Issue 7 - Fall 2013

“Change in all things is sweet,” Aristotle once asserted astutely, and indeed, we think so, too. Of course, everyone knows that fall means change, but this season brought with it not only a turnover in our leaves but of our editorial staff, as well. Once based primarily in Iowa City, Iowa, our editors have since relocated all across the country, across the globe, in fact, most notably with the recent departure of Robin Hemley, our beloved founder and former editor-in-chief, who’s now assumed the role of Publisher as he begins his exciting new journey as the Writing Director at the new Yale-NUS College in Singapore. Indeed, our senior editors have also moved: to New Haven and Houston and Los Angeles. This issue also sees change in the exciting addition of Kendra Greene as our new Art Director, and we couldn’t be more pleased with her debut work. Finally, after four years as inaugural Managing Editor—a role which allowed me the opportunity to work one-on-one with so many of our great writers—I’m pleased to step in as the Editor-in-Chief, and I hope you’ll trust me when I say that we’ve got some great things in store.

So change—we’re into it. We hope you’ll enjoy our seventh issue, featuring new essays on a myriad of defunct topics, including ‘Hark!,’ university shanty towns, séancing the attractive ghost of John F. Kennedy, and carnival personas, to name a few. This issue also features our first-ever animated essay, by the inspiring and evocative Javier Barboza, who writes of his work in ‘Papel Picado,’ “the name, in Spanish, means perforated paper, and is a reflection on the person’s soul--the idea that we are all paper getting written on, torn up, taped, and, in time, we age.”

Thanks for reading, and we hope you’re happy with our new line-up, because as Billy Crystal puts it, Change is, after all, such hard work.

Yours In Defunctness,
Amy Butcher


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Borne of the idea that strong, condensed nonfiction can resurrect the dead, salvage the past and, perhaps most importantly, quell the existential unease of nostalgia, Defunct was founded in the dead of an Iowa City winter in 2009 in the back-booth of The Mill. Since then, we’ve published five fantastic issues that feature the work of Joe Wenderoth, Ander Monson, David Shields, Lia Purpura, Roxane Gay, Joe Bonomo, Dinty W. Moore, Elizabeth Kadetsky, Chris Offutt and many more. We’ve also been listed as publishing one of the 100 Best Pieces of Journalism by the Atlantic (for Ander Monson's 2011 essay, “Long Live The Jart”), and we’ve held readings, book fairs and events at the annual AWP Conference in Boston, Washington D.C., and Chicago, as well as the NonfictioNow Conference in both Iowa City and Melbourne, Australia. All issues, including archives, are available exclusively online, and new issues are released every spring and fall.