During the Dog Days…



Elke Vogelsang

During the dog days of July this year, I saw a lot of dogs walking with their humans in the early morning hours along the beach at Twin Lakes State Park in California. We all walked along in the silence and sound of the surf, as seals swam along beside us. I loved the man who eagerly pointed out four seals to his dog. Dog and seals were quite interested in each other, and dogs and seals do resemble one another swimming!

Being in California this summer allowed me to meet in person for the first time our EIL Book Review editor, Seana Graham, who lives in Santa Cruz and gave me a tour of downtown and its residential surrounding streets. My son also lives in Santa Cruz, as does my brother and his family, so I saw various neighborhoods and lots of beauty, flowers, ocean, sunshine, and fog. Plus redwood forests!

You’ll remember Seana Graham as one of the writers anthologized in Santa Cruz Noir, reviewed here at EIL, and during these dog days she also recalled her two flash fictions featuring dogs, “The Rival” in Flash Flood Journal, and “Warning” at Flash Jab Fiction, both via blogspot.com. Have fun reading these!

Once you are thinking about dogs, you see them everywhere. You’ll find “dogs steaming / on leashes” in this poem by EIL poet Jill Khoury in the summer issue of Really System.

And here’s a fabulous array of dog poems provided by the Poetry Foundation, including more dogs on the beach in Santa Cruz, as seen by Alicia Ostriker!

And a heads up! Maureen Doallas has found another fabulous dog portrait artist for our upcoming Dog Days Artist Watch feature as the Dog Days continue in August. Look for it on August 16. In the meantime, here are some sweet dog portraits from Dog Days gone by:

Noelle Harper, Dog Days 2017
Elke Vogelsang, Dog Days 2016
Lisa Ann Watkins, Dog Days 2015
EJ Miley, Jr., Dog Days 2014

And if you missed our Dog Days poetry feature earlier this July, here it is again, with art by Kate Bassett. Seana noticed that a lot of these poems are sad—ironic, since dogs tend to make us so happy. Fear not! You can find links to the past Dog Days poetry features at this one, with many a happy dog and dog poem!

And look for equal time for cats come October!

—Kathleen Kirk, Poetry Editor

Dog Days 2018 at EIL