Note from the Editor-in-Chief

Even in the midst of a pandemic, literature and the arts can challenge us to act out of our better selves.  At Solstice, we are taking a stand for social justice and against disinformation.  In that mode, I am honored to announce our annual Summer Contest Issue with pieces that speak truth. This year, we received more submissions than before and send our gratitude to all the fine writers who submitted.

Many thanks also to our distinguished judges:  In fiction, A.J. Verdelle selected Aimee LaBrie as the recipient of the $1,000 Fiction Prize for her story Rage.” Aisha Hassan is the Runner-up for Brothers in Arms.

In poetry, Adrian Matejka selected Tina Zafreem Alams poem & its hiding in plain sightas the winner of the $500 Stephen Dunn Poetry Prize.

In Nonfiction, Megan Marshall chose Anne-Marie Ooman as the winner of the $500 Michael Steinberg Prize for her essay Four Winds.” The Runner-up is Herb Harris for To Belong in a Garden.

Click on the TOC and go to the individual EDITORS NOTES to learn more about these fine authors and the fabulous FINALISTS, EDITORSPICKS, as well as SELECTED WORKS. 

Also, many thanks to LOU JONES, for the cover image, “Dance Recital 4,” from his new series pandemicboston. Lou is one of this country’s top photographers, and is also known for his panAFRICA series, and Final Exposure of men on death row, among others.  Please read his Artist’s Note and see more of his work on his website. Just click on the cover image for more of his photos.  Feel free to contact him.

And don’t forget out new genre Graphic Lit.  This issue we feature Robert Sergel’s “Spite.”  And read the artist interview by Drai Whitted, Graphic Lit Editor.

Deep gratitude also to our dedicated editors and assistant editors: Iain Haley Pollock with Robbie Gamble in poetry; Richard Hoffman with Amy Yelin and Cassandra Goldwater in nonfiction; and myself with Brenda Prescott in Fiction.  Also thanks to Andrai Whitted, valued Digital Editor. And to all our devoted staff readers.

Solstice Magazine continues to speak out during these troubled times. In fact, we send out a CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS to our vital new blog: Good Trouble—From Voters Rights to Voter Suppression.  Also, check our recent COVID-19 and Anti-Oppression Blogs. Vanessa Lewis is our Blog Editor. Sherell Barbee is Editorial Assistant, and Amanda Todisco our terrific intern.

Let’s register and vote early!  Let’s lift our voices during these vital months ahead.  Silence is not an option!

Onwards, Lee Hope

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