Starting in December, Zachary Benavidez, my fellow Hopkins alum, my associate editor, and my long time friend, will take over the leadership of the Potomac Review while I escape the country (more on that later). Zach and I first met in JHU Margaret Meyers’ workshop in 2003 or so. His stories were so evocative and beautiful, I knew I wanted to get to know him better.

Shortly after we both completed the JHU masters in writing, Zach turned up on my campus and has been a favorite with our serious students ever since. Not content with one masters’ degree, he knocked out a Master in Lit from Georgetown University. So we both walk the lit and creative writing side of the world.

For the past three years, Zach and I have run the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary conference for our wonderful Dean Carolyn Terry, and Zach has been advising the student literary magazine the Red Jacket. When my opportunity came up, all eyes looked to Zach. He’s probably always coveted my wonderful PR office, and he and I both love having Monday afternoon pizza with the interns so it was time, his time.

Over the past 5 years, I loved his choices from the slush pile, I’ve trusted his judgment as a valued “Maybe” reader. I believe he will bring a new edge to PR; I know you will love it under his stewardship. Yes, I’ll be gone, but I’ll still be the Fiction Editor, even though it will be from a veranda overlooking the Indian Ocean.

All things must grow and change, or they might die. The Potomac Review is going to grow in a wonderful way. Welcome aboard, Zach.