the museum of americana

a literary review

Letter from Executive Editor Allison Blevins

Over the years, I’ve been pulled to the museum by the voices that sing in every issue, and I’m delighted to introduce myself to our readers as the new Executive Editor. Our mission is one of celebration and examination. The chorus of this issue humbles me, and I’m thrilled to stand behind these writers and artists.

In “Gray on Green on Brown” Scott Nadelson creates a container of color where we are filled “with smells of sap and loam and mold, sweetness and decay.” His work is visual and tactile; this story is quintessential Americana: a traveling salesman, the Rockies, bad teeth. Nadelson expertly whirls us from God to color, from to death to life.

Malcom A. Robinson’s poem “Black Hymn for my Past and Future Family” exposes what the “crowds” refuse to see, uncovering “hallowed graves where brittle bones huffed dust.” Robinson’s poetry in this issue is Americana examined on the “cold cobblestone steps.”

In “César Estrada Chávez // Robert Frost,” John Sibley Williams gives us “raw sustenance exhumed,” and this phrase typifies, for me and for all of the editors at the museum, the heart of Americana. I can’t wait to see the beauty and terror, the gnarled history we discover together going forward.

Allison Blevins
June 2021