Editor's Note: Green

For most of this magazine’s thirty-five-year history, each issue has been organized around a single-word theme. These themes have ranged from general (“Me”; “Stuff”) to specific (“Citizenship”; “Marriage”). We’ve featured many nouns, a few verbs and adjectives, and one exclamation (“Ha!”). This issue is the first to take its theme from a color.

Green is a word overburdened with meaning. It connotes life and abundance, but also jealousy (“the green-eyed monster”), wealth (“greenbacks”), illness (“green around the gills”), inexperience (“greenhorn”), and safety (“green means go”). It has national, political, and religious associations.

When we published the call for submissions for this issue, I had little sense of what to expect. I assumed we’d see many pitches about environmentalism, and I hoped we’d get a good number exploring other shades of meaning. And so we did: in this issue, you’ll find the greens of field and forest, as well as stories about green cards, capital, and debt. Choosing a color was an experiment, but the results, I hope you will agree, are bountiful.



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Also in this Issue

From the Director: Seeing Green

Editor's Note: Green

Pantoum for an Uncertain Future

Tonalidades de la Vida / Shades of Life

Buying In

Portrait of My Mother in Mint Green

Losing the Forest for the Trees

Memoria Ancestral

Merciful Debt


People, Places, Things: The Dalles, Oregon, 1988

Discussion Questions and Further Reading for "Green"