Welcome to the Spring/Summer 2021 issue of Wraparound South. We think you will find a lot to compel you and inspire you in these digital spaces.
As the pandemic continues to weigh on our collective minds, themes that treat loss and uncertainty populate our consciousness and we look to literature to guide and comfort us. In this issue, Elaine Monaghan shares a wrenching personal experience with COVID while writing a letter to her deceased grandmother in "Sugar and Salt." In "For Carrie," Sharee Shatskee visits the grave of a relative who died of the Spanish flu one hundred years earlier.
In fiction, Julian Santiago Munoz's "Cordelia" chronicles the effects of serious illness on the uninsured as it follows a hard-working mother trying to negotiate work, parental responsibility, and language barriers through her failing health. In "Another Teaching Moment," Jami Kimbrell offers a rare glimpse into the mind of a coroner's assistant as she attempts to connect with the relative of a man she has just autopsied.
Richard Stimac's "Artifacts" gifts us with lyric images of archeological ruins found in river mud and the lessons on impermanence implied in the discovery. In "Shallows of Sleep," Caitlin Thomson explores the vast reaches of pain that a mother endures in silence, while in "Outside the Door, a Universe" the looming threats of the larger world are kept at bay by mundane tasks and familial love.
Our issue also celebrates unique facets of Southern life, that particular strand of peculiar that can characterize this region's collective culture, even in all its diversity and variety. In nonfiction, T K Williams' "Fred the Cop" is a lighthearted tribute to an idiosyncratic Savannah of the psychedelic 70's. In fiction, Mazzer D'Orazio's "The Luckiest Girl in Music City" brings to life the Nashville Music Scene. "Cordelia" captures Miami's multicultural vibes, while Zackary Vernon's "Wet Business" draws on local lore and superstition to texture a spooky encounter on a St. Pawley Island beach.
There is more to these works that can be summarized here. We can only invite you to read at your leisure and discover for yourself all that our contributors offer. In addition to the poems, essays, and stories we feature in this issue, we also review two recent new releases by former Wraparound South contributors: Sandra Beasley's Made to Explode, and Kat Meads' Dear Dee Dee.
In the Art & Photography section, we feature digital artworks by K. Johnson Bowles from the artist's Veronica's Cloths series, artifacts inspired by the artist's Irish Catholic background, and her experience growing up in the South. Our cover art this issue, "even better [than the real thing]," is a photo by George Stein that plays on the irony of commercial structures that caricature the natural spaces they voraciously overtake. Be sure to check out these artists' statements in the Art & Photography section, in addition to their works.
To complete the Wraparound South's experience, we recommend you visit the Back Porch, where our current contributors offer advice on writing, career, and other uniquely literary (and sometimes humorous) experiences. Pull up a chair, take off a load, and enjoy the chat.
Thank you for visiting our journal and for your continued support.
The Editors of Wraparound South