I WOULD LIKE TO BEGIN by saying a word about diversity and about how much I like it. I understand about birds of a feather and such, but I've been living in Texas for the last six months and I can  state with confidence that cultural,  ethnic and socioeconomic homogeny gives me the heebie-jeebies.  Now, I don't have that much control over the state of the world or of  the United States or of Texas, but  Slush Pile Magazine  is my little kingdom and   here   what I say goes.  And while I can't control who reads  the  magazine or who is submitting to the magazine, at the very least I can state my desires clearly:  I want diversity! And  I will  give special consideration to pieces submitted by persons,  or about persons, having American sub-cultural, non-American, or in any other way non-normative experiences.  Affirmative action? Heck yeah. I want everybody at this party.

Now that's out of the way, there are a few other pieces of important information that I must impart before introducing the issue. First and foremost, I must ask you to help me congratulate myself on the establishment of a monthly fiction series at Boston's weekly magazine,   Dig Boston,  thanks to the fantastic editorial staff of said publication.  The readers seem to be  enjoying the monthly fiction -- the series is in its twelfth month --   and, while   few literary magazines can afford to pay for the fiction they publish,  Dig Boston   can and does.  Check out their submission guidelines and, if you'd like to see what's been running over there, you can find all of the pieces linked in our   blog section, including "The Website" by Cady Vishniac,   "A Report From the Front" by Tyler Sage, and "My Heart Is a Cheap Fuck" by Shana Graham,   in this very issue.

Speaking of: this issue  we ended up with  a collection of stories and poetry that neatly arc from youth    to old age. I've placed them in roughly chronological order by protagonist age  so you can start with  our youngest protagonist in "Sinkhole" and vicariously grow older alongside the other protagonists as you  progress through the issue,   literally growing older in real life as you read. So you'll be growing older literally -- and literarily.  C'est  poétique, n'est-ce pas?

Last, but not least, is our featured artist   Amy Lincoln with her captivating collection of still lifes, all backed by skies at different times of the day.  I didn't arrange them from  sunrise  to  sunset. But I should have.


 — M. R. Branwen


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