Putting our shoes on. Saying goodbye.

It turns out that nothing lives forever. Every time I realize that, I realize it anew. It’s never any less shocking.

Kurt Vonnegut’s “Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt.” From Slaughterhouse-Five.

So begins the heartfelt — and heartbreaking — adieu from my colleagues Dena Rash Guzman and Wendy Ellis at Unshod Quills, which is closing up shop this month.

These things happen. All too often in the literary world, it turns out, but, as the departed Kurt Vonnegut used to say, So it goes.

Still, it’s a sad thing whenever any literary magazine has to hang up the proverbial pen and turn out the lights. And while I’ve only had the good fortune to work with Unshod Quills for the past year, I’ve known them for most of their run, first as a reader and then as a contributor before I signed on as prose editor. So this is especially sad for me, because I’m not just going to miss reading the beautiful contents of the magazine, I’m also going to miss working with such beautiful colleagues.

Well, sort of — the great thing about being involved in literature, as opposed to a spectator of literature, is that I still get to talk to and hang out among and share ideas and work with the Unshod Quills gang — Dena and Wendy as well as Donald Rilea and Brian Tibbetts and Holly Hinkle — so the loss isn’t so terrible.

And, of course, Unshod Quills itself isn’t going anywhere. The archive of work will remain online for as long as we can maintain it (“UQ will stay at this URL, ad-free, until we run out of donations given by our readers to keep it here. That will be for at least one more year”). And the writers and artists we were lucky enough to publish are still out there, producing and publishing new work in other magazines.

So maybe it’s not such a terrible loss after all.

We were here, for however long we were here, and while we were here it was wonderful.

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3 thoughts on “Putting our shoes on. Saying goodbye.

  1. You just made Unshod Quills cry.

    Thank you for helping us. Those nights where we met online until midnight setting things up – I know how busy you were and are and it really meant so much. Thank you, Sam – Dena

  2. Reblogged this on DRG and commented:
    We decided to cease publication of the literary journal I founded all alone on a farm in the woods near Portland, Oregon. There is no real reason why beyond time and money getting in the way of any big project. I loved publishing the work of unpublished writers and poets the most. The feeling was immense. I loved being offered the work of established writers and poets and artists who liked the journal. That feeling was only slightly less immense. I loved reading the slush pile. I was a freak about it – nothing went unread by me, even after I made Wendy G. Ellis my co-editor and brought in Brian Tibbets, Holly Hinkle, Donald Rilea and Sam Snoek-Brown to work with me. Sam talks about our closing up shop here. I just want to say thank you all who read it and submitted your work to it. It was an amazing magazine.

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