Creating this issue has been a lesson in hope. Hope because as the editor of a contest issue, I knew much of the content, as well as the cover, would be chosen for me and my team. And while I hold great trust in the eyes of others, judges do not read and choose pieces with the cohesiveness of a magazine issue in mind. When my team and I met to discuss the issue we wanted to make, the quick addition to any suggestion was often “depending on the contest.”
How do you build an issue where predetermined pieces might not go together? Flexibility. From our submitters, we requested writing from between spaces; liminal writing that engaged with movement, immigration, and thresholds. We asked for hybrid forms, speculative works, translations, and everything in between.
When you ask people to prod at the cracks, the ley lines of life, they find pieces of hurt that have been hidden, growing pains, loam that has absorbed destruction and fed new creation. But what’s buried remains, to dig up again and again, unfinished in its work.
We started this issue with the comedically unsettling work of commissioned author Sydney Hegele, whose story “Dirt Mouth” follows the tale of a fake funeral. From there, we found what we had requested of submitters, and hoped for in the contest winners, had been delivered. In this issue, you will find the places between death and transformation, the cycle of destruction and introduction, the thresholds of possibilities that never were. I hope you, reader, will find yourself in one of these pages.
Lastly, I want to thank my team. Amazing shadows Adesina Brown, Kendra Heinz, and Nara Monteiro. And Assistant Editor, Annick MacAskill, who I got the chance to work with on “Dirt Mouth” and see the beautiful and trusting relationship between writer and their thoughtful and smart editor. I am so appreciative of my team’s hard work, creativity, and support. It is an honour to have shared this issue with them.