EDITORIAL REMARKS by M.R. Branwen
HUMANS ARE CRAZY ANIMALS, and the fiction in this issue explores the idea that, as Susan Sontag once wrote, “sanity is a cozy lie.”
We’ve got M. M. Kaufman’s “Burials” and Janet Olsonbaker’s “Gloria Road,” both of which explore a form of insanity familiar to most of us: that of a broken heart. We’ve got Amanda Pauley’s “Diapers,” which concerns a librarian who is herself a pillar of sanity—until she isn’t, and “Before America,” Martha Anne Toll’s haunting story about a young boy subjected to the forced insanity of Nazi-era Germany. We’ve got Jason Vaughn’s “The Fog,” whose protagonist is lost in both a literal and psychological fog, and Andrés Cruciani’s “Ronald Yang,” about a guidance counselor who might be a touch off his rocker—or just very good at his job.
As a nice counterpoint, the poetry this issue is marching to the beat of its own drum with some lovely and evocative scenic verses from Evan McGarvey and Elizabeth Rees, and two poems from the Brothers Grimm from Sarah Kortemeier.
Our featured artist this issue is Niky Roehreke, who is both a long-time favorite illustrator and friend of M. R. Branwen’s. We hope you’ll enjoy her colorful, charming nature-inspired illustrations as much as we do.
Last but not least: as much as we like this issue, we must acknowledge that the writers included in it are not nearly as diverse a bunch as we would like. So, in parting, we offer you this handful of stories and poems we have recently enjoyed from other journals. Some extracurricular reading, if you will:
WHAT'S NECESSARY TO REMEMBER WHEN TELLING A STORY
a great piece of short fiction by Christine Lincoln in a recent issue of The Paris Review
YOU ARE HAPPY?
from Akhil Sharma in The New Yorker
a surrealist piece of fiction by Ploi Pirapokin in Anthropoid
THE DIRTY KID
a piece of "Recommended Reading" from Electric Lit by Mariana Enriquez
RENGA FOR OBAMA
a collaborative poetry project at Harvard Review honoring our "thoughtful, humane, and literary-minded" 44th POTUS
Who and what have you read lately that you absolutely loved? Drop us a line via email, Facebook, or Twitter and we'll send you a Slush Pile Magazine tote bag, which (I should mention) you can also purchase here.
Happy Spring and happy reading!
— M. R. Branwen