Fall 2020 issue
Letter from the Editors
One year ago, the world looked different than it does today. People across countless nationalities, races, ethnicities, ages and socioeconomic classes awaited the dawn of a new decade with anticipation. Perhaps the 2020s would fulfill a promise of something better, something hopeful. But fate handed us a different reality—one that has tested human resilience unlike anything in modern history. A global pandemic, still raging, taking the lives and health of millions. A groundswell of social and political unrest, not only in the U.S., but in Hong Kong, Thailand and elsewhere, is showing us the fragility of civil discourse as we know it. Widespread economic fallout has left families everywhere insecure and struggling to stay afloat. The world today is a living witness of history in the making. Humanity is hurting.
Still, if we look hard enough, there is light. In isolation, there is also peace. In loss, we may meet gratitude. If we can lean in to our sorrow, we may find strength hidden there, and a universal connection with our fellow humans. In that place, faith in this new decade is alive and waiting for us. Hopelessness is inherently impossible without first, and again, hope.
Like everything, the pandemic has taken a toll on the writing community. The current global crisis is influencing art and storytelling (and will long into the future). In compiling this Winter Issue, we heard from writers who have slowed down or taken a hiatus from their craft as they’ve shifted their focus to the more pressing demands of our current reality. Writers are meditating on their feelings, pausing, considering their priorities.
We too, are embracing the idea of sitting with all that has come this year. And also recognizing the beauty and life that is sometimes difficult to see in the bleak of winter. It is in that spirit that we bring you our Winter 2020 Issue of The Arkansan Review. Given the unique circumstances of this year, in addition to our traditional collection of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction, we have included a special section of selected works from The University of Arkansas at Monticello students and faculty. Join us in settling down, taking it all in, and finding comfort in our shared appreciation of literature.
-The editors of the Fall 2020 Issue of The Arkansan Review