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There has been much discussion about the function of authorship, the meaning of creativity, and the purpose of writing since the public release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in the last months of 2022. We created the cover image for this issue using OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 image generation application. The “prompt” used to generate the image connects nature and technology, both past and present: “A single bunch of white bloodroot flowers in the center of a hilly field of green grass with a blue sky. Ilford XP2 400. Nikon lens. Medium-Shot Angle.” The request for color was overruled by the request for an image that would appear as if it were taken on black and white film and using a camera from a previous generation. We created this image in order to gesture toward the creative possibilities within some of these new tools, possibilities that perhaps arise most acutely from their imperfections and frequent confusion of sense and nonsense.
For this issue we asked that people refrain from submitting if they’d been published in Bloodroot before. We did this to make space for new voices, and to encourage those who feel like they are on the periphery of the literary scene.
We are interested in what the writers in the Upper Valley are doing, and how their work resonates with select writers living outside our region.
We never have a theme, but much of the writing in this issue seems linked in both thematic and formal ways. Victoria Brockmeier details the aurora borealis while Helga Kidder takes us to Spain and shows us the light. Ira Goga invites us into two very different dreams while Amanda Skinner details a political nightmare. Karen Kilcup writes from inside a snowy day while Clara Strong conjures up a rainy springtime. Bloodroot has long encouraged literary experimentation and we are especially excited to be publishing several poems constructed by Allison Parrish. Parrish’s poems are generated using innovative strategies that transform a text through the resources of both language and images.
We are glad that you’re here and hope you find this issue deeply inspiring and refreshing.
Rena J. Mosteirin and James E. Dobson
Click on a name to learn more about our contributors:
J. Hope Stein