Volume 4, Issue 7

To honor those 250,000 Africans who were enslaved for two in a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation became effective January 1st, 1863, Volume 4, Issue 7 features work that celebrates Black joy in the face of (in)justice. It’s not enough to just celebrate though. The work we have chosen for this issue proves that happiness can not be stripped from the Black community no matter the oppression they continue to experience. We are featuring poems by Yasmina Martin and Edythe Rodriguez, fiction by Morgan Christie, nonfiction by Sloane Kali Faye, and visual art by Britnie Walston. 

Yasmina Martin’s poem, “We congregate in aisle ten of the twentyfour hour walmart,” immerses us in a world that has found light and beauty in the profane imagery of a Walmart in a southern town, transforming it into a sacred space where the speaker can be vulnerable.

Edythe Rodriguez’s poem, “freedom cartography,” starts off with an auntie struggling to do the speaker’s hair, a young girl. This ritual then morphs into the past where the auntie is mapping out a path towards freedom for a slave girl with every pull of hair into a braid.

“We Cannot Leave Our Truths for Dead: Why I Chose to Change My Name and Modify My Pronouns” by Sloane Kali Faye is a stirring personal essay about how one person went from hiding her/their truth to finding freedom through Black feminist theory.

“Cheese!” by Britnie Walston is a vibrant and colorful painting capturing the freedom, imagination, and endless possibility of childhood.

“Polyp Trees” by Morgan Christie follows Tulie as she takes care of her grandmother, Mebba, in the South.

To spite the ongoing violence that has occurred in the past years in the community, we hope you find as much healing and solidarity in this work as we have.

Polyp Trees | Fiction

“Mebba told me once that in the south, Magnolia trees mean something different; to our people, anyway. Their stock and branches, thick and twisted between delicately soft blooms that almost make the trees seem beautiful. Almost.”

Cheese! | Visual Art

“Britnie Walston is a versatile Maryland-based artist who captures energy through light and vibrant colors. Living near the Chesapeake Bay, her work is inspired by nature; often depicting the absence of human presence, liberation (‘set free’) and freedom (‘being free’).”

freedom cartography | Poetry

“the stars north of the shell bring you to the river. south of the bead brings you home left right left don’t stop moving left right till he tell you”

We Cannot Leave Our Truths for Dead | Nonfiction

“In this moment, my new name is holding me in its arms. For the first time in a long time, I feel safe in my truth. I’m a black bisexual woman who has decided to change her name, pronouns, foundational relationships, and interior world.”

We congregate in aisle ten | Poetry

“How / does one town have so many twentyfourhour stores it’s like / where else could our church be?”

Book Reviews

Interviews

Art & Photography

Two Abstract Paintings | Visual Art

Two Abstract Paintings | Visual Art

“Earth in Distress is an abstract fluid painting that I created, in order to symbolically emphasize the impact we have on our earth such as nature, wildlife, the gradual decrease in resources, as well as the relationships with each other as human beings; given the past several months of chaos we’ve endured together. I used an analogous color scheme with cool colors to represent land and sea along with black for contrast and balance. Each color was mixed with floetrol and water, poured into circular layered shapes onto the canvas, balanced for even distribution, and tilted back and forth to achieve the desired design.”

Easing Restrictions | Visual Art

Easing Restrictions | Visual Art

“I like the edge of things. Edge as in poignant and slightly threatening and edge as in interconnection. I like things that already exist. It’s not just about my ecological stance and the future but about mystery and the past. This piece, however, is really all about the now.”

COVID Lungs: A Trilogy | Visual Art

COVID Lungs: A Trilogy | Visual Art

“The first image, COVID 1, depicts the brewing storm driven by the wet-markets in China where trafficked animals are kept in conditions of bio-insecurity which were (and remain) ripe for zoonotic events. It depicts the warning by scientists from thirteen years ago that SARS emerged from these conditions and the next deadly pandemic will likely do so as well.”

Help us disrupt the Southern literary landscape.
Give us a test run: download a free short anthology.Includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and artwork in an easy-to-read layout.