When The Hopper was germinating in October 2015, we imagined a literary magazine of and about New England. Inspired by the hardscrabble but warmhearted history of so many Vermont villages and the new cultures heralded as coming out of these hills, we pictured the magazine as a pure product of one region.
Our name and icon were derived from a Leland Kinsey poem. The name The Hopper led us to compare cider making to the literary arts—farming is never far off from other creative processes. Experiences, objects, and tastes are harvested from here and there, brought together, milled in a frenzy, and processed down to bare. Work around harvests, especially fruit harvests during banner years, is time sensitive, and the workers are often transitory. The labor around this magazine has been the same: people have entered and exited, sharing different parts of the load at different times.
This first annual print issue brought with it a litany of surprises. First off, by no particular effort (or lack of) on our part, the authors and artists we chose to publish are mostly non-native to New England, and only four of the twenty-six are resident Vermonters. What we imagined as a hyper-focused (geo-fenced, you could say) magazine about place has become multi-focused. We would have been happy with just New England, but tasting so many different vernaculars of space has been incredible. Clearly, good writing disrupts the ideas one has about one’s magazine, and about oneself.
That said, we hope this issue solidifies for the concerned reader that nature writing is alive and well and only getting more nuanced and applicable in our Internet age.
Our first annual print issue features:
Fiction by Benjamin Goodridge and Jeffrey Flannery.
Nonfiction by Jenny Ruth, Cynthia Scott Wandler, Kristen M. Ploetz, Kayann Short, Talley V. Kayser, and Brett Ann Stanciu.
Art by Brian D. Cohen, William C. Crawford, Alyssa Irizarry, Jenny Kendler, Sam Mass, Caroline Miller, Meghan Rigali, and Natalie Vestin.
Poetry by Stephen Siperstein, Ellen Elkins Radcliffe, Maggie Blake Bailey, Alexis Lathem, J.D. Smith, Grant McClure, Jim Lewis, Farzana Marie, and Don Thompson.