Some words from the Editors
I watched the cars stream in from the south, a response to the call for evacuation. There was a chance the dam would fail and bury the town, inch by inch, beneath a consuming tide. Nothing happened that night, but the threat was enough to draw the nation’s attention to a dense, earthen wall, tenuous against the snowmelt and runoff. This is how California’s most recent drought came to an end.
Weatherbeaten has been established out of necessity. The desire to showcase the resonant art of just a few of the countless talented writers seeking publication. Logistically a journal cannot be a showcase for all, but all is considered during the editorial process. Picking from a sea of submissions is never simple, but standouts always find their way to the fore, built upon writings that came before. We are all runoff of other writers, our favorites and those problematic works that linger like floodwaters, demanding a response.
What’s so special about this issue is its call to arms for unity in a time of turmoil. A mass of writers rose to the occasion and did not disappoint. This inaugural issue is a reflection of present day America and unearths a beautiful collection of work that explores the daily hardships and observations of what it’s like to be alive in this country right now. These works explore gender, race, sexuality, inequality, age, unjust crime, classism, life as an artist, and many other topics.
We turn on the news, or social media, or read the newspaper and are blinded by political arguments and the petulant tweets of our pasty Cheeto-like leader, but here in this first issue of Weatherbeaten, we have created a refuge from that. You are not alone; we are not alone. Our voices deserve to be heard. Through our shared pain, our shared experiences, our shared understanding, we can begin to unite as one and stand up for ourselves. So come join us. Read and seek relief through the words of others.
Our world is changing. The beautiful and surreal are now covered by the burning ignorance and polarizing forces that seep into each of our lives. In this issue of Weatherbeaten, our authors dig through this sundered ash to reveal a beating heart. A heart hardened and torn between worlds, between perspectives, and between understanding. The voice of each piece calls out to us, and brings us closer to the human experience with every line placed for our reflection.
Please enjoy this collection of works that claimed our editors’ attention and respect. As a group, we chose pieces that called attention to resistance and resilience through the turmoil. Look for the deeper bonds of compassion and consideration. Listen closely as these voices guide and captivate your imagination, and hear the world’s hardened heart beat as one.
Dearheart readers, I’m sitting here trying to think of something to say about the inaugural issue of Weatherbeaten, an issue full of great, poignant writing, an issue representing countless hours of work, but all I can think of is “fuck Nazis, white supremacy, and those that enable both.” I want to talk about how featured poet F.I. Goldhaber memorializes Ricky John Best and Taliesin Namkai-Meche in “Portland Heroes” for standing against a white supremacist, or how Carla Schwartz pleads for us to talk with our neighbors in a time of division and unrest, but all I can think of is “45, Drumpf, whatever you want to call the current occupant of the White House, is every bit the morally bankrupt con man he’s shown over the course of his life. Oh, and fuck Nazis, white supremacy, and those that enable both.”
Dearest readers, as you make your way through this literary space and meet our authors and their characters, know this issue is in memory of Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Kathryn Johnston, Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Freddie Gray, Philando Castile, and all of those that have suffered at the hands of systemic oppression. Know that it is in remembrance and support of the Heather Heyers, the Ricky Bests, the Taliesin Namkai-Meches, and the Micah Fletchers of the world. May they rest in power. Resist.