Note From the Editor-in-Chief
We at Solstice Magazine are deeply proud of this year’s Summer Contest Issue.
Many of the fine, provocative pieces deal directly or indirectly with our troubled times. In the tumultuous political year ahead, we can find healing in literature but also a challenge to confront hate. In fact, many of the profound pieces in this issue validate our values of diversity.
Our judges for this year’s contest represent these values. Special thanks to Paul Beatty in fiction for selecting Joanna Kim’s short story “Betta” as the winner. Gratitude to Alex Marzano-Lesnevich in nonfiction for choosing Scott Russell Duncan’s “Mexican American Psycho is in Your Dreams” as winner, and to Reginald Dwayne Betts for his choice of Casey Zella Andrews’ poem “After Life in Two Parts.” The judges also chose runners-up and finalists. The Solstice Magazine editors chose the Editors’ Picks. Please read the nonfiction, fiction, and poetry Editors’ Notes which honor these fine writers.
Many thanks for the choices of finalists sent to the judges by Iain Haley Pollock, Poetry Editor; Robbie Gamble, Assistant Poetry Editor; Richard Hoffman, Nonfiction editor, and Amy Yelin, Assistant Nonfiction editor. Lee Hope chose the fiction finalists. Also gratitude to Michael Steinberg, a Contributing Editor and donor of our annual Nonfiction Prize. And to Barbara Siegel Carlson, Editor of Poetry in Translation and to Ewa Chrusciel, our new Associate Editor of Poetry in Translation. Abiding thanks to Andrai Whitted, valued Digital/Graphic Lit Editor, for soliciting and editing “Tubes” by Grace Desmarais, the Graphic Lit piece. And to Franny Zhang our fabulous Managing Editor, for her high-level expertise, and to all readers and interns on our committed staff. And welcome to Olivia Thomes, a new intern for social media.
In this issue, we also present Danielle Dean, a photographer from the Northwest, and her cover photo from Salish Sea: Selected Seascapes. Click on the nine thumbnails for more of her vision. Please also check out our Interviews & Essays for a photo essay by the photographer Tony Schwartz and a conversation with Graphic Lit artist Grace Desmarais. And thanks again to Photography Editor William Betcher.
Our magazine wishes to acknowledge a 2019 grant we recently received from the Amazon/CLMP Literary Partnership. We are thrilled to be one of fifteen magazines nationwide to receive this honor! We are also thrilled that Richard Hoffman has won the Massachusetts Book Award for Poetry with Noon until Night; also honors went to books by two of our Contributing Poetry Editors: Dzvinia Orlowsky’s Bad Harvest is on the MBA “Must Read List” and January Gill O’Neil’s Rewilding is an honors recipient.
In this next year, our staff intends to issue a call for pieces that directly or indirectly take a stand against hate, against racial, ethnic and class inequalities, the abuse of weapons and weaponizing race. As Richard Hoffman wrote of the winning essay by Scott Russell Duncan, it is “at once a work of cultural criticism, indictment, ridicule, parable and reckoning.” May we as writers and readers through our critiques, our parables, and also through our actions, take a stand against hatred and for empathy.
Please submit. Please subscribe. Please share this issue with friends.
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