At this writing Hurricane Florence is perhaps twelve hours from landfall, and we at Tar River Poetry have more or less closed up shop. East Carolina University has canceled classes “until further notice,” and the campus, where our offices are, is deserted. Except for a couple of prowling campus cop cars, your editor appears to be the only soul still at his post.
But not for long. After eastern North Carolina makes it through the wind and the rain, there will be flooding, and we’re almost certainly going to lose power. And power will likely be down for days, not just hours—meaning, of course, that we’ll have no internet and no way for us to continue reading the submissions in our Submittable inbox. If you’ve sent us any work since September 1st, please know that, as always, we’re happy to have it, but that it may be a while before you hear from us. We’ll get to it as soon as circumstances permit.
Tar River Poetry was founded by Peter Makuck in 1978 (that’s right, it’s our fortieth anniversary this year; more on that in a later post). In that time, we’ve published 80 issues on schedule and have weathered, well, all kinds of weather. We thought it would be fun (fun?) or at least interesting to tally up all the major storms we—the journal and I—have gone through in this part of North Carolina in the past four decades.
- Diana (1984)
- Hugo (1989) *
- Emily (1993)
- Bertha (1996)
- Fran (1996) †
- Floyd (1999)
- Isabel (2003) §
- Irene (2011)
- Arthur (2012)
- Matthew (2016)
- Florence (2018)
And we also thought we ought to link to a wonderful poem that we first published in the Spring 2000 issue, Lee Robinson’s “After the Hurricane.” Enjoy!
We’ll be back online as soon as we can. Stay safe, y’all.
* mostly missed eastern NC but trashed the editor’s hometown, Charlotte.
† knocked down over 100,000 trees in Raleigh, where the editor was living at the time.
§ considerable damage in northeastern NC, where the editor had moved to get away from Raleigh.