Summer 2024



antmen pimentel mendoza

Editor (Class of 2025)


  • antmen pimentel mendoza

  • Editor

  • Class of 2025

Dearest RWW Community—

I have to admit that I did not arrive at summer with my usual sigh of relief this year. At work, the school year has wound down and campus has mostly cleared out. From my apartment’s balcony, I have appreciated the late sunset. Over the sink in our shared kitchen, I have split tender-sweet stone fruit with my partner. And yet the buzz of fascism and the everyday ache of empire persist. I refuse the notion that writing can be panacea to all of this—there has been far too much blood spilled and I am not naïve enough. Still, I hold small hopes that writing alongside you all can offer some stay against the doom and gloom. Still, I look forward to returning to campus in Tacoma this month with my fingers crossed and eyes wide and hungry to see my friends again.

In compiling this issue, I revisited poems by friends. I read Dallas Atlas’s “The Snack that Smiles Back,” the gentle turn at the end of the poem, the speaker’s grief and memory swirling: “with cupped hands I drink the sea.” I read Eric Lochridge’s “Participation Award,” its litany of pains in contemporary life resonating in a chuckle and a sigh: “So many unasked-for absurdities— / the Apple TV remote, Hulu’s interface, // those little stickers stuck to fruit.” And it’s some small kindling in the meantime until summer’s relief hits, witnessing the life of these poems, following my friends in the belief in their work, preaching it here to you now through this note.

With what warmth and optimism I have mustered in writing this note, in reaching out to you, members of the RWW community, I do feel great excitement about this issue. To begin, we feature an inspiring craft essay by faculty member Geffrey Davis, as seen in The Next Draft: Inspiring Craft Talks from the Rainier Writing Workshop; interviews with both the program’s newest faculty member, Aram Mrjoian, and the program’s co-founder and former director, Stan Rubin; and, as always, a celebration of our community’s accomplishments in the Publications, Announcements, Opportunities, and Literary Citizenship listings.

So please enjoy our Summer 2024 issue, knowing the editorial team makes this humble offering with gratitude and excitement!

—antmen pimentel mendoza