genre: Editors' Notes

Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note

By Ilan Mochari   

It is a leap of faith to enter a writing contest. Believe me, I know. I’ve done it for years, always forking over a fee, always pondering the things a submitter is bound to ponder: Does my cover letter matter? Does this journal really read every entry? Do the editors truly consider all entries for… Read more »


Reviews and Interviews Note

Reviews and Interviews Note

By Ilan Mochari   

In Jennifer Martelli’s recently released poetry collection The Queen of Queens, an epigraph from Sally Wen Mao’s “Nucleation” notes that women “wear the trauma of other creatures around their necks, in an attempt to put a pall on their own.” Which is to say, among other things, that one creature’s trauma can be another’s decoration.… Read more »


Poetry Editor’s Note

Poetry Editor’s Note

By Robbie Gamble   

I’m thrilled to present the winner of the Stephen Dunn Prize for 2022, “Polar Bear,” by Carol Hobbs, selected by our poetry judge for this issue, Tomás Q. Morín. He writes, “‘Polar Bear’ stopped me in my tracks. It slows down time to an achingly slow pace, the bear’s pace, which is to say the… Read more »


Poetry in Translation Editors’ Note

Poetry in Translation Editors’ Note

By Ewa Chrusciel and Barbara Siegel Carlson   

What poems can one write after borders are brutally transgressed causing others, in turn, to cross to safety? To quote the Ukrainian poet, Kateryna Devdera in Ewa Chrusciel’s translation, “More than words, and orphaned poems, I desire to return to my motherland.” In times of war, one does not do verbal operations. One does not… Read more »


Nonfiction Editor’s Note

Nonfiction Editor’s Note

By Richard Hoffman   

Welcome to our Summer ’22 contest issue. First, I want to thank our judge, Alysia Abbott, author of the moving and memorable Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father, named a New York Times Editors’ Choice and one of the best books of 2013 by The San Francisco Chronicle. A vivid, heartrending work of sustained truth-telling,… Read more »


Fiction Co-Editors’ Note

Fiction Co-Editors’ Note

By Anjali Mitter Duva and Lee Hope   

Dear readers and friends of Solstice, We were thrilled with the number and quality of entries we received for this year’s fiction contest and heartened at how many young and emerging writers as well as established writers sent us their work. It was an honor to be entrusted with these fine stories. We thank our… Read more »


Graphic Lit Editor’s Note

Graphic Lit Editor’s Note

By Andrai Whitted   

This is the second year Solstice has offered a Graphic Lit (Comics) category as part of our Summer Contest. We enjoyed reading all the imaginative and wide-ranging stories and styles that came in from across the globe. Our judge, Josh Neufeld, ultimately selected “Horses” by Robert James Russell, a deeply personal piece about the author’s… Read more »


Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note

By Ilan Mochari   

The poet Natalka Bilotserkivets was an active participant in Ukraine’s Renaissance of the late-Soviet and early independence period. We’re fortunate at Solstice to count two translators of her work, Ali Kinsella and Dzvinia Orlowsky, as members of our community. Ali and Dzvinia’s most recent book, Eccentric Days of Hope and Sorrow: Poems by Natalka Bilotserkivets… Read more »


Reviews and Interviews Editor’s Note

Reviews and Interviews Editor’s Note

By Ilan Mochari   

Protesting is one thing when it is done by typing in a rectangular box on a social media platform. It’s quite another thing when it’s done in person. If you want to learn more about two poets well-versed the latter approach, you’d be hard pressed to find a better memoir than Mark Pawlak’s My Deniversity.… Read more »


Poetry in Translation Editors’ Note

Poetry in Translation Editors’ Note

By Barbara Siegel Carlson and Ewa Chrusciel   

How do we counter the darkness, but with light—and the poems featured here come at a decisive and timely moment. Mariangela Gualtieri writes what we need is an embodiment of “real grief to birth,” to act out of an empathetic being with one another, to “hold hunger inside/for another’s hunger.” This transcendent power of connection… Read more »


Poetry Editor’s Ukraine Note

Poetry Editor’s Ukraine Note

By Robbie Gamble   

We were just putting finishing touches on this Spring 2022 issue of Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices when Russian military forces invaded Ukraine. It’s hard to know what to do when it feels like tectonic social forces are coming unhinged around the globe, but we felt we could at least shine a small spotlight… Read more »


Guest Poetry Editor’s Note

Guest Poetry Editor’s Note

By Sam Cha   

Look, I know I’m supposed to be the editor, and I know that as an editor I’m supposed to control myself, write something neutral and beige, with carefully picked quotes woven together into a perfectly acceptable and perfectly forgettable whole. But the truth is I adore these three writers: Mariya Deykute, MC Hyland, and Suzanna… Read more »


Nonfiction Editor’s Note

Nonfiction Editor’s Note

By Richard Hoffman   

In the broadest sense, the four essays collected in this issue are about identity — about how we situate ourselves in relation to the larger historical, economic, political, and cultural reality in which we find ourselves. In Zibiquah Denny’s “The Takeover,” for example, we see the inspiriting impact of adult courage on a young person… Read more »


Fiction Co-Editors’ Note

Fiction Co-Editors’ Note

By Anjali Mitter Duva   

What a provocative, multi-faceted, gifted fiction collection for the Spring! For each issue, with suggestions from our fine readers, we collaborate on which pieces to accept. Then we edit and proof certain stories. This time, Lee introduces you to four riveting pieces, each coincidentally dealing with crime and its impact on the survivors, while Anjali… Read more »


Note from the Editor-in-Chief

Note from the Editor-in-Chief

By Lee Hope and Ilan Mochari   

Transitions, a special note from Lee Hope, Founding Editor-in-Chief I am making a shift from Solstice Magazine, not an exit. I will continue to be president of the board of our Solstice Institute nonprofit and also serve as Fiction Co-editor. Transitions are passages in life, also grammatically between sentences; consequently, I am thrilled to present… Read more »


Fiction Co-Editor’s Note

Fiction Co-Editor’s Note

By Anjali Mitter Duva and Lee Hope   

Each of the fiction pieces in this issue takes a moment, a decision point, and unspools for us the threads—emotional, physical, spiritual—that have led the main characters to it. In keeping with what we are noticing these days among many people around us, be they writers or not, these writers pulling in, diving deep into… Read more »


Poetry Editor’s Note

Poetry Editor’s Note

By Robbie Gamble   

I have been reflecting lately on the name of this journal, Solstice. Particularly in these late autumnal days here in New England, where afternoons accelerate into darkness sooner and sooner, and the morning light is meager and chill. Darkness is accumulating, and soon the winter solstice will be upon us, that nadir of our days.… Read more »


Reviews & Interviews Editor’s Note

Reviews & Interviews Editor’s Note

By Brenda Sparks Prescott   

This issue features an interview and a review about non-fiction books that reach across class and racial divides and witness the complications and consequences of inequality in America. We also offer a review of a poetry collection that crosses time and geography to explore the cultures and circumstances observed by a travelling poet. In Poetry… Read more »


Poetry in Translation Editors’ Note

Poetry in Translation Editors’ Note

By Barbara Siegel Carlson and Ewa Chrusciel   

Adonis writes, “Poetry and the other arts seek a kind of progress that affirms difference, elation, movement and variety in life.” We can see this at play with spark and verve in the poets and translators we are delighted to bring to our pages: Małgorzata Lebda, Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese Astrid Cabral, Alexis Levitan and Boris Novak.… Read more »


Nonfiction Editor’s Note

Nonfiction Editor’s Note

By Richard Hoffman   

Dear readers, As befits this moment deep in the pandemic, vulnerability and mortality loom large in the selection of essays here from across a wide spectrum of contemporary essayists. The writers here remind us that history need not dictate the future, whether it be the history of divisions among the African Diaspora or the God-addled,… Read more »


Graphic Lit Editor’s Note

Graphic Lit Editor’s Note

By Andrai Whitted   

I’m grateful for the overwhelmingly positive response to our introduction of this genre in 2019 and continued growth in quantity and quality of submissions, including the amazing work featured in our 2021 Summer Contest Issue. Graphic Lit is such a versatile genre, and I get excited by the possibilities that the comic form allows. That’s… Read more »


Note from the Founding Editor-in-Chief

Note from the Founding Editor-in-Chief

By Lee Hope   

To Stephen Dunn, In Memoriam We dedicate this Summer Contest Issue to Stephen Dunn, whose life on our earth ended on June 24, 2021. As many know, Stephen was a man of great gifts. His oeuvre includes twenty-one poetry collections and two essay collections, the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, and countless other deserved accolades. In… Read more »


Fiction Co-editors’ Note

Fiction Co-editors’ Note

By Anjali Mitter Duva and Lee Hope   

We are thrilled to announce guest judge Whitney Scharer’s choice of a Winner and a Runner-Up for the Solstice Magazine annual contest.  We received at least one third more entries than in each of the last thirteen years, and we carefully read each piece before we sent six finalists to Whitney. The Winner is The… Read more »


Nonfiction Editor’s Note

Nonfiction Editor’s Note

By Richard Hoffman   

Congratulations to Herb Harris, M.D., who has won the Michael Steinberg Award for Nonfiction, selected by judge David Mura. Of Harris’ essay Mura writes, “Portrait of an Artist as a Black Man” explores the complexities that arise when the author attempts a literal drawing of himself. When the drawing does not seem to render a… Read more »


Reviews & Interviews <br/>Editor’s  Note

Reviews & Interviews
Editor’s Note

By Kaylin Wu   

In this issue, we present interviews and book reviews. Our two interviews—with Co-Editor-in-Chief Brenda Sparks Prescott about her debut novel, Home Front Lines, and with Dariel Suarez about his novel, The Playwright’s House—portray race, class and BIPOC immigrant culture, integrate politics with fiction. In a previous interview, Dariel Suarez identified the separation of politics from

Poetry Editor’s Note

Poetry Editor’s Note

By Robbie Gamble   

Before celebrating the results of the 2021 poetry contest, I need to acknowledge that the wonderful poetry in this summer issue is presented against a sad backdrop. As we were reading through incoming manuscripts, we learned of the passing of Stephen Dunn, a major figure in contemporary poetry, but in particular a long-time friend and… Read more »


Graphic Lit Editor’s Note

Graphic Lit Editor’s Note

By Andrai Whitted   

Dear readers, Whether you are new to comics, an avid fan, or anywhere in between, we have something for you in our first ever contest issue featuring Graphic Lit. We were pleasantly surprised to have entries spanning the globe, some from as far as Australia! Besides that, the range of styles, subjects, and points of… Read more »


Poetry in Translation <br/>Editor’s Note

Poetry in Translation
Editor’s Note

By Barbara Siegel Carlson   

What Heather McHugh says of Bulgarian poet Blaga Dmitrova’s work in her introduction to Because the Sea is Black (1989) might apply to the poems in translation featured here as they display “reverence for the brave and solitary human gesture […] and, throughout faith in a transcendent understanding.” While there remains much disconnection, division and

Lee Hope

Note from the Editor-in-Chief

By Lee Hope   

Dear Valued Readers, We are immersed in a split, fragmented time. As we receive vaccines and emerge from our burrows into the spring air, we see mass shootings, AAPI racism, systemic racism and voter suppression. Yet we will continue to protest, in writing and action, against oppression and in support of diverse people and causes.… Read more »


Reviews & Interviews Editors’ Note

Reviews & Interviews Editors’ Note

By Amy Yelin, Deidra Dallas and Lee Hope   

This issue we bring you a poetry review and two interviews. Lo Galluccio aptly reviews the new poetry collection I Wish My Father by Lesléa Newman. The poetry takes a funny and poignant look at the relationship between a daughter and a father at the end of his life. The first interview, conducted by Alex… Read more »


Guest Poetry Editor’s Note

By Oliver de la Paz   

You can see the red buds on the oaks that line my street. And what had been a long and dreadful winter looks to be thawing now. A sheet of ice that was once our patio is now pocked with holes and the rust of the brick is now visible under the light sheen. I’m… Read more »


Poetry in Translation Editor’s Note

Poetry in Translation Editor’s Note

By Barbara Siegel Carlson and Ewa Chrusciel   

My neighbor constructed a bridge of two beams allowing us to cross a flowing channel, so that we can walk along the miles of bog behind our houses. Crossing this homemade bridge the other day, I was reminded of the way literature and translation serve to connect us to each other as much as they… Read more »


Nonfiction Editor’s Note

By Richard Hoffman   

These days, like many of us, I find myself wondering two things over and over: when will we emerge from the half-life of this pandemic? And what will it take to not only “build back better” as the current administration promises, but to truly build a multiracial, polylingual, multicultural, antiracist democracy? I don’t know the… Read more »


Fiction Co-Editors’ Notes

Fiction Co-Editors’ Notes

By Anjali Mitter Duva and Lee Hope   

Dear Valued Readers, First, a special announcement:  We are thrilled to welcome Anjali Mitter Duva as Fiction Co-Editor. She is the author of the best-selling novel Faint Promise of Rain. Solstice Magazine has published two excerpts from her provocative novel-in-progress Between Light and Earth. Anjali is a co-founder of the Arlington Author Salon, a fabulous… Read more »


Note from the Editor-in-Chief

Note from the Editor-in-Chief

By Lee Hope   

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… Read more »


Nonfiction Editor’s Note

Nonfiction Editor’s Note

By Richard Hoffman   

First of all, congratulations to Anne-Marie Oomen, winner of the Michael Steinberg Nonfiction Prize for her essay, “Four Winds,” and to the contest’s runner-up Herb Harris for his “To Belong in a Garden.” Of “Four Winds,” judge Megan Marshall writes that it is “an impressive feat of writerly empathy that draws us ineluctably into the… Read more »


Poetry in Translation Editor’s Note

Poetry in Translation Editor’s Note

By Barbara Siegel Carlson and Ewa Chrusciel   

“The nourishment of the abiding center is inexhaustible” says the IChing. And if you substitute the word “poetry” for “nourishment” you might find sustenance for these uncertain times. If every poem is a translation of one’s perception of that abiding center, then every good translation offers another savoring of the center that is the poem’s… Read more »


Poetry Editor’s Note

Poetry Editor’s Note

By Robbie Gamble   

I’m honored to present the winner of the Stephen Dunn Prize for 2020, selected by Adrian Matejka. Of Tina Zafreen Alam’s poem “& it’s hiding in plain sight” Matejka writes, “This poem is kinetic: rhythmically inventive and it is built from the kinds of sonic textures that surprise the ear and the brain. If that… Read more »


Fiction Editor’s Note

Fiction Editor’s Note

By Lee Hope   

Even during tumultuous times, there is joy in publishing writers of elective affinities, in bringing disparate forms into a relationship of reciprocal richness. This collection makes readers sometimes suffer and sometimes laugh, as in Aimee LaBrie’s winning story “Rage.” As noted author and fiction judge A.J. Verdelle said of the prize-winning piece: As a story, Rage is softer… Read more »


Graphic Lit Editor’s Note

Graphic Lit Editor’s Note

By Andrai Whitted   

In this issue we expand our comic genre, Graphic Lit, by featuring an interesting, amusing, and ultimately philosophical piece by Boston area artist Robert Sergel, “Spite“. Robert’s sparse yet engaging style pulls you into an architectural/social phenomenon that is too strange to believe but is entirely true. Robert also discusses his art, process, and inspirations… Read more »


Fiction Editor’s Note

Fiction Editor’s Note

By Lee Hope   

Dear valued readers, In his novel, Love in a Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote, “He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers gave birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give… Read more »


Nonfiction Editor’s Note

Nonfiction Editor’s Note

By Richard Hoffman   

Dear reader, Friends call and say, “What a strange time!” or to ask “How are you?” I hardly know what say. I’m sure you know what I mean. I always thought I would revel in being housebound – all these books to read! All these pages to fill! But this? This is the paralyzing fight… Read more »


Poetry Editor’s Note

Poetry Editor’s Note

By Robbie Gamble   

In times of crisis, the poet-priest Daniel Berrigan looked to a worn adage, and flipped it. “Don’t just do something, stand there!” he admonished his friends. He was no slouch as an activist, but he also understood the importance of planting one’s feet firmly on the earth and taking a moment to absorb the implications… Read more »


Poetry in Translation Editor’s Note

Poetry in Translation Editor’s Note

By Barbara Siegel Carlson and Ewa Chrusciel   

Amid this pandemic, we are reminded once again how interconnected we are, as much as we celebrate our differences. In this way here’s an extraordinary gathering of poetry in translation from Ukraine, South America and China that might also be viewed as threads of an intricately woven and richly diverse fabric of humanity. We begin… Read more »


Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note

By Lee Hope   

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… Read more »


Fiction Editor’s Note

Fiction Editor’s Note

By Lee Hope   

How to express my enthusiasm for the profundity, irony, prose poetry and stylistic innovation in many of these pieces! This year we received more fiction submissions than ever before, and many from established, much-published authors. Paul Beatty, our award-winning contest judge chose Joanna Kim’s debut publication “Betta” as the winner. Kim has received an Emerging… Read more »


Graphic Lit Editor’s Note

Graphic Lit Editor’s Note

By Andrai Whitted   

In this issue we continue our new comic genre Graphic Lit with an autobiographical comic poem by Grace Desmarais titled Tubes. Grace’s work gives her readers a deeply personal view into her experience of living with Chronic illnesses. Tubes, a hospital diary, is a poignant atmospheric poem allowing us as readers to gain a unique… Read more »


Poetry in Translation <br/>Editors’ Note

Poetry in Translation
Editors’ Note

By Barbara Siegel Carlson and Ewa Chrusciel   

This summer’s issue gathers an engaging and refreshing range of voices in translation. Josip Osti brings a sensuous, multi-faceted as a diamond vision in these evocative and celebratory poems that are as a “tiny ray of sunlight[…]illuminating the life and death lines” that Martha Kosir has deftly rendered into English from Slovene. Inspired by the

Nonfiction Editor’s Note

Nonfiction Editor’s Note

By Richard Hoffman   

Brace yourself, readers. This ain’t no walk in the air-conditioned mall. These ain’t your grandma’s essays. Year after year, the submissions to our annual nonfiction contest prove, at least to me, the ability of the essay to confront our age’s accumulated untruths, to disentangle the nonsense that passes for common wisdom. For example, our winner:… Read more »


Poetry Editor’s note

Poetry Editor’s note

By Iain Haley Pollock   

To start, congratulations are in order to poet Casey Z. Andrews.  Her poem “After Life in Two Parts” won Solstice’s annual poetry contest, as judged by Reginald Dwayne Betts, author of Bastards of the Reagan Era and the forthcoming Felon.  Andrews’s poem exhibits several of the elements that make me jazzed about our current poetic… Read more »