We are thrilled to welcome esteemed writer Raymond Luczak to our team as fiction editor. Raymond has been with the magazine from issue one—no joke! In Fall 1991, A&U printed Raymond’s poem, “The Purpose of Astronomy,” selected by Chris Hewitt. In a beautiful elegy dedicated to Sam Edwards, the speaker tries to grasp a man he adores and pull him back from the finality of death. Begins the poem: “If an eye’s shimmer could inspire, then please / do not take him away. Reward him / with immortality.” Language of course can grant a literary immortality to those we have loved and lost, but the AIDS epidemic, Luczak seems to intimate, changes all that: better our loved ones be alive (alive forever, that is) than enshrined in a poem. The speaker regrets not finding the words to express his feelings when he had the chance: “my hand wanting to ask, talk, share— / but I lost the language.”
Over the years, he has consistently published in the pages of A&U, and, last year, in a blind reading, he won the fiction category’s top honors in our Chris Hewitt Awards for his short story, “The Love Whisperer.” Of course, Raymond has contributed much to our wider literary culture as a poet, essayist, fiction writer and editor. He is the author and editor of over twenty books. His latest titles are The Kinda Fella I Am (Reclamation Press), A Babble of Objects (Fomite Press), and The Last Deaf Club in America (Handtype Press). Books forthcoming in 2019 include Flannelwood (Red Hen Press) and Lovejets: Queer Male Poets on 200 Years of Walt Whitman (Squares & Rebels). He was previously the editor of the queer fiction journals Jonathan and Callisto. A ten-time Pushcart Prize nominee, he lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
If you would like to learn more about Raymond Luczak, visit his website at: raymondluczak.com.