There’s nothing quite like holding a magazine in your hands. Amid the constant hum of our fast-paced, increasingly digital world, opening a magazine and getting lost in its stories and images feels deliberate, intentional, like a well-deserved and much-needed retreat.
And there’s so much to enjoy within this, our fall issue. Bill Berry uncovers the living history of Wisconsin’s tallest trees—and the people who work to keep their legacies recorded. Kristine Hansen takes us mushroom foraging in Wisconsin’s autumn woods, while Rudy Molinek tags along with Appleton geologist Marcia Bjornerud as she inspires students in the art and science of reading the landscape.
Additional highlights include winners of the Wisconsin Academy’s Fiction and Poetry Contests. Matt Cashion’s story, “Music Appreciation for Dead People,” is beautiful, wrenching, and likely to stick with you long after you read it, as it has for me, and the three top-ranking poems invite you to slow down and linger over each poet’s exquisite choice of words.
The lines I keep returning to are the final two in “My Son Standing Near a Glass of Water,” in which Sheryl Slocum writes: an ordinary container bearing prisms so fleeting,/ I must look once again twice.
It’s this level of noticing, of appreciating, that I crave in this season. And I hope you also find time this fall to soak in its subtle shifts and dramatic moments, to find things that make you pause and look once again twice.
Perhaps the pages of this magazine will have that effect. As a longtime admirer of both the Wisconsin Academy and the special magic of magazines, I am honored to serve as interim editor of this issue. Please join me in extending gratitude to the staff, contributors, and sources who all helped bring it to life.
Happy fall, and happy reading.