The weather is turning crisp here in Philadelphia, and the movement of seasons always brings me back to the simultaneous feelings of change and return. I love returning to fall with a batch of fresh new work for Storyscape, and I couldn't be more excited about Issue 13. I am constantly surprised by the outstanding and inventive submissions we receive, and this newest crop will break your hearts in the best possible way.
As always, the work we publish in Storyscape speaks to how we contemplate the truths, untruths, and messy in-betweens of life. We present stories that resurrect and distort memory, shining a light on family dynamics, where "reality and family myth are blurred" ("The Wolf Closet," by Christina Kapp). We witness a childhood fractured by the prism of memory in "Education," by Rachel Hanson. We join Yasmin Tong in rediscovering family history in Trinidad ("The Return of the Scarlet Ibis"). We follow a mother faced with the task of mailing her daughter's ponytail to be donated to an organization serving bald children in "Shorn," by Stefanie Levine Cohen. We listen to a daughter interweave the stories of how her father rescued an elephant and how he managed to support his family as a Mexican immigrant in Debra Salazar's "The Crane Pays the Bills."
Some stories invite us to expand the definition of truth, as in the hilarious, chilling, and bizarre "I Did My Makeup Fresh and Light," by Rachel Mack, a story about a man who plants modelesque women in his garden. Or see if you can pick out the truth from the lies in a series of emails by John Reed to his literary agent, in which he presents "a book of poems, by me, which I'm fairly sure I've written" (excerpt from his book-in-progress, Free Boat: Collected Lies and Love Poems).
Some stories made us wince, leaving us somewhat relieved to see them categorized as "Untruth": as with the dysfunctional family in Kim Sutton Allouche's "Bottom Feeders," or the alcoholic physician in "Getting Away With It," by Jean Kim, or the letter to a reporter by a person released from jail after 32 years, wrongly convicted of a crime, in "Wormwood," by N. Marc Mullin.
And we celebrate truth in all its cadences and rhythms with a rich array of poems. Cortney Lamar Charleston presents snapshots of growing up "trying to escape the shadow of American history" in "Still Life with Skateboarding Rapper Orbited by Nerd Paraphernalia." Julia Leverone translates Spanish poetry by Argentine writer, intellectual, and revolutionary Francisco "Paco" Urondo. Stan Mir contemplates Marxism and Capitalism in "Rage & Economics." In "Stranger on Burnside Ave.," Sebastian Paramo's speaker meets a very talkative God. In Lynn McGee's "Second Round," we join the speaker at the bedside of a stroke victim. And there's so much more.
Finally, all this beautiful writing is crowned by Crit Streed's stunning cover art.
We are so proud of Issue 13, and we hope you enjoy it. We also hope you'll join us in celebrating Issue 13 at our free launch reading November 20th at Cakeshop NYC, 152 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002, 7–9pm, featuring readings by some of our contributors. We are still raising money to fund Storyscape's journey to AWP, where we'll have a booth and off-site reading, print our second print anthology, and more. If you love Storyscape, we encourage you to support us, and we'll thank you with rewards such as t-shirts and manuscript editing by our editors! Thank you!