It would be an unforgivable convenience to begin this editor’s note with a reference to our “unprecedented times.” I have seen these words over the past weeks in emails, tweets, and on the news, but as much as this simple phrase can be well-intentioned, it is also undeniably harmful and lacking awareness. This country’s legacy of anti-Black racism, police brutality, white supremacy, and plunder dates back centuries. It is not unprecedented at all.
TriQuarterly was founded in 1958. We are a literary journal that has published continuously for 62 years. We have always prided ourselves on being “an international journal of writing, art, and cultural inquiry,” but we also recognize that we are part of a publishing industry that lacks racial equity. As managing editor, I worry I personally have neither done enough to challenge the patriarchal, white supremacist tradition in American letters nor given enough critical examination to the lack of diversity in our masthead and editorial practices. We know we must be actively antiracist and are taking action to develop more comprehensive antiracist policies. It is my responsibility to make sure that these actions are implemented.
For the first time since transitioning online, TriQuarterly is hiring genre editors not affiliated with Northwestern’s creative writing programs. I believe this is critical to TriQuarterly’s future, because the magazine can now draw from a far larger candidate pool. We are also in the process of planning TriQuarterly’s 160th issue, slated for summer 2021, which will exclusively feature Black artists, with work selected by Black guest editors. These are important first steps in striving to uphold TriQuarterly’s mission.
I am very proud of the video essays, poetry, and prose featured in our 158th issue. Throughout TriQuarterly’s history, the editors have always prioritized diversity in the artists we publish, and this issue includes a wide range of voices. Every poem, story, and essay was selected from the thousands of submissions we receive in each genre every year. The artists in this issue showcase writing that intrigues, excites, overjoys, and challenges our staff.
And yet, I know we must continue working toward equity. It is my goal during my remaining time with the journal to ensure not only now, but also in the future, that we are worthy of every poet, writer, and visual artist who sends their work to TriQuarterly, that we are a venue where artists feel supported, respected, and proud to publish.
Staff: Adam Lizakowski, Andrea Garcia, Anne-Marie Akin, Audrey Fierberg, Bonnie Etherington, Dan Fliegel, Devin O'Shea, Elijah Patten, Ellen Hainen, Erica Hughes, Erika Carey, Freda Love Smith, Hillary Pelan, Jayme Collins, Jen Lawrence, Jen Companik, Jenn Hipps, Jeremiah Barker, Jonathan Jones, Joshua Bohnsack, KB Zemanick, Laura Humble, Laura Joyce-Hubbard, Madina Jenks, Marcella Mencotti, Megan Sullivan, Michele Popadich, Miranda Garbaciak, ML Chan, Myra Thompson, Natalia Nebel, Natalie Rose Richardson, Nathan Renie, Pascale Bishop, Patrick Bernhard, Rishee Batra, Salwa Halloway, Serena Simpson, Tara Stringfellow