First of all, thank you for your patience as we put this issue together. It’s a time of tumult for many, and I as well as our small but mighty staff have been affected by these changing winds. I know that the pieces we’ve been lucky enough to feature for this issue will be worth the wait.
Though the South Florida summer brings sun and storms in nearly equal measure, there’s a certain promise to the season that even those of us far removed from school days of watching the clock can still feel. A summer can be anything—a summer of reunion, of rest, or of “blue cans,” as is the case in Coco Hull’s fiction story—but they rarely offer stasis. In the spirit of poet Hibah Shabkhez from this issue, “Now the abyss/Stares back, then blinks you an invitation,/And you dive right in.”Change bursts through these long, golden, abyss-like days, and it’s all we can do to jump in and hold on.
We’re so grateful to have had the opportunity to engage with the varied pieces sent to us by a talented and diverse group of writers throughout this reading period. Whether drastic and far removed from our world, as is the case in Mindy Friddle’s dystopian fiction piece “The Empathies,” personal and uplifting as in Leo Williams’ nonfiction piece “Searching for Scorpio Rising,” or subtle and cyclical as the turn in Tim Moder’s poem “Loon,” changes echo through these digital pages.
Personally, I have a complex relationship with change (despite or exacerbated by the last couple years), and I’m sure many of you can relate. I used to wonder, even during times of tooth-baring joy: how can this moment matter if the end is already in sight? Growing up in South Florida, endings buzz in the air like gnats. There are plenty of approaches to dealing with gnats—swat them, ignore them, shower to wash them off your skin—but they persist. Yet as is the nature of change, the endings I’m meeting will bring new beginnings. So I can accept that the gnats are here. And they might cloud the air, but they don’t erase it. We can still breathe, create, and revel in the strange, no matter who we are by the end.
Speaking of change, I’ve had the pleasure over the last few months of training the next managing editor of Sinking City, Megan Ritchie, introduced below. I’m thrilled to be passing this magazine to her capable hands and so excited to see what she does with it! Thank you again for your continued dedication to and engagement with our magazine. We hope you enjoy issue 12!
First of all: I am so excited to meet you!
It’s a pleasure to be taking over as managing editor of Sinking City from the talented Amanda Lamadrid. And I can’t wait to see where these upcoming issues take us—in more ways than one. Many of us are back to traveling this summer and as we all cross borders, I’ve been thinking about the ways that this can serve as a balm to our cultural divide.
As a reader, I'm always seeking work that feels international, whether it’s set in a writer's home country or written in their mother tongue. I'm interested, too, in place: where do you feel out of it? What do you identify as home? What futures do you see there? Miami is an international city, and though I’m a transplant myself, I hope Sinking City can remain true to the many universes it holds.
I’m so looking forward to reading your work. It’s a privilege to do so.
Thank you for reading,
Amanda Lamadrid and Megan Ritchie