Dear amazing Rumpus tribe—
This September marks my third anniversary as the editor of The Sunday Rumpus. These three years have included some of the true highlights of my 17 years as an editor—from being able to interview one of my lifelong literary heroes, Margaret Atwood, to introducing the work of many writers whose essays have now graced The Rumpus numerous times, such as Jennifer Pastiloff and Emily Rapp…and whose back to back pieces will, at the end of September, also mark the end of my time as a Rumpus editor. I have to tell you: it’s very hard to say goodbye.
One of my most stalwart contributors during my time at the helm has been Zoe Zolbrod, whose work on The Sunday Rumpus has always done something I’ve valued most: blending the personal essay with a kind of political or grass-roots activism. Her piece on Lisa Carver exemplifies that ethic, and when I knew I needed to step down from my Sunday editorship, Zoe was the first person to come to my mind as my fantasy “successor.” One of the most fair-minded people I know, she has already worked as a professional editor for the entirety of her career. When she and Martha Bayne, Zolbrod’s former co-editor of the short-lived-but-crazily-awesome “zine for churlish girls and rakish women, Maxine, decided to get their band back together and join forces on Sundays, I could not have been more delighted. Bayne, author of the Sunday Rumpus essay “Knocked Over,” which garnered her an invitation to be on NPR’s “Fresh Air, is also a former longtime editor at the Chicago Reader, where she was known to call her freelancers past midnight to go over a cover story just one more time before it went to print–a meticulousness I benefited from more than once. Together, these co-editors pack a passion, dedication, experience and professionalism into their dynamic duo that The Rumpus is truly proud and privileged to have.
Thank you more than I can say to the whole Rumpus team, past and present, especially Stephen Elliott, Isaac Fitzgerald, Brian Spears, Rebecca Rubenstein and Julie Greicius, all of whom have encouraged me, put up with my periodic technical ineptitudes, helped me put out fires, and served as inspirations. One of the most beautiful things about The Rumpus community is the way it has served as a supportive home to both widely known and acclaimed writers like Roxane Gay, Cheryl Strayed, Rick Moody and Steve Almond, as well as to those publishing for the very first time. This community has, for me, exemplified everything thrilling about the online literary culture, and the expansiveness and inclusiveness it can offer, making what were once small local bands of like-minded writers and readers instead span an entire country and beyond.
Martha and Zoe are already open for business, reading submissions and forming their own mission statement. Stay tuned. And meanwhile, thank you for the honor these past three years.