A prefatory note

Dear readers,

This year’s late spring gives way to a late spring issue of Exchanges. Since last year’s “Migration” we find ourselves dispersed into wide-ranging landscapes of eras, alphabets, and elements.  Across rivers and oceans, deserts and forests, skies and clouds, mud and snow, the ten selections in “Topographies” employ nature as the backdrop to their explorations of the human condition. Each piece reflects the way that place—whether rural, urban, or wild—shapes a character’s concept of self and his use of language.

For the first time since our journal went digital, we’ve solicited thematic cover art from a U of Iowa-based artist: here, printmaker Amanda Maciuba. Her photo-lithographic silk screen “Wild Prairie Drive, IA” exhibits a cartographic overlay onto a country road that in the context of this issue can be said to represent human attempts to organize the environment through image as our writers do through words.

Thank you for reading,

Genevieve Guzmán, Alex Niemi, and Hodna Nuernberg




Artist’s bio:

A native of the Buffalo, NY area, Amanda Maciuba graduated in 2009 from the University at Buffalo with a degree in Visual Studies/ Print Media. She has shown her work at the Carnegie Art Center, The Western New York Book Arts Collaborative, and the University at Buffalo Art Galleries. She is a founding member of Emerging Leaders in the Arts Buffalo and part of the planning committee for Painting for Preservation, in Buffalo. Alongside her MFA in Printmaking at the University of Iowa she is also pursuing a graduate Certificate of the Book.


From the artist:

As an artist, my work is concerned with physical alterations of different communities on their landscapes. I often study suburban architecture and city planning, its successes and downfalls, and how it impacts residents and their environs.

I use the meticulous processes of printmaking, papermaking, drawing and book design to illustrate and critique the uncomfortable, sometimes unsightly spaces we purposely create and place ourselves into. In familiar landscapes drawn to exaggerated proportions, I encourage the viewer to consider how the physical manifestation of our surroundings has come to reflect our apathy towards it and a more sustainable way forward.


Wild Prairie Drive, IA

Photo-lithography & Silk screen

2013, 11x14"