Featuring: Langdon Hammer, Louisa Hall, Raphael Cormack, Edward Hirsch, Kristen Brownell, Lavinia Liang, Nancy Kricorian, Sarah McEachern, Michelle Cho, and Abraham Lieberman, Natalia Reyes, and Stephen Marche, Dujie Tajat, Prageeta Sharma, Natasha Rao, Michael Torres, and Leah Umansky.
Featured Artists: Kayla Ephros, Ed Mock, Narumi Nekpenekpen, Brontez Purnell, and Mona Varichon.
After a year and some change spent indoors and glued to screens of all sizes, we have watched a lot of the same things — some with horror, some for laughs, and some for distraction. Often these sights and sounds have bonded us as families and friends, and occasionally they have motivated us to act as collective forces. From the mother and daughter renegotiating their relationship in Natalia Reyes’s story “The Wash” to the Egyptian feminists of the roaring 1920s chronicled in Raphael Cormack’s “Doing Justice to Egyptian Feminists,” the pieces in this issue dramatize reckonings with identity in relation to others and to the spirit of a given era. Stephen Marche’s “The Thing on the Phone,” for instance, forces us to question the degree to which our stories are our own, as opposed to products of ever-advancing technology. Natasha Rao, on the other hand, finds the promise of renewal in dark times, writing, “I fling wide the door to feel / which way the wind is moving, / barely open my mouth before / a new species of bird evolves / and fills the air / with uncountable versions / of the freshest song.” We hope these essays, stories, and poems offer an expansive view of where our global culture is tending and trending.
—Sonia Ali, Managing Editor,
and Boris Dralyuk, Editor-in-Chief