Families can be many things, they can be the ones we were born into, ones that we have created, or maybe ones that found us. The 17th edition of The Island Reader focuses on “Island Families” and includes poetry, a play, short stories, beautiful photographs, vibrant paintings, and other art that encapsulates the island experience created by 53 artists and writers. The submissions come from 11 islands stretching from Casco to Frenchman’s Bay including residents of Beal’s Island, Chebeague, Great Cranberry Island, Isle au Haut, Islesboro, Islesford, Matinicus, Monhegan, North Haven Island, Peaks Island, and Swans Island.
An independent, talented team of co-editors oversees content and selects what is included in each edition. In their letter at the beginning of The Island Reader they write that island families “are an extended family united by creative expression, by the rising and falling of tides, surrounded by saltwater, and defined through the verbal and graphic imagery of people living here.
This year’s editors are Kendra Chubbuck of Isle au Haut, Ingrid Gaither of Great Cranberry Isle, M.T. (Toby) Martin, Jr. of Islesboro, Kimberly Peabody of Matinicus, and Editor-in-Chief Gary Rainford of Swan’s Island. “For me, The Island Reader is an opportunity to have ongoing conversations about island art and the artists who create and live unbridged and off the coast of Maine,” Rainford says.
Douglas Cornman, the Mission’s Director of Island Services, is also a co-editor and serves as a liaison between the editorial team, the Mission, which publishes The Island Reader, and the islands.
“The Island Reader offers a creative space for islands to express their experiences,” says Cornman. “Not only does it showcase individual talent, but it also offers a collective creative voice that represents islands as a unified community of islands. It’s important when islanders notice themes between islands. Commonality mitigates the feelings of isolation often felt living in rural and remote places.”
To order the latest edition of The Islander Reader, view the digital edition, and view past issues, visit our website.
From July 1 to December 31, 2023, the editorial team welcomes submissions for the 18th edition. Submissions of visual art, poetry, and prose are accepted from writers and artists living on unbridged Maine islands.