Spring 1991, Volume 8.1
Neila C. Seshachari
All writers must wonder sometimes about the immortality of their published work. Perhaps the one exception was Emily Dickinson, who agonized only over the intrinsic merit of her poetic gift. The pleading in her 1862 letter to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, ". . . say if my verse is alive," or her resignation to his critical judgment—"I smile when you suggest that I delay 'to publish,' that being foreign to my thought as firmament to fin. If fame belonged to me, I could not escape her. . ."—is poignant enough to make one tremble for this sensitive poet who saw only seven of her 1,775 poems published anonymously in her lifetime.
May Swenson, much admired and rewarded in her own lifetime, was more happily situated in her own art and status, and yet, as I worked on this issue—selected and formatted her poems tenderly—I could not help asking myself, What would May Swenson have said if she'd had a chance to see this issue? Would her keen eye have discerned the text, "AT THE V," on the cover? Would she have readily solved the riddle? Would she have smiled to read Paul's proud recollections of her? Like the imagination soaring on its own wings even after a brilliant haiku has ended, my reveries of May have continued to spin in my mind.
Weber Studies is pleased that this issue will be out in time to be available when the Academy of American Poets honors the memory of May Swenson on 28 March 1991 in New York City. We feel particularly privileged to feature May Swenson, Utah's very own, in this first issue of a year that marks historic beginnings for Weber State.
Weber State has come of age at last. The long-awaited celebration on New Year's eve that ushered in university status beginning 1 January 1991 for the 102-year institution surprised everyone by its exuberance, enthusiasm, and euphoria in a shared sense of destiny. Perhaps choosing a life is a little easier for an institution than for an individual—its corporate vitality and communal thinktank could more easily chart its best opportunities to be of consequence in its chosen mission. Weber State, after careful deliberation, has chosen to be a "metropolitan university," directing its pedagogy and research to fulfill the needs of the abundant youth and growing industrial base of Utah's larger metropolitan areas.
Charting its growth pattern has been harder for Weber Studies, since its corporate body is but a handful, its mission interdisciplinary, and its constituency spread out among its readers. Beginning 1992, Weber Studies will become a "triquarterly," with three annual numbers published in January, May, and September. We invite our readers to suggest topics for special issues with names of guest co-editors to help with individual topics. Such a measure would be consistent with our larger metropolitan vision.
Casual readers of Weber Studies will not have to scan the table of contents to find out whom they will meet and what fare they will be served this time, as we have begun to feature the names of all contributors on the cover.
We hope our regular readers will note that we have added two associate editors in preparation for our triquarterly debut. I would like to personally welcome my colleagues, Dean W. Collinwood and John Sillito, on the editorial team. Even though they know not fully what they are in for, I am enthused and relieved at the prospect of sharing my "delightful burden." With book review editor Robert M. Hogge and art editor Mark Biddle, we should be able to deliver our promise to our readers triquarterly. And, as I am always aware, nothing would move without the help of our fine editorial board as well as our staff assistant and student intern. I would like to thank them all publicly here for making Weber Studies possible every time.
We hope you enjoy this issue—read it "greedily and with great satisfaction" as one of our readers generously wrote to us about a previous one.