Dear Reader,

The journal you’re viewing is the result of the passion of both its contributors and the staff who distilled 180 submissions into 22 which best represent the program that has played such a significant role in our lives.

Stonecoast is unlike any other MFA, fulltime or low-residency. The sense of community and inclusion that exists within the program is rare indeed. This journal was the result of a shared idea between Annie Finch and its founding editor, Alexandria Delcourt, who agreed 12 years with no journal was simply unacceptable and created the Stonecoast Review with no incentive other than the vision to see Stonecoast’s uniqueness translated into a literary journal, aimed at diverse, emerging voices.

The past year has seen an incredible amount of change at Stonecoast. A new director, changes in staff, the loss of the house that once represented the face of the program. But the spirit of the program lives on. Likewise, a lot has changed at the Stonecoast Review during these several months.

The Stonecoast Review remains a work in progress. It has not been without significant effort that the journal has risen from the doldrums between its second issue in spring 2014 and now. The time between has seen two editorial staffs, several dozen submissions of creative work, a complete overhaul of the journal’s web page, and—even now, as this issue is being completed—an entirely new editorial staff is dedicating their own passion into taking the journal even further in its reach and potential.

This issue reflects our editorial visions in content and structure. In this issue there are stories about analog media, cross-country road trips, an excerpt of a graphic memoir, non-narrative poems and poems that include ampersands, lyric essays and an interview with Suzanne Strempek Shea, a pillar of Stonecoast. We leaned heavily on the Maine literary community and the greater Stonecoast network for submissions, and it worked. One fifth of the pieces in this issue are from Stonecoast graduates or Maine residents. We’re also very excited to feature the Short Works, Nonfiction winner of the 2015 Maine Literary Awards, Lesley Heiser.

Thank you to the artists contained herein, to the staff of the journal whose dedication has brought us this far, and to you, the reader, for your interest in the finished work we humbly present to you.

John & Amanda

John Christopher Nelson

John Christopher Nelson was raised on a 94 acre ranch in San Diego County, where he learned how to fire a shotgun, kill rattlesnakes, and trap a werewolf. At UCLA, he earned his BA in American Literature and was executive editor of the undergraduate lit journal, Westwind. (Read Full Bio …)

Amanda Pleau is stoked about her MFA in Creative Nonfiction from USM’s Stonecoast program. In addition to managing editor of the Stonecoast Review for Issue 3, for the last year she served as Senior Judge for the MASH Stories flash fiction competition.
Amanda is currently at work on her first memoir, (Read Full Bio …)