In the depths of the pandemic, we have had to reimagine much. We have had to consider our habits and behaviors in both close quarters as well as across new mediums. We have had to examine the fabric of our social structures and relationships. We have had to reconstitute the nature of our hopes and dreams such as they might persist in an uncertain future.
Yet, at Witness, we find our responsibilities to be ever the same. We have been delighted to once again choose works that help us to examine and understand issues of identity, works that endeavor to give us courage to confront social issues, works that remind us what it means to full of feeling and fury in the face of tragedy, and works that dare us to imagine a world of what could be, rather than what is.
In this issue, you will read fiction about surreal and endless journeys, about cups of tea that smooth over past regrets, about strange blooms on a lover’s body, about mermaids who defy expectation. You will experience essays that compassionately speak of race and identity across national and international lines. You will encounter poems that were inspired by photography archives published on Instagram, that reach across time and space for emotional echoes, that embody the ambivalence of religion, that confront the inherent racism in the simple terminology of “China Virus.”
We were honored to read these works, for they gave us comfort and pleasure in a time of uncertainty. They let us journey away from our static isolations. We hope they will do the same for you.
Once more, we wish you good health and good reading.