The editors of Rock & Sling believe that the act of writing and of reading literature is a way of witnessing to the truth of experience, drilling down to the core of language’s vitality, and accepting an understanding of artistic language as a kind of testimony. The word “Witness” means to testify: to tell the truth. The demands of the word are bracing in its charge to the writer to understand that his and her work matters not just as expressions of experiences and responses but as an active language engaged morally as well as aesthetically. To tell the truth is an act of responsibility as well as an expression of hope. To testify is an act of responsibility as well as an expression of faith.
Rock & Sling is a literary journal of witness, published twice a year at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. Rock & Sling was founded in 2004 by Susan Cowger, and came to Whitworth in 2010. We are a member of the CLMP and distributed nationwide by Ubiquity Distribution.
- Editor-in-chief: Thom Caraway
Thom is an assistant professor in the English department at Whitworth and teaches a variety of creative writing, literature, and publishing/editing courses. He received his Ph.D. from the University of North Dakota, and his MFA from Eastern Washington University’s Inland Northwest Center for Writers. His poems have appeared in Ascent, Smartish Pace, Sugar House Review, Redactions: Poetry, Prose, and Poetics, and elsewhere. Since 2013, he has served as Spokane’s poet laureate.
The work I prefer rarely takes a single form. It is often work that blurs traditional lines, either culturally or structurally. I want the magazine to embrace complexity, to be afraid of nothing, to push our understanding of ourselves and the ways we think about literature. I like art that takes risks, but still remembers to be good art. I realize this is vague, so let me provide a couple of my favorite lines:
“Suddenly I realize / that if I stepped out of my body I would break / into blossom” James Wright, “A Blessing.”
“The soul’s growlspeak / is strange- // prisoned / in foot-arch // in laurels” Carly Joy Miller, “apostle drives the coastline” (Rock & Sling issue 9.2, 2014).
“If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down, / we should give thanks that the end had magnitude” Jack Gilbert, “A Brief for the Defense.”
- Poetry Editor: Laurie Lamon
Laurie has lived in the Pacific Northwest and taught poetry workshops and literature seminars at Whitworth since 1985 (where she is associate professor of English). She received her doctorate from the University of Utah and her MFA from the University of Montana. Her poems have appeared in many journals and magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, Ploughshares, Colorado Review, Arts & Letters Journal of Contemporary Culture,Primavera, and Poetry Northwest. She is the recipient of a Washington State Artist Trust Award in 2005, a Graves Award in 2002, and a Pushcart Prize in 2001 for the poem “Pain Thinks of the Beautiful Table.” Her books include The Fork Without Hunger and Without Wings, both published by CavanKerry Press.
- Nonfiction Editor: Julie Riddle
Julie is the senior writer for marketing and development at Whitworth University, and associate editor of Whitworth Today magazine. She holds a BA in American studies from Whitworth and an MFA in creative writing from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. She also serves as the craft-essay editor for Brevity. Her memoir is forthcoming from the University of Nebraska Press’s American Lives Series. Her essay, “Shadow Animals,” appeared in The Georgia Review.
I love being part of the Rock & Sling crew as the journal’s creative-nonfiction editor. A great day on staff for me is when I read a submitted essay that surprises me with fresh language and an assured voice, and that seeks not to answer the question, but to deepen the question, and does so with honesty and authenticity.
- Fiction Editor: Kate Reed
Kate Reed lives, writes, and teaches in Spokane, WA. Her fiction has appeared in Copper Nickel Review, Trestle Creek, and Almost5 Quarterly.
- Web Editor: Nicole Sheets
- Managing Editor: Karly Rasmussen
- Assistant Managing Editor: Nick Avery
- Assistant Fiction Editor: Holli Steinmetz
- Assistant Poetry Editor: Dana Stull
For questions, email Karly at krasmussen [at] whitworth [dot] edu.
About Whitworth University
Since 1890, Whitworth has held fast to its founding mission of providing “an education of mind and heart” through rigorous intellectual inquiry guided by dedicated Christian scholars. Recognized as one of the top regional colleges and universities in the West, Whitworth University has an enrollment of 2,700 students and offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. In recent years, Whitworth has enjoyed record levels of student enrollment and retention, the strongest financial position in the university’s history, and increased external visibility.
Whitworth University’s 200-acre campus of red-brick buildings and tall pines offers a beautiful, inviting and secure learning environment. More than $83 million in campus improvements have been made over the past decade, including a new center for the visual arts, a landmark general academic building, three new residence halls and several outdoor athletics facilities.
In all of these endeavors, the university seeks to advance its founder’s mission of equipping students to “honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity.”