There has been a sea change at VoiceCatcher. In the depths of winter, local writers devoted to VoiceCatcher gathered to hatch a new plan for the journal to match the energy of our staff, led by our new president, Jessica Mehta. By early spring, the new website went live. For that, we owe a round of applause to Edee Lemonier, who stepped in as web designer. We hope that you like the new us.
Our vision and guidelines have changed, as well, to give emphasis to that which had been unwritten previously, though strongly felt: that VoiceCatcher is open not only to cis women, but to trans women, as well. We want to foster a safe space where any writer who identifies as a woman can share their words. We are also more determined than ever to reach out to parts of the Greater Portland area that may not be aware of VoiceCatcher and what we do. We feel that the pages of this journal should represent the true diversity of our community.
Every issue of VoiceCatcher is a snapshot of Greater Portland during a given period. As our local writers and artists go, so do we. What ideas are they considering, what strikes them and motivates them to sit down to light up the page or the canvas? You have the answer before you. Each writer takes us on a journey—of the land, of their bodies, of relationships, and each piece brings new insight into experiences we all share.
The Spring 2017 issue is particularly rich in the Art and Young Voices categories, which received an unexpected bounty of submissions. The Nonfiction and Poetry categories take their usual place, but somehow the journal received not one submission to Fiction. Perhaps today’s truth is stranger than fiction, or perhaps yarns appropriate to our times are taking longer to spin. We wait, eagerly, for these visions to mature.
There was much to delight our editors, as you will find in this issue. We gather, here, and present to you the work of eleven poets, four prose writers, four young voices, and four visual artists. They show us what they carry—a purse, a lost love, a lost parent, that little girl who couldn’t fight back when she needed to most. We take flight and also feel the weight of what keeps us grounded. Through prose and poetry, we are nurtured and nurturing. We are enraged and impassioned. We are sorrowful. Each contributor has brought to the page a life lived fully and we, the readers, get to sit back and take it all in, without the worry of navigation. So take a break. Hide out in the worlds created and moments captured by the creatives in this issue.
Though some things have changed at VoiceCatcher, what will never alter is our commitment to local artists and writers. The reason our staff of volunteers is so devoted to VoiceCatcher is that we believe wholeheartedly in the support that it provides to Portland-area creatives. We love to nurture raw talent, to help shape pieces toward publication, and to provide feedback to those whose work or style needs more time to develop. Our vision is for an ever-more inclusive, true community of writers and artists, and to embody that vision is a labor of love for all of us.
Jennifer Kemnitz, Managing Editor
Desiree Wright, Assistant Managing Editor