Month: April 2021

Clickety-Clack by Fiona Brown

I love old European sleeper trains, the clickety-clack of metal against metal, the whirr and screech of brakes in darkness, the deceleration and acceleration as old wooden stations approach and depart, the blur of lights and buildings, and the invisible rustle of people on a voyage. Night trains seem to simultaneously condense and expand time and space, stimulate layered and unrelated memories in a pseudo dream-world of jostling images adjacent to reality, and the wild introduction of the random events. The trip from Prague to Budapest is about eight hours on a second-class night-train. Praha Hlavni Nadrazi Main Station smells like old trains and grease. Engine oil and decades of dirt stick to once shiny surfaces in a building that was once an architectural highlight. Art Nouveau figures, a vast window arc, and a vaulted latticework ceiling float above multiple tracks, trains, and two opposing arcade corridors. The building’s grandeur has decayed under forty years of communism, and although change is coming with Vaclav Havel just elected president, the regal station is in severe disrepair. …

Farewell from your Managing Editor

The Black Bear Review is a community project to behold. I landed in its midst for this sixth print edition and, well, there is a lot to love. Part School of Rock, part work experience, and part summer camp, Black Bear Review is fierce, bold, and best of all, a warm den for writers and artists of all ilks to incubate. It’s a literary magazine, a website, a blog, a podcast, and a virtual work-study hub. Here I take the opportunity to thank our award winning Faculty: Leesa Dean, Almeda Glenn Miller and Renee Harper of the Creative Writing Program, as well as Marion Lowe from Digital Arts and New Media for their guidance and support and also the amazing student Editorial Collectives in poetry, fiction, non-fiction and copy editing (and our pals in digital arts) who made this multi-step publication process possible. I send a special shout out to our contributors in this year’s print issue of the Black Bear Review: not a bad circle of over 25 creative socially distanced collaborators including the …