Creating an authentic online presence is as much about content as it is about design. 

That’s what Paul, Nick, Jonathan, and I learned after a year spent developing an accessible online platform. We played with color schemes, organized and re-organized the archives, and modeled our layout after Paper Darts and Zen Habits, our style icons. But at the heart of the Roanoke Review was and still remains the literature: our writers, readers, and the work they publish. 

Our new interview and podcast sections are a great way to get to know our contributors. They also offer a behind-the-scenes look at the intentions, idols, and creative processes of individual writers and artists.

From math professors to globetrotters to social workers, the people that I interviewed this year embodied the interdisciplinary education I so love at our home base, Roanoke College. And if you enjoyed reading those interviews, you can get excited for what’s to come. Our new content editor, Alex Reynolds, is already hard at work on material for 2016.

At times, this issue is a contemplation on youth and aging: see “Shallow Water,” “As She Bows,” and “Song for Pilgrims.” At other moments, as in “Side by Side at the Zoo,” “Danny,” and galleries by Binh Danh/Robert Schultz and Kylie Moore, it is an imagistic rendering of the vestiges of memory. Across the board, it serves as a reflection upon life in the Age of Information—as visual, transient, and progressive as the digitized epoch that has produced it.

On behalf of the Roanoke Review, I invite you to pull up a chair, pour a bourbon barrel stout, and order a bowl of fried mushrooms (local Mac and Bob’s classics, and our staff favorites). Know that for us, Issue No. 40 has been more than just a labor of love. It was also a labor of authenticity. Bon appétit.

Steph Spector
Managing Editor, ‘16

Click here to read Issue XL

Click here to read Issue XL