Thank you for always submitting your precious work to us. All of your families, friends, and colleagues are in our thoughts and we wish you peace and comfort during this difficult time. As we publish this issue in the fall, and as I write this in April in preparation for layout and design, I am very much hoping a transition has moved toward a positive atmosphere and the healing of nations from the terrible pandemic.
We held our last in-person Bridge meeting to choose the pieces for this issue the night before all students were to leave campus. At this time, we thought we would return in April, and alas that was not to happen. But we persevered and continued to remain in touch. Never have I been so grateful that a university began their semester earlier than others. It allowed our staff to choose in person the pieces we felt most represented Bridge’s mission and those youth of the world.
A lively, full dialogue occurred over three hours filled with laughter, strength of voice, and keen ears that listened to all sides. In that moment, we connected as a team and as a small family. As we have come together across the world, too, having all been through both a truly contagious and trying virus, and having quarantined for the safety of ourselves and of others, we have shown just how much we should be connected and should be there for one another with that same tuned listening.
This year has seen many changes in both Bridge and the world. We decided to accept slam poetry for our fall online issues. This will start with our next fall round so that we can ready to publish recordings, as we strongly believe slam poetry must be heard or seen, rather than simply read. We also increased the diversity of our social media presence to draw in increased attention to the high quality of Bridge and to those who might submit. We want readers, authors, and artists alike to recognize that we care deeply about their differences and the unique qualities of what makes their art, art, and their experiences worth others reading about.
As with the last issue, when we began choosing the fall pieces, we saw themes and genres emerge that evoked voices rising to speak out about difficult topics. Speculative forms have been doing intersectional work for hundreds of years. With the popularity of several speculative films, we are once again recognizing the futuristic or imagined spaces as representative of our possibilities—the possibility to come together and the possibility to further distance and disconnect.
Our fiction choices became a semblance of future brokenness pushing and pulling together, no matter the end. The lyric forms and lines in the non-fiction essays shape and fragment and braid our own inner connections and disconnections, while the poetry explores defining beauty and difficult choices. Finally, the drama piece merges all of these braids and commonalities together through the destruction of memory, which only serves to strengthen family, rather than tear the bond apart.
We very much hope that you and yours are safe and healthy. Know that you are all in our thoughts and that we send you love and light. Enjoy the fall smells, sounds, and tastes that weave us through apple and cinnamon, and then the cold change into the coming of a winter season that will carry away what came before and begin anew with the spring.
Melissa Michal Slocum, Editor