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  • Editors’ Notes
  • Joey Franklin and Patrick Madden

We have always taught our students, among so many other things, to keep their cover letters brief. Present your work quickly and get out of the way, we’ve said. So that is what we will try to do here. There will be other editors’ notes in which we may expand our scope and expound upon our vision, consider particulars or capture universals about literary nonfiction, perhaps even reveal or revel in our quirks and quiddities. But for now, in deference to those editors who preceded us in the august task of curating Fourth Genre—Laura Julier, Marcia Aldrich, David Cooper, and especially Michael Steinberg, who, with the help of likeminded friends and the support of Michigan State University Press, founded this journal two decades ago, who tirelessly championed our genre, and who, sadly, passed away just recently—we wish to say, simply, that we feel it a great honor, a significant responsibility, and a wonderful opportunity to edit this journal, which has been such a vital and formative part of our writing lives for its entire history. We especially thank Laura Julier for her confidence in entrusting us with the editorship, and for her generosity in training us in the myriad tasks and operations.

We intend to continue Fourth Genre’s tradition of discovering, publishing, and promoting the most excellent essays, memoirs, reviews, interviews, and craft pieces from the most interesting and diverse writers. We continue to believe what Michael Steinberg wrote early in the journal’s history, that “the artfully crafted personal essay or memoir is uniquely suited for our times, [and] our need to pay attention to the singular, idiosyncratic human voice is perhaps more urgent than ever before.” And so we will carry on this important work with humility and gratitude, buoyed by the encouragement of the entire Fourth Genre community. We thank you for reading, subscribing, submitting, and supporting this extraordinary journal. [End Page vii]



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