Sunday, October 12, 2008

With Thanks to Natasha Moni

Annette & I are thrilled to be editing Crab Creek Review. Since coming on, we have been busy trying to continue the upward swing of the magazine and reach out to new readers and writers, but we want to take a moment to say thank you. We feel so lucky to have joined into such a strong team. And we hope our expanding team of people will help make things easier for all and help make our journal stronger for our readers. Thank you all for your help and support.

We also wanted to take some time to thank the last editor, Natasha Moni, who did so much for Crab Creek Review to keep it going and active in the literary arts world. We are so thankful for all that she did and also for her continuing ongoing support and friendship.

So this week, we'd like to share with you a lovely thank you post our incredible poetry editor, Lana Hechtman Ayers wrote for Natasha to let us all say thank you more formally and share a little more about her and what she did. We wish Natasha well in her travels, her writing, and her life. Good luck to you, Natasha! We will miss you!

--Kelli & Annette

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As Natasha Kochicheril Moni, Crab Creek Review's former editor-in-chief, heads to sunny California for her next big adventure in life we wish her a thrilling journey.

Natasha came aboard as a staff editor for Crab Creek a few years back, just as all the long-time editors were about to part ways. She soon found herself one of two remaining staff, the other, Emily Bedard, pregnant and about to exit for her adventure into new motherhood. Natasha had two options—let the journal die a quiet death or try to recruit a whole new staff to keep it going. Crab Creek Review is an independent, nonprofit and all its staff members have always been volunteers. Finding folks who have the skill, time, and energy to donate to nonprofits is a daunting task. Add to that the fact that the coffers were pretty near dry, so in addition to finding qualified staff, she'd need to raise a lot of funds just to get out an issue or two. Crab Creek had been around for over twenty years and was always one of Natasha's favorite journals. She understood that one less literary journal meant much less beauty and goodness in the world, the potential silencing of necessary voices.

So Natasha rose to the occasion like the true hero she is. She consulted friends, former editors, advertised on Craigslist, did whatever it took to find a staff that would be willing to go the distance with her. Then she undertook the intimidating fundraising campaign. She wrote letters, applied for grants, hit up family and friends. In a short time, her tireless efforts were rewarded with enough funds to publish for nearly two years. Managing a literary journal is a full time job she had to cram in with gainful employment, relationships, and her own writing life. Natasha gave of herself no matter the sacrifice to see to it that Crab Creek not only stayed in business, but also surpassed its reputation as one the finest literary journals in the country.

As poetry editor for the last two issues it has been a privilege to work with Natasha. Her dedication and integrity have been inspiring. She is both grounded and innovative—a rare combination. Our staff meetings were not only productive, but also great fun. It's been the best working environment I've ever experienced. And most of all, I am proud and honored to have gained in Natasha a true friend.

Her final act as editor-in-chief was to find a way to fill her shoes. In doing so, she recruited Kelli Russell Agodon and Annette Spaulding-Convy as co-editors, thus ensuring the journal's brilliant future. Natasha, you will be greatly missed, but your legacy of excellence at Crab Creek will continue on.

--Lana Hechtman Ayers

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