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Past Issues

Volume II

Issue #4 -- Spring 2003

From the mysteries of the Inaka in Japan to gypsy jazz at Birdland, Slow Trainsí spring issue brings you a beautiful blooming of poetry and talented writers focused, as always, on the transforming power of music and art.

Spring poets include Melanie Burke Zetzer, Scott Poole, Matthew Gleckman, Laura McCullough, Tracy C. Alston, Richard Denner, Joanne Detore-Nakamura, Arlene Ang in Venice, Dorothy Bates, P.J. Nights, jj goss, Stacie Barry, and Slow Trainsí angel, Robert Gibbons, telling us how it snows a bit differently in New York City, along with his "Splitting: Planned Improvisations", a lyrical prose poem/essay on just how it might feel to leave oneís day job for the world of writing.

In fiction, Aaron Paulson joins us once again from the Far East, along with David Quinn, Michael Cocchiarale, Carol Papenhausen, and Jamieson Wolf Villenueve. Essays from David A. Taylor, Jeff Beresford-Howe, and the Slow Trains Ten mini-interview from the fabulous new novelist, Michael Gruber, round out our spring issue.

Come visit often and donít forget to visit the Rave On journal, with impromptu voices and poetry from around the world. In this sometimes-dark spring we can only wish peace to all of you and your loved ones, along with every human being involved in the conflicts taking place today. As Jamieson Wolf Villenueve reminds us in his new fiction, it is wise to try and remember that there is still magic in this world.

Issue #3 -- Winter 2002 - 2003

Slow Trains arrives for the solstice full of light and talent and some extraordinary fiction -- an "angel" in the swimming pool from Finland, a rendition of Fur Elise that will not stop playing, a woman who considers the possibility that people have to rebuild themselves every morning, not unlike rebooting a computer, and that loved ones canít always be handled like literary problems...and much more. Our fiction section also basks in the glow of the new "best of the Web," anthology, "E2Ink," guest-edited by Pam Houston, with fifteen "best" selections from online lit journals, including Slow Trains. More information about the book is available front and center on our main page.

Fiction contributors for the winter issue include: Marnie Webb, David Surface, Phoebe Kate Foster, Matthew R. Gleckman, Susanna Laaksonen, Adhara Law, and Adrianna de la Rosa.

The returning light also brings us the return of Judy Bunceís Entering the Monastery series, with fascinating journal entries on the daily challenges of Tassajara, some black widows, and the thousands of stitches she is hand-sewing on her sacred robes, to prepare for her ordination as a monk early next year.

Far from the monastery, Jamie Joy Gatto regales us with tales of gales in New Orleans, filling us in on the daring native ritual of drinking in hurricanes, and her experiences over time with the natural disasters. In other essays, Brian Peters commits the subversive act of reading the Koran, Ward Kelley shares his ideas on poetry as a kind of "reverse prayer", and Steve Silberman offers a special meditative "In Memory" piece about visiting Philip Whalen at the hospice after his death.

The "Slow Trains Ten" continues our mini-interviews with writers -- in this issue, a poet, Jennie Orvino, and a songwriter, David Gans. David is the long-time host of the "Grateful Dead Hour" radio show; Jennie is the creator of the "Make Love Not War" CD, and both of them share with us their original thoughts on writing and creativity.

On Baseball -- Jeff Beresford-Howe give us what we really need right about now, baseball as the antidote to the holiday rush, with his visit to the Mexicali Eagles. Cecilia Tan shares her childhood memories of growing up half-Asian in New Jersey, and why she never learned to play baseball there.

Our winter issue offers poetry that soars -- actually ascends in one case -- dances with nativity, tiptoes like a cat, and paints the kitchen Gucci "Butter Rum Tart".... and thatís just a beginning. We have both poetry and an interview with Emanuel Xavier, Nuyorican Cafe Grand Slam Champion and gay/Latino/Ecuadorian/revolutionary non-activist, author of the newly-released "Americano", and we have a beautifully erotic chapbook from Bill Noble, May Touch Redeem Us, which includes a consideration of just which few things love may or may not transcend.

So spend some time with us, return often for the regularly updated "Rave On" journal, and be sure to check out our new top of the page navigation bar, which will easily let readers view all seven issues of Slow Trains by category since our inaugural issue in the summer of 2001.

Issue #2 -- Fall 2002

Sixteen poets grace our pages in the fall issue with their lyrical words, from India to South Africa to every corner of the U..S.. A cricket, a street of flags, a watch that may or may not be better than nakedness -- these are only a few topics addressed by our poets, who include John Sweet, Janet Buck, P.J. Nights, Alex Stolis, John Eivaz, Robert Gibbons, Joseph Carcel, Nilanshu Kumar Agarwal , Candy Gourlay, Michael A. Hoerman, Daniel Sumrall, William Sovern, Ward Kelley, Merlin Greaves, J. Marcus Weekley, and Prasenjit Maiti .

Cecilia Tan joins us in our "On Baseball" section, with an interesting and fun tale of scalpers, fans, subterfuge, and the riskiness of being a Yankees' fan in the bleachers at Fenway Park.

Jeff Beresford-Howe writes about Lewis in the Bush League, and this bush league is the one found somewhere between Texas and the White House.

Why is it that sperm don't have to go through the agony that prospective adoptive parents do to qualify? Consider this in J.D. Munro's touching and funny essay, Not Suitable for Children.

Other essays in the fall issue include Brian Peters considering any possible moment of hope in the history of slavery; Richard Ammon's fascinating tale of what it's like to be gay in Switzerland, and Jeff Beresford-Howe's soaring (and sometimes crashing!) music reviews.

In fiction, new contributors Benjamin Reed, Christine Hamm, Tim Wenzell, Ptim Callan, Chris Duncan, and Marc Estrin bring us six tales of family, sex, sadness, childhood, and humor -- and we always consider every one of them "the best."

Issue #1 -- Summer 2002

Slow Trains' summer issue arrives full of light and fantasy, complete with a celebration of the colors of embroidery thread, and a masterpiece of an ode to New York City from Robert Gibbons.

Our fiction travels from a perhaps imaginary place called Maniac Island, to the Ever After Book Shoppe, to a blue room made just for special new employees. Our fabulous fiction writers include: Mark Kline , Lisa Taddeo, Diane Payne, Heather Shaw & Tim Pratt, Seonaid Lennox, and William G. Hutchings.

Continue your travels with a train trip through "America's Backyard," an adventure to Bangladesh, a consideration of the ethics of drugs in baseball, and a trip back into the intense childhood of the "horse-fly watcher." Essayists this issue include Brently Johnson, Kate Baldus, Brian Peters, Alana Noel Voth, Jeff Beresford-Howe, Megan Doney, and Emmitt Maxwell Furner, II.

Jumping beans, wedding cakes, colors, and a life that is not quite perfect are among our extraordinary poems, with poets including Robert Gibbons, Michael J. Compton, Stephen Beal, James R. Whitley, P.J. Nights, Lisabet Sarai, Teresa White, c nolan deweese, J.D. Heskin,and Darlene Zagata.

Our "Slow Trains Ten" feature continues with poet Scott Poole discussing Steve Martin as an inspiration, along the complexity of the act of beginning to write, including cold sweats, reading Sports Illustrated, and preparing meals out of nothing but extra virgin olive oil.

And last but not least, our first audio poetry arrives from the fabulously sexy Jennie Orvino, performing her Main Squeeze Blues.

So join us on these long summer days -- and do stop in often to visit the regularly updated Rave On journal, to get more information on our just-about-to-be-released print version of Slow Trains Volume I, and to celebrate the joy of living, like the tiny figures in Teresa White's poem who "walk off their wedding cake into the cool green garden of the world."

Volume I

Issue #4 -- Spring 2002

The Spring Issue of Slow Trains is in full bloom. New features in this issue include "The Slow Trains Ten," wherein we begin to quiz interesting writers immersed in the creative life about the things that matter, like their vices, and Yeats' thought on sex & death. Robert Gibbons is first up, giving us inspired commentary on dreams and poetry and music and his passions in life. Read The Slow Trains Ten: Writers on the Creative Life.

Another new feature in this issue is our first online chapbook, the glorious Soup Sonnets, which are "the way a gasp of excitement sounds, when you take it easy."

New fiction includes the dream-like writing of Thaisa Frank; a tale of Mexican beaches and love reconsidered by Marcy Sheiner; a redefined youthful dictionary by William Dean; a woman's passion for her telescope and the night sky by Adhara Law; and a touching rendition on growing up female in 1960 and discovering just what it is that makes women happy, by David-Matthew Barnes.

Essayists for this issue include Richard Ammon, Tom Sheehan, Derek Jenkins, Marguerite Colson, Blue Wind Kami, and Diane Payne, with subjects ranging from what it's like to by gay in Communist China, to a hospice garden, to the King Biscuit Blues.

In our baseball section, Jeff Beresford-Howe explains what really happens when you stand up against the Yankees, as only a true Oakland A's fan can.

Poetry in the spring issue dances, soars, contemplates, takes a sad turn, visits grandfather's favorite chair, and considers a cyber-sex goddess, but never goes to hell in a handbag, as a character in P.J. Nights' poem might.

Poets include Steve Silberman, John Sweet (who says he "lives with his wife and son in a hideously depressing town in upstate New York, which serves as the backdrop for much of his work"), Karen Mandell, Robert Gibbons, Scott Poole, Brian Turner, P.J. Nights, Janet I. Buck, and Bruce Taylor.

Slow Trains has reached the end of its first year of publication with our 4th quarterly issue, and it has been an absolute delight to work with so many talented contributors from around the globe. Be sure to take a peek at our Contributors List, which will link you back directly to their individual work.

We leave you for this season with the words of one of our favorite modern poets, who charms us each week with his "poetry newsletter," and who I'm sure doesn't really want you to spend too much time on this bright spring day worrying about the question that arises in his jazzy encyclopedic poem, "For Alcaeus" -- "How will they sum up your life in a thousand years in one paragraph?"

Issue #3 -- Winter 2001 - 2002

The Winter Issue for 2001 - 2002 comes to you full of light on this solstice, and brings our most peaceful wishes for your holiday season.

Our Winter Issue travels from Ecuador to Iowa, with great writing on childhood, baseball, faith, the pursuit and loss of love, and a bit of an explanation on what the crocodiles were doing during the "Hangover Sestina."

Our fabulous poets include: P.J. Nights, John Eivaz, Rebecca Lu Kiernan, Lytton Bell, Michael K. Gause, Lawrence Schimel, Itir Toksoz, Pasquale Capocasa, Kathryn Rantala, Tony Gruenewald, and a favorite poet who always brings grace and light to our issues, Robert Gibbons.

With fiction from Patricia Ann McNair, Anne Tourney, Aaron Paulson, Brendan Connell; essays from Brian Peters, Tony Leather, Marcy Sheiner, Dave Gregg, Anthony Puccinelli, David Taylor, Judy Bunce; and music and memories from Jeff Beresford-Howe, William Dean, and Samamtha Capps Emerson, our Winter Issue awaits to warm and entice you.

September 11 Special Section

Issue #2 -- Fall 2001

Slow Trains presents our new fall issue with the strongest of hope that you and yours are well and safe. We humbly offer a September 11 section, devoted to the "enduring freedom" of speech and art, and will be adding to the voices from around the world as emotions and recovery allows various artists to contribute.

Our fall issue travels from Pere Lachaise in Paris to Isla de Janitzio to a zen monastery in San Francisco, with great writing that covers the hopes and sadnesses of everyday life, along with our writers' passions for the perfect rosetta latte in Seattle and a woman loved too briefly and lost, possibly on purpose.

Our fabulous poets include: Richard Evans, William Sovern, Robert Gibbons, Jessy Randall, Robert R. Cobb, Lawrence Schimel, Magdalena Alagna, Harold Janzen, and Jon Blackstock.

On baseball: Tom Sheehan writes of The Final Summer in a way that reaches into the truth and beauty of baseball, and longing, and was able to bring a tear to this editor's eye more than once.

An Ongoing Journal: Judy Bunce lets us travel with her as she forsakes her real estate career in San Francisco and makes the decision to fully enter the San Francisco Zen Center to become a monk.

With fiction from Isabelle Carruthers, S.A. Augustine, Karl Krausbart, James V. Emanuel, and Marlene Mason; essays from Brian Peters, Ron Porter, Aaron Paulson, William Dean, and Sam Garcia, and finally a swinging review of Bob Dylan's latest album from Jeff Beresford-Howe, the fall issue of Slow Trains is jam-packed with literary delights and awaits your arrival.

Issue #1 -- Summer 2001

Our launch issue includes some great writing, ranging from the love of music to lyrical, prismatic, and sometimes downright funny, poems. From Pamplona to Las Vegas, from baseball to Vietnam, with the humor of pigs in the bedroom and envelopes that speak, the premiere issue of Slow Trains travels into some of the most fascinating and vulnerable territories of our lives.

Poets include: Robert Gibbons, Pasquale Capocasa, Janet I. Buck, John Eivaz, Samantha Cruz, Christopher Locke, Gerald Forshey, and Scott Poole.

Essays are included on gambling from Brian Weiss; on Vietnam from Marc Levy; on the theater of time from Brian Peters, and a tribute to Bob Dylan (as he is now) from Jeff Beresford-Howe.

In memory: John Lee Hooker, as he was to a fan, Phillip Poff.

On baseball: Oona Short takes a fine flight of fancy with Evie's first trip to the ballpark in The Truth About Paradise.

Our fiction section includes Michael Braverman's heartbreaking Paraphernalia; Jamie Joy Gatto's envelopes that speak directly to a writer's paranoia; Ron Porter's memories of a French lost love, in Mari ; a double treat from Jerry G. Erwin with Pig Heaven and Cow Girl, where the animals are sometimes wiser, and more useful, than humans ; Diane Payne's On Track, a poignant tale of growing up on all sides of the tracks; and finally, a whimsical vision of dancing with the streets.

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