Monday, January 14, 2019
Welcome to issue 155. Last winter, TriQuarterly launched an online issue archive that made every single story, poem, essay, and video ever published in the journal available to a worldwide audience. The project was a true labor of love, involving the scanning and indexing of thousands of printed pages dating back to our very first issue (which was released in the fall of 1958 and sold at a price of fifty cents).
Every now and then, I find myself paging through the issues in the online archive, reading decades-old works by writers like Tobias Wolff, Joyce Carol Oates, Stuart Dybek, and Grace Paley, and thinking about how these names weren’t always part of the literary canon. There was a time when these writers were considered emerging, when journals like TriQuarterly made it their mission to draw attention to their work. As the managing editor for issue 155, I’m proud to say that the work within its (digital) pages comes to us from some of the most vital voices in the literary community today. You may or may not yet recognize their names, but you’ll find their writing powerful, the content haunting, and their messages impossible to ignore. Two separate pieces address the topic of climate change, daring us to envision a future in which the commonplace becomes the stuff of legend. “Our children,” Allain Daigle predicts in his video essay “New Arctic,” “will dream about icebergs . . . strip our walls for the foundations.” And Allegra Hyde’s “Adjustments” foresees a time when we’ll tell our grandchildren stories of the days when “ice was so plentiful, people put it in their drinks just to watch it disappear.”
Ting Chang’s poem “Prophecy” also contemplates the future, its speaker seeming to call out simultaneously to a silenced mother “who used to speak,” and to an entire population of people outraged at the current political climate. “I reject walls and those who build them,” the speaker says. “I reject the safety of fear”; and, as readers, we feel ourselves becoming swept up in the “rising undercurrent,” joining in the resolve to stand up against the injustices in our world: “Say it now: The Future.”
But, of course, the future does not forge itself. As Chang notes in her poem “Patience,” and Ceridwen Hall observes in her essay “network,” the future is wrought out of the past. While “Patience” explores this notion on an individual level, with Chang listing the objects, places, and experiences she “come(s) from,” “network” examines it on a societal one. In an intricate weaving of then and now, Hall questions how far we’ve really come in communications technology while also calling attention to the lack of progress in workplace equality. In the late nineteenth century, we compressed our messages into telegrams; today, we compress them into rapid-fire texts. Back then women “earned lower wages, worked in smaller offices.” Now, here in the future, women are still fighting for equal pay.
We hope you’ll spend some time with this issue, exploring its content and contemplating the inquiries that gave rise to its works. We hope, too, that you’ll discover a new voice, a writer you’ve never read before—and that when you do, you’ll join us in spreading the word.
Managing Editor: Carrie Muehle
Assistant Managing Editor: Aram Mrjoian
Faculty Advisor: Susan Harris
Director of Planning: Reginald Gibbons
Film Editor: Sarah Minor
Fiction Editors: Joshua Bohnsack, Jennifer Companek, Marina Mularz, Nate Renie
Nonfiction Editor: Molly Sprayregen
Poetry Editor: Dane Hamann
Social Media Editor: Aram Mrjoian
Copy Editor: Lys Ann Weiss
Media Architect: Harlan Wallach
Technical Advisors: Rodolfo Vieira, Nick Gertonson
Ahsan Awan, Patrick Bernhard, Pascale Bishop, Erika Carey, Sara Connell, Bonnie Etherington, Audrey Fierberg, Dan Fliegel, Andrea Garcia, Caitlin Garvey, Ellen Hainen, Salwa Halloway, Madina Jenks, Jonathan Jones, Erin Keogh, Jen Lawrence, Adam Lizakowski, Marssie Mencotti, Natalia Nebel, Devin O’Shea Hillary Pelan, Megan Sullivan, Myra Thompson, Molly Tyler, Katherine Williams