Editor’s Note 

Publishing in the 21st Century is undergoing amazing, if not extreme, changes. Books are heavy and difficult to carry around, and why bother when you can have a full library on a laptop, tablet or a cell phone. So it is with some alacrity that we who have been on a cutting edge of online publishing, of an independent arts compendium for 15 years, are now taking leave to go about other business and activities that one or another of us have not had time enough to pursue. The word is out that another crew may pick up this ball and run with it, and we are hopeful, if not optimistic, this will happen sooner rather than later.

With this in mind, we are pleased to present a sampling of work from many of the artists, writers, and others in the Greater Binghamton area where Ragazine emanates. “Our Back Yard,” so to speak, in New York’s Southern Tier, the once-upon-a-time home of IBM, Ansco (GAF), Endicott-Johnson Shoe Company, Link Aviation (now CAE Link), and several other companies that began here, grew to be global, and either died, moved away or were absorbed into other corporations. Rod Serling of Twilight Zone fame grew up in the area, as did sci-fi writer Jack Dann, and many other notable “creatives.” Not all the talent is gone by any means, and we trust you’ll find the work in Our Back Yard relevant and interesting , as well as indicative of what more remains.

“Local” creativity is not all we’re offering in this issue, as you will discover in the photography of Lotte Lemetti, the sculptures of Neil Tetkowski, the paintings of A. J. Fries and the work of returning artist-filmmaker-educator Duda Penteado. Experience Russia’s Far East with John Michael Flynn, take another fall with Steve Poleskie, check out the music Jeff Roberts brings to the fore, the video-poetry-dance of Lucy Nell Stewart, the creative nonfiction of Donna Vitucci, and don’t miss the book and film reviews, poetry, fiction and socio-political commentary from regular columnists Jim Palombo and Fabia Wong, as well as guest columnist Henry Giroux.

We hope you’ll take time to browse the full collection of work from the variety of contributions in this and other issues of Ragazine. If you care to to back to the catacombs, check out www.old.ragazine.cc, as well, where the foundations of our contemporary efforts remain on line.

On a personal note, Ragazine has opened myriad doors making possible countless opportunities to share experiences and establish friendships, some of which are sure to last lifetimes. Thanks to all for that.

And, as always, thanks for reading!

— Mike F.