Note from the Editors
It is a little known fact that there are at least two autumns.
Most usually enjoyed is summer-autumn: while still partaking of warmth and sun, there is a crispness to the mornings and afternoons, a smudge of woodsmoke on the wind, a blush in the turning leaves. Less easily, perhaps, but no less fiercely beloved is winter-autumn, as it nips its way into toes and fingertips, has more grey to it than gold, while the smoke in the air is raked by bare branches, vies with frost and rain. The season is suspended between these two poles like a spiderweb, and this issue's poems are a tangle of thorns and thistledown in the silk.
Here you'll find home-comings and leave-takings, cold fruit and hot, divination through sacrificial ash and seduction by fire. This is an issue of blood and milk and charcoal, of entrapment and longing and sharp-toothed enchantment. There are wolves among the peaches and a Goddess in the garden. There is the number thirteen. So before you tuck into this fare, save some salt for your footsteps; you'll need it if you're to make it home afterwards unfollowed.
In addition to the main body of the issue, we are delighted to offer a shiny new Feature, full of tremendous poems by Neile Graham as well as an interview she was kind enough to grant us.
It is with regret, however, that we acknowledge the absence of new installments of A Silver Splendour, A Flame, Catherynne Valente's four-part Persephone serial. We've suspended their appearance online for the time being; our lady has been called to her katabasis somewhat early this year. But rumour is that come Spring she'll be pushing up and outwards in more tangible form, so keep an eye out for crocuses and a tooth out for pomegranates. We've certainly not yet seen the last of her.
Well-deep thanks are due, as ever, to Oliver Hunter for the art that coaxes you towards our offerings; to Dmitri Zagidulin, for his keen eyes and nimble fingers; to Jennifer Smith, for keen-eyed proofreading attentions; to our most excellent contributors for their gorgeous poems; and to you, readers sweet and savoury, without whom we would be lonely in our harvested feast.
It is autumn. Rejoice.