Let me begin by saying how grateful I am to RWW and Stan and Judith for giving me the opportunity to be part of the Soundings team. I have worked with some amazing people, who have since become friends, during my year as Editor. I have particularly enjoyed working with Chelsey Clammer, Sidney Brammer, Founding Editor Katrina Hays, and a big thanks to Steve McBurnett, our webmaster for the Fall/Winter and Spring issues, for putting up with my last minute edits.

The theme for the year was communion and this issue is no exception. However, this issue is also about hellos and good-byes as RWW transitions to a new era. Soundings would like to welcome our new program director, Rick Barot, new Soundings assistant editor, Cate Gable, and new webmaster, Garrett Brooks.  A fond good-bye to Rebecca Saxton (2012), our competent and spunky residency assistant, and greetings to Casey Fuller (2009), who will step into that role this year. Soundings would also like to congratulate the 2014 RWW graduates as well as welcome the 2017 cohort into the RWW family.

Jim Heynen greets us with a welcoming walk in his craft essay, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Craft and Communion.” In “A Love Story,” we pay tribute to RWW program founders, Stan and Judith, as they say good-bye and move on to other exciting ventures. Hello and welcome to RWW alum and now faculty member, Barrie Jean Borich (2009), profiled in this issue, and farewell to our late comrade and poet Shannon Smith (2010). And, as always, Soundings continues to celebrate the accomplishments of all our RWW participants, alumni, and faculty as we enter our eleventh year.

Soundings will be in good hands next year as Chelsey takes over as Editor. I will stay on as Contributing Writer while I tackle my thesis year.

And again, in the spirit of my mentor, Sid—

Write on, people!

Sydney Elliott, Outgoing Editor


If I owned a plane and knew how to fly it and had access to some person who makes big banners, then I would blanket the sky with a flying welcome message.


Soon, we’ll converge in Tacoma and finally get that ten-day break from our long-distance relationship which consists of the abstract inventions of Facebook, email, listservs, and, of course, the Soundings website. But we’ll extract ourselves from our computers, be in the same city, in the same buildings, and, while I love every single one of you, I will no doubt have to look at some name tags. Please don’t wear a mask. Although last year’s very first Morning Craft Talk consisted of Jim Heynen wearing many masks and hats as he warned us not to be Old Fogies about our writing, and even with the aforementioned hats and masks, I will never forget that guy. So rest assured—all of the names and faces (masked or not) do eventually stick!

For this Summer 2014 Issue, that same terrific guy, Jim Heynen, questions in his craft essay, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Craft and Communion,” that “If crafting is the means by which we connect each other’s inner lives, what [is that] really saying about craft?” 

Good question, Jim. For me, it’s about how the connections I have made with you fabulous RWW folks do not just inspire me to write, but keep me crafting—a large part of which is questioning. What am I saying and where should this go?

What I am saying is that this howdy letter is about to go to a place without any sort of segue whatsoever, because that’s just how I roll. And besides, I need to start reading everyone’s pieces for the workshops, which is probably my favorite activity, ever.

I'm looking forward to seeing you and to meeting the other yous I have yet to meet. Not to mention getting awed-out by all of you. I might not remember your name, but your words never leave me.

Chelsey Clammer
Incoming Editor

 go to top