Letter from the Editors, Spring 2016, Issue 9

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Dear Readers,

A MAN’S SON, LOST IN THE QUAGMIRE OF SYRIA. ANOTHER SON, NEARLY LOST IN RELIGIOUS “EX-GAY” THERAPY. A WOMAN STRUGGLING TO KEEP HER FAMILY’S SECRETS SAFE. Our March 2016 issue might be our most dramatic collection of true and fictional stories yet.

What makes a story electric? We have been exploring this question as we assemble Issue 9, and discussing it in our growing podcast (check out our latest episode on iTunes or at twocitiesreview.com/podcast). In our latest issue of the magazine, we return again and again to characters struggling to define who they are in the face of outsized odds. Characters in these outstanding stories, essays, and poems reach out for connection and grasp only air; they dig deep into their memories, searching for a true version of the past, and can only find uncertainty. Self-discovery is a rocky path to go down.

Our poems in this issue are also concerned with survival. What does it take to be truly self-reliant? How do we recover from grief and pain? How do we derive meaning from the great and the awful in our childhoods? Ultimately, survival is a question of self-discovery too; our writers have found that to make it in this world, you have to know who you are and what to take with you on the journey.

Speaking of journeys, this magazine, which started as a tiny fern unfurling beneath a canopy of larger magazines, has grown into a wide readership and is now spreading new branches into the world of podcasts and beyond. This issue marks our two year anniversary as a magazine, and we are so proud of the incredible growth we have seen. Not only has the number of submissions we receive increased exponentially, but the readers we are reaching now number in the thousands, over many states, countries and continents. And in a literary market that is full of turbulence and turnover, we are here to stay.

We hope that you, our readers, will continue with us on this journey and spread the word about our magazine and podcast. Writers continue to submit your best work. Together, we will make the next two years even more fruitful that these last two.

Happy reading!

Blair Hurley & Olivia Tandon

Read select pieces from the issue