Dear Readers and Writers:
One of the things we’ve learned from putting twenty-one issues of student writing online is that not only is there no end of good writing out there, but every single issue always feels like our favorite. And we’re sticking steadfastly to the platitude that reading someone else’s writing can’t help but change you. It might make you angry, or hopeful, or empathetic, or leave you with a wow, I had no idea (!) kind of feeling. Our sincere hope is that we’ve given you some great reading to pass the time while you wait in line for your vaccine. We can hope!
We’ll let you get to skimming this note and scrolling through the issue instead, which is always our priority. Hope you approach each brand-new issue as a choose your own adventure exercise. Sometimes you’ll feel like an escape, and head for the fiction section. Come back later to dive into the personal essays, or check out the humor, craft, skill, emotion and construction of these poems. It will be hard to choose a favorite, so we’ll leave you with some great lines below to get you started. The rest is up to you.
Spring is coming, we promise.
Lending him my laptop was easy. Letting him lean on me for the rest of the year was not. (Loathing, Rita Chernikova)
Outside the glass the field is white, sprung with down. Turn to see myself in the glass but see Imogen instead. (Snowday, Crystal Peng)
There is a version of this story in which they do not erase you. There is a version of this story in which mom smiled and dad frowned and at the end of the day we still gather round the dinner table. (Sundays, Amy Wang)
“Stand up for the national anthem or get the hell out of here!” Trying to keep my composure, I kept my head down and closed my eyes. I could feel everyone staring at my team…..(Why I Kneel, ZiQing Kuang)
I became addicted to the feeling of feeling empty, addicted to the way I can’t sleep at night because of hunger pains, addicted to the comments friends and family make about me finally losing weight…. (The Fear of Consumption No Longer Consumes Me, Miles Ortiz)
We’d gone 100 days with protests…… And then the smoke from the wildfires came and Portland reluctantly paused. It smelled and looked like mother nature had tear-gassed everyone. (Letter from Mateo in Portland to Stella in Cleveland, Mateo Sifuentes)