We are excited to launch our first fully virtual issue, Issue 4, Spring 2023. Since our inaugural launch on March 7th 2020, we have experienced many rebirths, both personally and professionally. We have published three issues: Issue 1 (print, 2020), our Chipster Issue (print, 2021), and have published many poems and interviews since then on our site (we have collected them here). Moving forward, we aim to publish biannually, once in spring and again in the fall.
We also want to take this moment to announce our new programming for 2023. Through the generous support of the Burdine Johnson Foundation, we are able to launch our Hays Youth Poet Laureate program. You can learn more about this opportunity on our workshop page. We are thrilled to provide this opportunity to the youth of Hays County. This year we’re also happy to announce our Honoring our Dead: Poesía y Canto, an Altar-ing Zine Project & event taking place November 2nd in San Marcos, & made possible by the S.M. Arts Commission. More details on how to submit to the Honoring our Dead zine to come (under our Share Your Work page).
Thank you to Felicia Quichocho for redesigning our website. We are grateful for your eye, talent, and time.
-Cloud D. Cardona
Issue 4 is short & sweeping; writers headwater truth in a desert of loss, grief, & search for identity through the haze of a melancholic past. In Natalia Treviño’s First Sorrow Transcript, a mother’s eye synchronizes the duelo of losing her child through images linking her pain to the ever-present mother forced to carry the same anguish, the ineffable pain impaled by the oppression of States, & religion: the knife that cuts through all cultures, & histories; the mother’s body still a seething wound,/washrag just in case between her legs/to catch the holy rubies of her final/drippings. In St. Joseph, Erika Garcia grapples with the void religion leaves two girls when it’s meant to restore their hope after being blunted by the world around them. monica ortiz’ Notes on a Starry Night clutches this grief with the same delicacy one uses for holding the sight of a comet; 3. Just this morning at breakfast we hear of another death. /4. Another procession will drive past our house on a winter afternoon. Searching for strength in the past, in Así Era Mario Chavarria, Charles Haddox takes solace in remembering Chicano activist from El Paso in an ode both honest, & edifying; Hijo del águila y el cóndor,/Latinoamericano, internacionalista,/hijo del barrio. This cavity of mourning is not exclusive to losing people, even a fast-food chain provides solace to a child with its familiarity at a time when change blurs our sense of reality; as is the case for Xiomarra Milann in Now Open: How one McDonald’s franchise remodel broke my heart. In The Houston Artist Speaks Through Grids, Reyes Ramirez does something similar to Milann’s essay, but his approach is through examining contemporary art out of Houston BIPOC artists taking on the physical dwellings relegated to their communities & constant evolutions in a fight against the destruction of people-systems. Childhood reckonings are also heard in LeAnn Jackson’s Athena, a gothic-style story that unveils the unsettling mystery of the mundane viewed from a small girl’s perspective. Collecting pieces of a lost childhood in the midst of contemporary absurdity is at the heart of Mel Kristeen In a Jean Skirt on the Highway. Every contributor poses the question of what becomes of us after loss, as Kristeen puts it, maybe it was a sort of violence—/what it made of her.
Due to COVID-19, we currently have no upcoming events.
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