Volume 3, Issue 19

“And this tub like a shining womb around me, will be my altar. If I stay underneath this water long enough, I’ll change like in the stories. Maybe I’ll be a mermaiden or a nymph, an Alabaman Aphrodite. I want a tail, shining and green. No! I hope it’s purple, the color of royalty. ‘Cause that’s what I am. Don’t matter though. The water welcomes me and now I welcome it.”

-DW McKinney, “Just Like the Tales Mama Told Me”

Untitled 202005 | Visual Art

“Mermaids are mysterious, seductive, and dangerous. In stories, they lead foolish men to their watery deaths, and I was inspired to depict a portrait of an enigmatic woman, crowned with coral, as a ship sinks far in the horizon. Instead of the usual flowing fishtails and hair, I wanted to focus on the subject as a person and stare straight into her eyes. Is she malicious, or can she be blamed for the actions of those seduced by her?”

Just Like the Tales Mama Told Me | Fiction

“Love? I had some of that for Freddie. But when I saw that water, I saw something greater than our sweat slick bodies tangled in my discount sheets. There was no other man, just my reflection rippling in the moonlight. A goddess like the Lady of the Lake, a woman of power. I saw the me I should’ve been, and I wanted to slip under the cool water and embrace her.”

Out: Testimony of an Alabama Queer | Nonfiction

“If I close my eyes, I can still smell the chlorine of the Friendship Baptist baptismal pool. Despite the warmth of the water, my clenched teeth chattered. At the age of five, I had made the decision to be saved from eternal damnation, taking the plunge as a public profession of my faith. This was an act I repeated as a fifteen-year-old, craving a second helping of that holy acceptance. Looking back, I wonder if the two cancelled each other out.”

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Book Reviews

Art & Photography

Washed Out | Visual Art

Washed Out | Visual Art

Rural communities rely on farms to provide fresh produce and groceries to them, but with economic turmoil and an emphasis on “cheaper” options through grocery chains, farms can be forgotten or “washed away” by promises of lower prices and more product. But farms are more crucial than ever, some attributing their efforts to fighting climate change while taking care of their community. I intentionally manipulated the photo to demonstrate polluted water swirling over the farm to show the connection between the death of farms and the decay of our world.

Endosymbiosis | Visual Art

Endosymbiosis | Visual Art

This image depicts the origin of complex cells which, according to the Endosymbiotic model, occurred when an Archae engulfed a simple bacteria. Over time, this simple bacteria developed a permanent relationship with the Archae and became a mitochondrion. The cells in our bodies would not exist without this merging of microscopic communities. This digital painting references the Creation of Adam by Michelangelo, thus casting this moment as a creation story for humanity.

Forest Witch | Visual Art

Forest Witch | Visual Art

This piece was created during an artist residency in Lapua, Finland. The deep forests and dark landscape of the Scandinavian Winter inspired this piece of a woman representing Mother Nature. My work strives to explore the aesthetic within imperfections and unearthed beauty of line work and stippling. These techniques imitate the look of nature, implying crisp texture and impression of depth. This is my best way to convey the look and feel of the natural world.

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