Winter, 2006/2007

Dear Reader:

Writer's Cramp is coming up to its eighth year of publication. During this time we've welcomed a hugely talented parade of writers and poets onto our pages and with each new issue of the magazine, new discoveries are made.

This issue sees the inclusion of five new contributors, two of whom are featured reviewers for one of our long-time contributors, Jan Oscar Hansen. (Jan's newest collection graces our pages in Tears of Clarity.) His most recent print publication, La Strada, from Lapwing Publications, Belfast, Ireland, is here reviewed by Joneve McCormick and Adam Donaldson Powell.

McCormick writes, "Jan Oscar Hansen removes the masks of ordinariness from his subjects. Everyone and everything is alive and magical. He engages the reader on many levels and could take poetry a long way towards renewed popularity."

Robert Liberty

As readers of Writer's Cramp well know, Jan Hansen has renewed the popularity of poetry for years in these pages; along with the likes of Michelle Tercha, Tim LeJeune, Jalana Roganovic and many other WC poets. We're just happy that the rest of the world is catching up to us.

According to reviewer Adam Donaldson Powell, "Jan Oskar Hansen is, in my opinion, a master in the art of story-telling through poetry. His book Letters from Portugal clearly demonstrates his ability to weave an interesting tale out of the most ordinary occurrences or situations; all the while employing a poetic craftsmanship equaled only by the best classical poets."

Again, we can only agree, and point to the past issues where Jan shook his wings and stretched his metric feet, making tracks in the beach as he went.

In this issue you will also find three new writers to our pages; writers whom we believe will also become well known names to WC readers as the years progress.

It is always a treat to read new works by talented people, it's also a pleasure to be dazzled by fresh eyes on familiar ground. In this edition you will find Jeff Justice, a computer coding master and freelance writer with a quick wit and a solid grasp of the writerly ways as he brings his attention to what may well have been a staple to many of us. It's about Christmas and that's all you need to know to read Traditions.

Next in our stocking is a fantastic stuffer of a more cerebral kind. Written by Richard Yuzon, a graphic artist, editor in his own right, web designer and writer of many styles - mundane to manic. Richard offers up a unique helping of not-so-traditional Plumb Pudding in his, A Morning In The Life Of Just Another Programmer.

And for our fifth new contributor, we introduce you to Rodney Ronquillo. Rod is, coincidentally, another designer and fine artist who is connected to computers and web design. One wouldn't be surprised if all three knew each other. Rodney takes us to the darker side of the season with a chilling tale of haunted Japan. The red splash of hot blood on cold snow is awaiting you in Snow Ghost.

And rounding out this issue of Writer's Cramp are two old friends, Ole Nielsen, with another sweet look into a kinder dimension with The Squire and the Dwarf. This is a tale of love across generations, loss and the bitter sweetness of never having known.

Finally, and in keeping with his own particularly skewed take on myth, magic and mankind's always getting the story wrong, Robert Liberty offers us the real dope on Santa Claus and where he came from. Joulupukki, The Once and Future Santa Claus - (The true story of how he got his current positive press) - as related by a Gnome.

As always, and especially at this important time of year ... enjoy.