“The seasons / are coming loose,” Adrie Rose writes in “The Anthropocene.” Rose’s poem and the other pieces in Witness’s Fall/Winter 2020 issue were written before pandemic lockdowns, before we entered the COVID-19 era in full. Yet these works speak presciently to the themes and anxieties that have shaped life ever since: illness, isolation, solitude, loss, the threat of ecological catastrophe, reckonings with racial injustice and colonial violence, the dislodging of daily routines, technologically mediated companionship. At the same time, they bring into view a world of variety, sociality, and things: waiting rooms, shores, a red bird, sunsets, deer, a magic shop, a matinee, a wayward crush, a summer party, group therapy, brotherly love, a college boyfriend, Camelot. In a season when things are “coming loose,” these works connect us to curiosity, empathy, memory, imagination, and new ways of seeing what’s around us.
We wish you good health and good reading, from the Witness team.