Introduction

These essays pushed us to understand something crucial by reflecting on past selves, and anticipating the conflicts that will come. In Louis Bourgeois’ “Trash Fish” a young boy comes to understand race through an unknown creature, while Pamela Dellinger looks back at a fraught relationship when a former lover dies. “I am stuck in front of a Kandinsky. Don’t send help,” Catherine A. Brereton requests in her segmented essay, “Thirteen Hours to New York,” as she finds her way in a new city. In Jessica Barksdale’s lyric essay, “Triggers,” she embraces the litany, offering an idiosyncratic list of troubling provocations. Each of these authors bear witness to personal and cultural struggle, yet save us from despair with their artful renderings. We hope you find the same sense of redemption in these pieces.