Bluff & Vine, the premier literary magazine of the Finger Lakes, is back with its sixth issue, inviting readers to dive into the river of history with an all-new selection of stories, memoirs and poems. Featuring material set in or inspired by our beautiful region, produced by 35 writers with deep local connections, the release of each edition has become a joyous tradition for its editors and for readers from Conesus to Otisco.
“The writers and artists who submit always manage to captivate and surprise us,” says co-founder and local author Bethany Snyder. “Focusing a literary magazine on one area might seem limiting, but every year our contributors have so much to say and share about this place we call home.”
Always full of references to the past, this year’s issue feels more concerned with history than usual. Its writers tackle subjects from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Era, from the struggle for women’s suffrage to the struggle for environmental justice and much in between. It features appearances from such important figures as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Susan B. Anthony, as well as an array of humbler individuals — soldiers, farmers, workers, protesters and more — who nevertheless made marks.
“We didn’t put out a call for historical work, and yet history was on the minds of so many of our contributors,” says Alex Andrasik, co-founder of Bluff & Vine who serves as the adult services librarian at the Penn Yan Public Library. “It’s fantastic when a theme naturally presents itself to us like it did with this issue.”
History is not the only topic on these writers’ minds. This issue features the usual eclectic collection of themes, perspectives and genres, including humor, horror and personal essay. The poems selected for this issue reflect the many beauties of the Finger Lakes, including its flora and fauna, its gentle climate and the character of its residents.
The editors are also excited to feature a new medium on this issue’s cover: fiber arts. “We’ve showcased painting, photography and mosaic art over the course of our first five issues,” says Snyder. “When we saw the quilt, we knew it would be perfect for the cover.” Montezuma Queen is the work of Rochester-area quilter and sewist Kathleen Anderson.
Issue six of Bluff & Vine is available in print or digital online at amazon.com, as well as at Long’s Cards and Books in Penn Yan.