Welcome to Issue 17: Summer 2021

After I wrote the words, “Welcome to Issue 17,” I had to stop and make sure that was possible. Seventeen issues already? Wow. This is our four year anniversary of the journal!

Our first issue was summer of 2017, and our featured poet for that issue was Indiana poet, Adrian Matejka, who had recently published his book Map to The Stars. As it so happens, four years later, Matejka is now celebrating the publication of his new book, Somebody Else Sold The World. I didn’t arrange an interview with him for this issue, but hopefully that will happen in the near future. However, myself and other Indianapolis Review staff members did attend Matejka’s fabulous book release party in Indianapolis at The Jazz Kitchen, where Matejka and Indianapolis Review contributors, Mitchell L.H. Douglas and Chantel Massey also read.

Adrian Matejka
Mitchell L. H. Douglas
Chantel Massey

This was a major event for me to attend and have an (almost) post-pandemic moment (though since then things have gone backwards, pandemic-wise). I was moved to hear these 3 local poets read and talk about finally accepting that they were Midwestern poets and what that means to them. This continues to be one of the driving forces behind my publishing The Indianapolis Review–to promote the work of Midwestern poets and to squash stereotypes about the place.

Indianapolis Review Staff at Matejka’s reading (left to right): Natalie Solmer, Lydia Johnson, Rachel Sahaidachny

Speaking of obliterating stereotypes and notions of what it means to be writing in the Midwest, I urge you to read my interview with this issue’s featured poet, Joyelle McSweeney. McSweeney’s answers to my questions could be a whole separate book of lyric nonfiction about decadence, decay, South Bend, and yes, writing from this unique place in the Midwest. McSweeney is a brilliant writer, and I will be reading and re-reading her interview answers for years to come.

Thank you to all of our contributors and everyone who has contributed over the past four years! I especially have to thank my staff, who have worked tirelessly and remained loyal for this entire four years! Thank you Rachel Sahaidachny, Lydia Johnson, Ashley Mack-Jackson, Brianna Pike, and Jen Bingham!

Natalie Solmer
Founder and Editor-In-Chief

Indianapolis, July 2021

IR Staff (left to right): Natalie Solmer, Ashley Mack-Jackson, Brianna Pike
IR Staff (left to right): Jen Bingham, Natalie Solmer

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