Editors' Notes: Issue 6
Updated: Jul 1, 2020
To say that the global climate has changed since we published Issue 5 would be a massive understatement. On May 26, widespread protests began across the United States, then the world, in response to the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police. Every day since, peaceful protests against police brutality and the unlawful killing of Black people have been met with escalating violence, waking many to a truth that Black Americans have known all along: the system isn't broken; it's working exactly as intended.
In addition to global protest efforts, the literary world—and especially the poetry world—is facing a reckoning with its own complicity in perpetuating racism. Institutions that have served as benchmarks for legitimacy and success continually fail to address the racism that drives their publication houses, all while profiting off the labor of their Black and brown poets. All of this, of course, is taking place against the backdrop of a pandemic that has already claimed the lives of more than half a million people worldwide.
It's hard to know what our place is in all of this, or even if we ought to have a place in it at all.
Here's what we do know: Lammergeier remains steadfastly committed to the advancement of marginalized voices, both in and out of the literary world. It's not enough to seek to advance the careers of marginalized writers while the communities in which they live are brutalized. When we first began accepting donations for expedited submissions, we did so in support of RAICES, and we have expanded over the last year to work with CAIR. In addition, Lammergeier will also extend expedited submissions with proof of donation to the Navajo Water Project, the First Alaskans Institute, and any bail fund or mutual aid organization working to provide community assistance in place of policing.
While we remain proud of the work that we've published, we also recognize our limitations as an all-white editorial staff and are working internally to address those limitations in a way that is sustainable and doesn't tokenize or delegitimize the work our Black colleagues are doing in this field. Simply put: we want to avoid a rush to say the first right thing and focus on creating a space where good literary citizenship is both genuine and robust. We appreciate your patience and welcome your feedback while we continue to discuss what that looks like.
In closing, we'd like to thank the members of our community who continue to fight tirelessly for equity and justice across a multitude of spheres, and we hope that those who are affected most directly find moments of joy and safety among the wreck.
Be safe; nap often,
Jacqueline, Ashely, and Ethan