Witness magazine cover for Online Issue: Winter 2022Online Issue: Winter 2022

Editor's Note: It grows increasingly difficult to pen an editor’s note without mentioning the pandemic. The reason this time, however, is difficult to parse out. While the pandemic remains a mortal threat, following the world’s reopening, numerous issues have arisen that rival the urgency of the virus we have learned to live with: new and ongoing offensive wars, global natural disasters, an increase in mass shootings across the nation and the world, tragic accidents of stampedes and bridges collapsing, deaths, ousting and reelecting of political leaders, the striking down of a landmark Supreme Court case, new viruses with ever-stranger terminologies.

In the wake of these events, we question our role as writers and literary magazines. Do we exist to highlight and raise awareness for these issues, or to distract from them? To provide readers with fuel for their activism, or a respite for all their anxieties? The answer, much like the state of the world, remains uncertain.

What is certain, however, is that we at Witness remain committed to presenting you with quality pieces of literature by stellar authors that we are proud of championing. Though different and distinct from each other, all of these poems, stories and essays either speak to the present moment, or offer us a way to cope with it and stay afloat. In this online issue, expect to be swept away into fiction featuring an abusive marriage to a character based on a popular folkloric figure and a trans woman’s endeavors to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. Dive into poetry that questions the love of God and explores humanity’s unworthiness of the environment through a fruit’s life cycle. Peruse essays detailing a harrowing battle with pneumonia, and the struggle to maintain one’s connection to language and culture away from their country of origin. These pieces are just a few among the many that we wish to celebrate in this Fall/Winter issue with you.

As always, we wish you good health and happy reading.

-Areej Quraishi

Cover Image: "Just Breathe" by Erika B. Girard

Artist Bio: Erika B. Girard is currently pursuing her M.A. in English and Creative Writing with a concentration in Poetry through SNHU. Originally from Rhode Island, she derives creative inspiration from her family, friends, faith, and fascination with the human experience. She enjoys photographing (and then colorfully editing) both inanimate objects and animate creatures. Her art contributes a fresh perspective of both life and the world in an aesthetically pleasing way. More of her photography can be found in Montana Mouthful and Beyond Words Literary Magazine, while her literary art appears or is forthcoming in The Alembic, Iris Literary Journal, Untenured, Viewless Wings, and more. She also proofreads for Wild Roof Journal, an online literary journal with issues published bimonthly.

Witness magazine cover for Missed Connections (Spring 2022)

Missed Connections (Spring 2022)

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