The first days of the new year have proven what a naïve oversimplification it was to brand 2020 a bad year. The pandemic rages on, climate crisis still looms, and the continuum of destruction in the United States—one that has existed for centuries—erupted into a violent fascist insurrection. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that at times over the past months putting together a new issue of a literary magazine has felt fruitless and insignificant. I’d also be lying if I didn’t admit it was at times the only work that held me off from complete despair.
As I grow older, my understanding of the political nature and call to action of literature has evolved. I am perhaps less convinced that a singular piece of art can change the world, but also more committed to the belief that if we continue to fight for more equity and inclusivity in American letters, if we strive for systemic changes in academia, creative writing communities, and the publishing industry at large, the arts can have more powerful economic, cultural, and political consequences.
I know these changes can’t happen overnight; nor can they be realized without a coalition of writers, editors, and publishers dedicated to them. As my tenure as managing editor nears its close, I have thought much about TriQuarterly’s future and its role in this effort. My goal is that the journal will continue to grow through critical thinking around our editorial, hiring, and production practices. I am confident in and grateful for the team of editors who will carry TriQuarterly forward after I am gone.
I hope you enjoy the video, poetry, and prose selections in this issue. I hope they collectively offer solace and examination, endurance and outrage, as we push forward into 2021.
Managing Editor: Aram Mrjoian
Assistant Managing Editor: Joshua Bohnsack
Faculty Advisor: Susan Harris
Director of Planning: Reginald Gibbons
Film Editor: Sarah Minor
Fiction Editors: Vanessa Chan, Jennifer Companik, Erin Branning Keogh, Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, Emily Mirengoff
Nonfiction Editor: Starr Davis
Poetry Editor: Daniel Fliegel
Social Media Editor: Joshua Bohnsack
Copy Editor: Lys Ann Weiss
Media Architect: Harlan Wallach
Technical Advisors: Alex Miner, Rodolfo Vieira, Nick Gertonson
Staff: Adam Lizakowski, Andrea Garcia, Audrey Fierberg, Bonnie Etherington, Dane Hamann, Elijah Patten, Ellen Hainen, Erica Hughes, Erika Carey, Freda Love Smith, Grace Musante, Hillary Pelan, Jonathan Jones, Laura Humble, Laura Joyce-Hubbard, Marcella Mencotti, Megan Sullivan, Michele Popadich, Miranda Garbaciak, ML Chan, Myra Thompson, Natalie Rose Richardson, Nimra Chohan, Pascale Bishop, Patrick Bernhard, Rishee Batra, Salwa Halloway, Tara Stringfellow