Editors' Note: Issue 13
Updated: Sep 30
Ashely: I was in a hurricane.
Jacqueline: Ashely was in a hurricane. She's fine (Sorry to spoil it, but I'm too tender-hearted to leave you all hanging).
Thanks so much for joining us, friends. We spent the summer in community with writers, trying to find ways to add to to the world instead of taking from it. When community is faltering, it feels like a hungry mouth–there's never enough love, enough attention or healing to give. I don't know how to fix that, but I do know that when community is strong, like I witnessed at our weeklong write-in earlier this summer, it's a meal in and of itself. It nourishes and sustains, it welcomes its members home.
We've been at this long enough now that it's clear that poetry won't save the world. In fact, very few singular things can save something so vast and varied in its troubles. But community–a welcoming meal, a quiet place to write alongside a handful of strangers–may help keep a small corner of it afloat.
Issue 13, nicknamed "The Very Hungry Edition," hopes to nod both to Eric Carle, and the hunger I found within this body of work. In some places, there is hunger for community; in others, a hunger for knowledge, for relief. In reading them, I hope you'll approach them with a broad and curious appetite. It was such a pleasure to curate them for your joyous gobbling.
Ethan: I've avoided writing an editor's note for the past couple issues since I felt like I didn't have anything left to say. The writers published in each issue are who readers should pay attention to, so writing one of these notes can feel like creating an unnecessary distraction. But I think I do have something worthwhile to say — this time, at least.
I used to think about curating this magazine as something aimed always at the next wave of writers. The goal was to create a place where artists would want their work to find a home, and so I was always looking to the future. What could be done to make this place a better home for the next set of writers was the question I asked myself most often.
There's some truth in that approach, but it also misses something vital. If anything, curating a magazine requires looking toward the past. It means looking to the writers who already trusted you with their labor and finding new writers whose work will honor what came before by rejuvenating the place where all of that writing is held. Being an editor is like being in a marriage in that it's a promise that must be continuously renewed, and it's like being a priest to some god in that each new issue is an offering. I think the authors that came before will be pleased to have Langdon and June among their ranks, and I look forward to the next issue when I can begin to show the same respect to their work.
Anyway, I wasn't in a hurricane because I live in the Rockies, so I had too much time on my hands.