a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
I am grateful to have the opportunity to work on this issue of About Place Journal. Thank you to managing editor, Michael McDermott, for the deeply significant work About Place Journal has done and continues to do. Thank you to editors Melissa Tuckey and Lauren Camp for the call to this important issue and for trusting my eyes. Thank you to my partner reader, Erica, for keeping me motivated and for her thoughtful and specific notes. I am pleased and grateful to have the opportunity to feature beautiful and inspiring work of the talented contributors in this fantastic issue. To those who were, in the end, not included in the issue, please know that your work was carefully considered and received with gratitude, as I was energized by the quality and diversity of work. I will not lie. Four hundred submissions was a daunting task, but I was inspired that so many were drawn to write and create on this topic. It is the communities we build that give us courage to resist oppression. It is the families we create, not just the ones we inherit, that support us to continue to speak out. As I considered work, I was looking for artists and writers who were able to not only articulate the significant role of those support systems, but also express how they enabled forward movement. How do relationships and connections that ground us also push us toward insisting on a more inclusive and just future? Selfishly, perhaps, I was looking for a little hope. There is also reality that there are histories that are not supportive, but shape us as well and can likewise move us forward as they are acknowledged and overcome.
I believe the poems, stories, and artwork chosen for this issue are honest and exposed in ways that may not always be comfortable, but are necessary and inspiring. Thank you to those who created and those who will appreciate them. I read, I write, I resist with you.
Katy Richey’s work has appeared in Rattle, Cincinnati Review, RHINO, The Offing and other journals. She has received fellowships from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Callaloo Creative Writing Workshops and The Cave Canem Foundation. She hosts the Sunday Kind of Love reading series open mic at Busboys and Poets in Washington D.C., sponsored by Split This Rock Poetry Festival and is a member of the Black Ladies Brunch Collective.