Reading Into It: Editor’s Letter and TOC

“She reads books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.” — Annie Dillard

This magazine spotlights forthcoming books by Minnesota-based writers and poets. While compiling the issue, I realized that these works are undeniably in conversation with one another.

Associate Editor Lydia Moran

In Claire Wahmanholm’s poetry, glaciers melt and make oceans, extinct species swim through the darkness of grief-stricken dreams, and the bees are dead. But, she writes, poetry “should not tell us it is too late; it should remind us of the stakes of acting like it is.”

We move from poetry about the thawing arctic to narrative nonfiction set in the Sierra Madre in western Mexico, where cartels and climate change–affected drought are forcing the Rarámuri people into cities. Writer Victoria Blanco spent years documenting acts of “passive resistance” that help the Rarámuri hold onto a cultural identity despite the physical erosion of their homeland. For the Rarámuri and many Indigenous peoples, “it’s never over,” Blanco says; apathy is no option.

To create the essay collection A Darker Wilderness: Black Nature Writing From Soil to Stars, editor Erin Sharkey prompted writers to use records and archival objects to reflect on personal encounters with the natural world. The book continues the tradition of Black nature writing, forward and backward in time.

In this issue, you will also find an excerpt from a podcast that places queer authors and readers in conversation. In Paula Martinac’s Out of Time, the main character happens upon a photograph of lesbians in the 1920s and becomes obsessed with finding out more about them. Podcast guest Nicole Ollia connects that to her pursuit of queer literature: “This might sound cliché, but I’m trying to find myself, you know? I’m trying to see myself. I think that is the draw to archives, especially as a marginalized community.”

Archives, records, and books are places we can go to feel both our grief and love for the world.


Books

Spirituality/Nature — From Soil to Stars: A Conversation with Erin Sharkey

Poetry — “Glacier,” by Claire Wahmanholm and “The Body,” by Dessa

Ecolution — Out of the Sierra

LGBTQ+ — The Way to Our Queer Ancestors

Changemakers Alliance — Collective Action Against Aggression

Education — Let the Black Women Say Asé

Money/Business — The Unsustainable Cost of Living

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