Editor’s Introduction

S. Tremaine Nelson

Welcome to our third year at the helm of Northwest Review. This is our seventh issue. We’ve just finished a GREAT weekend at the Portland Book Festival, thanks to Literary Arts, our local non-profit champion of Portland’s literary scene. If you attended, you probably saw and felt the radiating invisible waves of power from our neon glowing owl face sign, which we’ll be bringing with us to AWP Seattle in March 2023. If you’re reading this, and you want to go to AWP in Seattle this upcoming March, send me an email and we’ll save you a seat on the massive school bus we’re going to rent (seriously).

In the meantime, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve started publishing feature-length titles. As of November 19, our first book, THE PORTLANDERS by David McCarthy, will be available in bookstores around the Pacific Northwest. Why this book? Why now? David McCarthy, a local Sellwood resident, worked as an architect here in Oregon for 40 years. He lived less than two blocks from my house, though we’d never met. After retiring, he started walking around Portland taking pictures. Little did McCarthy imagine that in March of 2020, he would start documenting one of the worst humanitarian crises in the history of our city.

The book itself is a work of art. The Portlanders. Rough, gritty, revealing…

We’ve distributed a limited first edition print run that will have a bit more heft & texture in your hands than our usual laid-cover paperbacks. Grab one before they run out: thePortlanders.com.

We’re also now open for novella submissions: nwreview.org/submit. This is a form that larger publishers have mostly overlooked and neglected in the past few decades. However, in an era of fractured concentration and unlimited digital entertainment, it may be easier and more viable to start publishing 90-page books, as opposed to 900-page books, though many of my own personal favorite novels approach that daunting four digit page-count (Victor Hugo? William Gaddis? Leslie Marmon Silko?). Novellas cost less to print, too, and we’d rather help publish four new voices distributed across approximately 500 pages of paper than a single voice over that same amount, if all other factors were otherwise considered equal.

We’ll also look to start reviving old books that have fallen out of print. At least, that’s my goal for 2023 if we can raise some money (we need it). My hope is that our subscribers, authors, and members of the Northwest Review community will feel empowered to recommend titles to us for publication that have long ago (or recently) fallen out of print. With just a few hundred copies of an initial print run, we hope to start reviving beloved texts with little or no hope for commercial viability but with great artistic and historical merit. Dalkey Archives, New Directions, and David R. Godine Publishing—all three publishers manage to do this work in a way that I have always admired and wanted to emulate in some way.

If you’re aware of a title that has fallen out of print and should be considered for our “re-publication” program, send me a note: editor@nwreview.org. I’d love to hear about it. We’d be thrilled to work with any of our subscribers on preserving the availability of any old beloved favorite texts that might otherwise slip away forever…

—S. Tremaine Nelson
Portland, OR