Issue Forty-Three - Winter 2024


By Shari Lane

Doorways have always intrigued me—in-between spaces that hold the promise of something . . . different. This doorway looks as though it stands between one marvelous, ivy-garlanded space and another, possibly equally marvelous space. The suggestion of the hallowed halls of a university conjures in me the remembered thrill of every new school year. The hint of golden light peering from just beyond the inner door intrigues me. Both places call to me, but the reality is that I can’t be in both places at once.

At any given time, I have an enormous, tottering pile of books on my nightstand, another on the side table in the living room, usually at least one more somewhere else, often on the landing of the staircase so I have access from either floor. Even as I’m devouring one of the Canadian murder mysteries featuring the inimitable Lane Winslow, there’s a small part of me that longs to go back to the haunting prose of The Covenant of Water, or the can’t-put-it-down story of Black Cake, or the wonderfully quirky misfits in The House in the Cerulean Sea. I can (and regularly do) bounce between books, but of course I can’t read them all at the same time; at any given moment I must choose.

We at SHARK REEF Literary Magazine have also been in the doorway, looking back at all we’ve accomplished and simultaneously gazing ahead to what might be. Our beloved founder, Lorna Reese, has decided, after 24 years, to lay down this adventure in favor of what life has in store for her next. Our most recent Managing Editor, Stephanie Barbé Hammer, embarked on a new whirlwind of publishing, teaching, and researching for a joint family history. Our Publisher, Iris Graville, is also focusing on her published works, family, and new writing. (As an aside, publications and other amazing work by current and former editorial staff are listed on SHARK REEF’s website in Behind the Scenes, and new work is posted on our social media pages—check it out!)

I agreed to take on the role of acting Managing Editor while we prepared and published this, our forty-third issue, and around the edges of that work have whiled away many happy hours dreaming about what the next chapter might look like. In the end, I have had to acknowledge to myself that I have too many books open, too many doorways inviting me to open, walk through, explore.

And so it is with some trepidation that I share with you, our dear readers and contributors, that this might be SHARK REEF’s last issue. This may only be farewell for now and not forever. But farewell is our current reality.

The website will remain up through at least the end of the year, and our social media will continue to showcase weekly excerpts of the contributions in this fabulous issue, as well celebrating the literary achievements of our contributors and editorial staff, through the summer.

For all of you who have entrusted us with your writing and your art over the years, know that your accomplishment remains undiminished: you were published by a respected and quality literary magazine, and that matters. Words matter. You matter.

Before we ride off, each into our own sunset, we want to offer a deep and humble thanks to past editorial staff. There is no way to adequately express our gratitude to these amazing people, starting with our most recent Managing Editor Stephanie Barbé Hammer—poet, novelist, memoirist, teacher, and all-around amazing human being—and continuing with Lorna Reese, co-founder of this marvelous journal, who has worked tirelessly for over twenty-five years to shepherd and shape the journal (also an all-around superb human being). You have made the world a better place.

Some past members of the team who supported this incredible work:

Alie Smaalders – Co-Founder
Laurie Parker – Co-Founder
Leta Currie Marshall – Early layouts
Jeremiah O’Hagan – “Everything!” (according to Lorna Reese)
Noel Mariano – Non-Fiction Editor
Katie Marach – Non-Fiction Editor
Elder Zamora – Non-Fiction Editor
Gayle Kaune – Poetry Editor
Gary Johnson – Poetry Editor
Tom Aslin – Poetry Editor
Elizabeth Landrum – Poetry Editor
John Sangster – Poetry Editor
Heather Durham – Non-Fiction Editor
Judy Connor – Art Editor
Adrienne Adams – Webmaster
Iris Graville – Publisher

With so much love to all of you, from all of us on the current roster:

Linda Conroy – Poetry Co-Editor
Richard Widerkehr – Poetry Co-Editor
Aaisha Mumtaz – Non-Fiction Editor
Aleena Rehman – Assistant Non-Fiction Editor
Shari Lane – Acting Managing Editor, Fiction Editor, and Social Media Coordinator
Iris Graville – Publisher

All of us, past and present, wish for you the beauty of many, many doorways.

Copyright Lane 2024