Emerge Literary Journal: 2022
The phrase ‘change is inevitable’ popped into my head when I read through this issue because it had changed me in many tiny ways. Along my journey, I met new words paired in different ways by a writer I’ve grown to love, a new writer whose work I’ve never read before, and the work of a writer publishing a piece for the very first time. Emerge Literary Journal strives to embody growth, change, and experimentation. Adaptation. Adjustment. Transition. Transformation. Upheaval. Metamorphosis. Reorientation. Restructure. Evolution. Revolution. Whatever you want to call it, change invariably pushes us out of our comfort zone. It’s inevitable. If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.
And, what growth demands of us is a temporary surrender of security. Writing for the first time or out of a comfort zone and then working up the courage to submit it to a publication may seem fleeting, but even when change is fleeting, it still registers in our sympathetic nervous system and triggers an involuntary response. If we tune into our bodies when we are writing, and even reading a powerful poem or story, we can detect the increased heart rate, perhaps the beads of sweat, the butterflies, the quickening of breath, the tensing of muscles, the mind on alert. We feel it. We feel that change that is upon us. Whether we like it or not, it becomes part of us and there’s no turning back. We will never unwrite the words that may be the first we ever publish, the words that are witness to our growth, the words we’ve experimented with to get us to a new destination, the words that will forever change the reader.
Yes, change is inevitable, and no matter how hard we try, we’re not immune to the impact it has on our senses, our viscera, and our thoughts. In the process of writing this Editor’s Note, I’ve taken time to think more deeply about change and its impact on writing and publishing, its impact on all of us, and I’ve grown. This issue immersed me in change. I’m more aware of how the literary world is a microscopic contagion that has the power to jet propel us out of our comfort zones and shift the trajectory of humanity. How can that be? Well, it is. It just is. Whether you like it or not, dear reader, you’ll be changed and will continue to change, in big ways and in small, and in ways neither our contributors nor I are even aware of. Embrace the change as it changes you.
Be Well. Write Well. Read Well.
THERE IS A BEEHIVE IN CANCER | THE AVERAGE LIFESPAN OF AN OAK TREE IS TWO HUNDRED YEARS | THEY USED GENERAL SHERMAN FOR YOUR COFFIN || Katelyn Botsford Tucker
Swallow || Kelli Lage
On a Street in Aleppo || Shannon Huffman Polson
Dear George || Debbie Robson
To a Fallen Angel || Robert McDonald
I Killed My Mother || Lannie Stabile
Quiet Ends || Maryann Aita
Check, Please! || Angelica Whitehorne
Benjamin || John K. Massey
ELJ believes that #mentalillnessawareness and #endingthestigma are of paramount importance. We believe in the necessity of sharing our mental illness and trauma stories to facilitate writing through illness and create broader awareness. We’ve created this corner to allow writers to not only share their stories but to be home to those who share in their experiences.
Pigeon Lake || Candace Webb
In the Morning When I First Begin to Stir || Julie Flattery
After Hours || Cynthia B. Jones
Missing Child || Deirdre Fagan
My Mother’s Other Children || Andrea Marcusa
Edge of Seventeen, Mississippi Delta, Summer 1982 || Stuart Phillips
Barren || Jody M Keene
Grace’s Woe || Sean Ennis
Finches || Olivia Schwartzman
The Chenille Bedspread || Mikki Aronoff
Little Socks || Brecht De Poortere
Love Lines || Erika Nichols-Frazer