Editor’s Note

Dear Readers,

Last year, our tenth anniversary, I mentioned Solstice Magazine’s various awards: an essay in The Best American Essays 2018, cited essays in 2015 and 2016, a Best of the Net Award, several Pushcart Prize finalists in poetry, a local Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant, and this year a 2019 grant from the CLMP/Amazon Literary Partnership. We are thankful for this recognition.

But on another level, we are also in distress. Why? Because we are a magazine promoting diversity in an increasingly divided nation where some preach hatred and prejudice. These ideas are in opposition to the values that our magazine represents—diversity of varied religions, socioeconomic classes, races, genders, sexual orientations, national origins, and ages.

This is a time for writers, photographers, readers and others to raise our voices to speak and write true narratives in order to foster a common understanding. True, or factual, narratives still exist, regardless of ever-increasing attempts to call them false.

And the narratives in this publication, indirectly or directly, are true.

We extend deep gratitude to our devoted editors for choosing these narratives: Richard Hoffman in nonfiction; Iain Haley Pollock in poetry; Barbara Siegel Carlson and Ewa Chrusciel in Poetry in Translation. Please read the individual genre Editors’ Notes to learn about the specific writers in this issue.

Also, gratitude to William Betcher for the haunting cover image of a toy soldier who suffered the tribulations of an imaginary yet true war. 

As for truth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor executed by the Nazis toward the end of World War II, said that he had learned “to see the great events of world history from below, from the perspective of the outcast, the suspect, the maltreated, the powerless, the oppressed and reviled, in short from the perspective of the suffering.”

Let us read and see this perspective in the literature and photography in these pages. And during this vital year ahead, let us continue to write and act in communion with the marginalized.

Lee Hope 

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