A warm welcome to our Winter 2011 issue of Soundings, and a hot toddy to all Rainier Writing Workshop participants, faculty and extended alumni community!

Studying our brand new RWW Place Map, it’s clear that a majority of our RWW community are likely hunkered down to write in very cold places at this time of year. What better cold remedy to offer our readers than a soulful glimpse into “The Split Heart” of poet and faculty member Lola Haskins—the third in our series on writing about place. Lola’s meditation on poetry and landscape sent from the warm climes of Gainesville, Florida reminds us that divided allegiance to particular geographies can be a natural stimulant for our work. Our issue cover, “Canopied Trail” by Photographer David Moynahan, brings to mind Lola’s testament to her beloved north-central Florida. Moynahan’s pathway through the palmettos and oaks of a southern mid-winter extends the notion that our journeys to other physical places can percolate within us to produce unexpected writerly insights. Third year participant Mandy Nadyne Clark discovered this for herself on a pilgrimage to pizzerias across the continental U.S., as explained in “Pizza-Inspired Prose,” her brief chronicle of a very imaginative Outside Experience last year.

Also in this issue, look for a report on the November Alumni Reunion by Holly Hughes. And we’re pleased to add Multimedia publications (that includes podcasts and video trailers) to our “Publications” page, an “Opportunities” page for notices about job openings, special calls for material, submissions or other literary opportunities, and an “Upcoming Events” page.

Finally, as we gaze out our respective windows into our discontented winter landscapes, let’s recall and applaud the 2011 accomplishments of our RWW colleagues and know that all good things come to those who continue to…

Write on, people!

Sidney B.