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.

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Hooray for the Underdog

As a writer, I think a lot about what makes a hero—or a villain, for that matter. And it’s not just about developing character and story arc; stories, for me, are a way of making sense of the world. So in pondering the concept of heroism, the question isn’t whether a particular character dons a brightly-colored cape and reveals heretofore unknown super powers, but rather whether a real person voluntarily helps others, even when that choice may involve sacrifice and/or risk.

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A Love Affair with Words

Words are powerful.

It likely comes as no surprise that an editor of a literary magazine believes words and stories matter. If you’re reading this essay, I suspect you agree. At times it feels like the very survival of our species is at stake. Because we are dependent upon each other and simultaneously often have conflicting needs and wants, we must find ways to reach across the yawning void, to bridge the gap, if only momentarily, between the “you” and the “me.”

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Look Around

Our Winter 2022 issue invites you to look at the not so see-able and perhaps even to learn to seek out what cannot — normally — be perceived. Appropriately, this issue contains invisible babies, lunar seashells, unnoticed birds, unspoken tensions between families, paternal scars, and wondrous insects. What marvels lurk in laundromats and along the byways of the everyday? How do we — in this age of very real limits — quest for and discover the magical and the miraculous?

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Groundhog Day — A Little in Advance

One of my favorite American movies is GROUNDHOG DAY, which was directed by the late Harold Ramis, and features an egoistical and annoying newscaster (Bill Murray) who gets trapped into living the same day over and over again in a small town he despises. The town in question is Punxatawney PA, where the famous groundhog of said Groundhog Day lives. What starts out as a comedy becomes in short order a meditation on the lives we feel we are trapped in, a set of routines we are

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I don’t know about you but I’m in a bad mood a lot these days. I can’t go to Macy’s. I can’t go to a concert, I can’t take a bus, I can’t go to a protest. I can’t go out for dinner, breakfast, or lunch, and I can’t go to the movies or even to a friend’s house. I can’t get on an airplane and go visit my family in Los Angeles. I can’t go visit my friends in New York. I can’t even go to the

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It’s a Man’s Life… or is it?

We are hearing and reading lot about of powerful men in the news these days. Our president for one, and the many men who support him. These men admire and are drawn to other men. Men with guns and men with money. Or with both. And of course, men with oil.

Then there are interruptions of that power. Angela Merkel visiting the Auschwitz death camp and reminding Germans that there is no way around that history. Our own Nancy Pelosi

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Literary Language, Interpretation and Practice

As our editors prepare to launch the latest issue of SHARK REEF, perhaps you are doing what I am doing. I’m reading the Mueller Report. Perhaps like me, you are trying to imagine what Robert Mueller and his team were thinking as they pored through thousands of documents, emails and text messages and as they engaged in countless interviews with individuals who ranged from clueless to highly incompetent. And like me, maybe you too are guessing what names and addresses, what actions and deliberations, lurk behind the black blocks marked HARM TO INVESTIGATION and GRAND JURY.

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