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Summer/Fall 2019

Editor's Letter - Summer/Fall 2019

The long-awaited Summer (now Fall) 2019 issue is here! 

Our apologies for the delay. In the months following our semi-finalized selections, each member of the editorial team was called away to attend to urgent family matters, as if the entire Literary Universe had conspired to draw us from our work at the same time. We were fortunate that our contributors treated us with the utmost patience and loving concern. We are happy to report that we are back and eager to get these wonderful essays, poems, and stories in the hands of our readers, and to support our contributors in every way we can.

We have experienced many changes in the last few months, many of them personal and life-disrupting, but some professional and promising. The good news: two new interns, a new full-time editor, and, with our new website, the ability to lend greater visibility to each of our contributors. We are also sad to lose some old friends, like Dr. Theresa Welford, who has moved to the Midwest for a new and exciting teaching position, and who will no longer be able to serve as editor, though she may contribute her skills from time to time. 

On the personal level, some of us have had to confront the inevitabilities of life: a death in the family and the sudden onset of a chronic infirmity of a loved one, for starters. Although we will share no more than this, we did find unexpected solace in the submissions we accepted, works that heartened us with compassion, and that surprised us with life-affirming insights and inspiring talent. We hope that you will love these works as much as we do.

This issue, though not strictly a themed issue, orbits around that mirrored labyrinth that is perception - of culture, of race, of personal values, of ambition… As humans, we seem to have the ability to see ourselves mirrored in every situation, blind to our own reflection and to the illusions that we project about the spaces we inhabit.

Jahnavi Newsom’s “Tradition” tackles her lifelong search for spiritual fulfillment and empowerment, and details how she is confronted at each turn by gender-biases that contradict the very essence of the spiritual practices she longs to embrace. Thomas Kearnes’ “The Mother of All Mistakes” is a raw, unflinching exploration of white privilege and the thinly-disguised racism that still pervades much of middle-class America. Issa M. Lewis in “Tuesday Morning, 6:52 am” surmises “ that journalism is dead since our own eyes/can’t tell a gun from a phone,/or whether vaccines cause autism,/or whether the earth is flat.”

Lazar Trubman grows increasingly uncomfortable with a KGB officer’s interest in him and is eventually faced with a terrifying choice in “Millstones,” and Amy Bailey temporarily revisits faith when multiple tragedies strike in “Jonah and the Whale.” 

Will Clattenburg's “Turnabout” is a lyrical freedom song for a young woman suffering from post-college burnout and the failed promises of her degree.  Barry Peters’ poem “Linwood” captures the heart of an aged former athlete longing to recapture a moment of his former glory...These and many more populate this fall’s issue with startling images, fluid rhythms, and poignant moments. 

We believe that we have once again assembled a collection of creative works that confirms our reputation for “top-notch Southern writing,” including works that, in portraying cultures that contrast with the Southern experience, lend our issues that “wraparound” motif we strive to achieve.  We hope you will think so, too. 

Thanks for reading us.

The Editors of Wraparound South