A Word from the Editor

We are delighted to welcome the new year with this, our seventh issue. “Winter” is a collection of poetry, short fiction and nonfiction, and exclusive artist interviews that emerged around the central theme of season.

In the Midwest, winter is an ever-lurking presence it seems, a cold reminder that everything must draw to its end. It is flurries of snow, ice slicked roadways, and sub-zero temperatures. It is cozy blankets, steaming cups of hot chocolate, and crackling fires. It is a time when days grow shorter, nights longer, and the bonds between neighbors stronger (unless, of course, you have one of those neighbors–it’s okay, we all have one).

Some people dread the coming snow, the slog through drifts to dig out their Jeeps, the bundling of toddlers before everyone runs out the front door and into the dark morning. It is in the winter that many of us forget what the sun even looks like. We drive to work under a cloud-covered moon, then home to the last rays of the distant setting orb. And then, there is the teeth chattering, bone inhabiting cold that permeates through all the small spaces of our lives. Soon, Florida starts to look pretty good, despite the alligators and “Florida Men” that run rampant through the Sunshine State.

Some people await winter with welcoming arms, embracing the once-yearly opportunity to build snowmen, to sled the hill behind the church, to stand in an empty field and listen to the peaceful sound of nothing but falling snow. There is an undeniable calm to winter once you’ve move beyond the inconveniences it places on modern living. An unmatchable stillness, an inspiring grace.

“Winter” is our ode to the good, and the bad. It is a glimpse into the hearts and minds of Midwestern folks who, whether they like it or not, go on living through this season so often associated with death, with the end of things. But, for us, winter is merely another phase of life, another reason to make beautiful art.