If we are counting correctly this is the lucky 13th year we have devoted sizable editorial space and energy to the publication of U.S. 1’s Summer Fiction issue. This year, for the first time, we have also posted the finished work online at www.princetoninfo.com.
Why did it take us so long? It seems bizarre now but this was the reasoning: When the Internet publishing possibilities first reared their head, some of our editors determined that publishing of poems and short stories online would lead to the writers’ work being ripped off by unscrupulous publishers. Given that there is almost no commercial market whatsoever for short stories and poems, these concerns were obviously overstated.
So this year we took the plunge and posted the work online. We are glad we did.
Given that posting a comment to a website is easier than composing a letter or even an E-mail, more comments were received this year than ever before. As always readers clearly enjoyed the change of pace from our usual editorial fare. A few readers added some of their own flourishes to the printed work.
In response to Patrick Walsh’s poem, “Me and My Old Mustang,” a reader praised the work and wondered what kind of poetry — if any — would be inspired by today’s fuel-conscious cars:
“Great Poem: classic Americana with a smooth purring meter, much like the straight six. Something nicely elegiac about it though: in 20 years will Hybrid Prius type electric cars call forth such verses? I think not somehow.”
William Roufberg’s playful soliloquy on the lessons of retirement enjoyed by him and many of his peers ended with this observation: “History teachers who retire also suffer. Walking down Nassau Street I once heard a person say, “look, there goes Roufberg. See, he has no class.”
To which Richard B. Reichart added the following comment: “A retired survey researcher (like me) probably has no more opinions.”
This year, as always, we invited the writers to submit biographical sketches along with their work. As always most of the writers were reticent. One wrote a 13-word synopsis of her life. We E-mailed back asking her to elaborate.
She replied: “Hmmm…Honestly, I’m stumped. What kind of info would be interesting?”
One reader added some tantalizing details in a post regarding the writer of the short story, “Grace of Sourland Mountain.” The biography said only that Tammy Amani (which we misspelled in our print edition) is the pen name for Tammy Harris, a Pennington-based educator who writes stories, plays, novels, and screen plays.
But a comment added to the website version of her story was more intriguing: “One of Jersey’s rising stars, Ms. Amani strikes again following her stellar sensation, ‘Carl Gets Clipped’ recently featured at the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater [at the West Side YMCA in Manhattan]. Don’t be surprised if ‘Grace Of Sourland Mountain’ finds it way to the stage or the screen in the near future.”
We can only hope that Ms. Amani/Harris joins us at our reception on Thursday, August 13, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Tre Piani restaurant in Forrestal Village. And we hope you will attend as well. Questions: Call 609-452-7000.