hang of things, too]. when it came to enlisting a new member to our editorial staff, we wondered how another person’s energy & style would work with what we had already built. as an addition to the rpd editorial staff, it doesn’t get any better than alecia eberhardt. between her impressive and articulate work with luna luna magazine, and the eagerness with which she tackles new creative challenges, we have been very lucky to have her. we hope she’ll stay a while.

from our lovely and talented interim fiction editor is an excerpt of a short story of a larger collection titled “amelia.” this story is called “lover.”

-kay, [sometimes] fiction editor

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Artist Spotlight: Jenean McBrearty

Note from the editor, Alecia Eberhardt: Jenean McBrearty has now been published twice here at RPD—once under the poetry section and once (today) under fiction. We asked her to expound a little on what and how she writes, and what we got was a fascinating look into the mind of someone who is much less concerned with genre than they are about creating something interesting, connecting with readers (smart readers, she admits!) and experimenting with words. We look forward to more from Ms. McBrearty—perhaps an essay or a screenplay next time!

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