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In trying to find a common theme between all the pieces of this issue, I kept returning to the idea of what it means for us, as writers and artists, to pull at the threads of our identities and inventions in order to lay them on the page. Working alongside my thoughtful editorial team, this issue celebrates writers and artists whose work draws open language and guides us with care through the possibilities of storytelling.

Amber Sandy’s electric and dreamy cover art, Muskrat Dreams Green, invites us into an issue that is intimate, textured, and powerful. Our commissioned writer, Liz Howard, bends language like a river in Bow River Desk Set alongside the work of writer Ivy B who explores the grief and tenderness of relearning Bangla and Hindi in Misplaced My Tongue. In Angelic’s featured interview with Cassandra Myers, the two speak about relational healing, memory, and transforming worlds. From a moving love letter to MISÂSKWATÔMINISKÂHK by Kayla MacInnis, to bubbling poetic language in Cosmology of Impossible Belief by syan jay, this issue contends with the body, land, motherhood, and so much more.

The work that follows in this issue is unapologetic, tender, and surprising. It is work that is unafraid to contradict itself, to take us to the gut of a feeling or moment and open up the possibilities within language and imagery. Some pieces in this issue contain reference to sexual and physical violence. We ask readers to take care of themselves first and foremost. Finally, hiy hiy to you, dear reader, and to the incredible writers and artists for your work.

–Selina Boan

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ROOM 44.4, Open
Edited by SELINA BOAN
Assistant Editors ASNA SHAIKH and ANGELIC
Shadow Editor HOPE LAUTERBACH

In This Issue: Angelic, Ivy B, Manahil Bandukwala, Ivanna Baranova, Levi Cain, Lindsay Cavanaugh, Lily Chang, Kai Conradi, Sarah Ebba Hansen, Kendra Heinz, Teya Hollier, Liz Howard, Zoe Imani Sharpe, syan jay, Jay Julio, Bonnie S. Kaplan, Kimmortal, Hope Lauterbach, K. Lenek, Nya Lewis, Pinki Li, Annick MacAskill, Kayla MacInnis, britt mcgillivray, Sneha Madhaven-Reese, Anukriti Mishra, Cassandra Meyers, Adesuwa Okoyomon, Pauline Peters, Terese Mason Pierre, Amber Sandy, Trish Sewell, Nadia Siu Van, Linda Trinh, Summer Tyance, Lily Wang, Sanna Wani, Vale Warren, Carrie Jade Williams, Jocelyn Wong, Yu-Sen Zhou