The Promise of Freshness: On Poetry, Politics, and Place: Christopher Merrill,

Beyond, Behind the Totems; January 2003, Sitka National Historic Park / Lecture on the Tides: Hugh Ogden,

Pioneers: A Cabin, A Paradox, A Friendship: Kim Heacox,

“To say that these are anxious and fearful times is an understatement. As these words are written our country has begun a war whose consequences cannot be comprehended. The decisions that have been made by the United States government will go down in history, and all the world will live with the consequences.

This issue of Connotations has a lot to do with human conflict, on the killing grounds and within our nature. It has also to do with the struggle to articulate something that has meaning and hope in the darkness of these times. The work of the three writers presented here moves us from Bosnia to Sitka and to Glacier Bay, Alaska. We are reminded to pay attention to various forms of land-grab and land-use, whether through brutal military adventure or our relationship to the environment. Diverse as these works are in subject matter, they have in common a deep reverence for the natural world…

Faced with so much that seems beyond our control, we find ourselves turning to two forces within our reach: the creativity of the human imagination and the power of compassion. Each imaginative act coupled with compassion strengthens the possibilities for moving us beyond the darkness of human conflict toward the possibility of new understanding, the promise of freshness. It is in that spirit that we offer the poems and narratives in this issue of Connotations.”