Welcome to Wordpeace issue 6.1!

Welcome to Wordpeace’s Summer/Fall 2020 issue 6.1.
WORDPEACE is a literary journal dedicated to peace and justice.

This issue features poetry, fiction, non-fiction and artwork.
Cover art is “Disguise” by Hyeseon Kim

Issue 6.2 Summer/Fall 2021 coming in July!

Submissions for Wordpeace open February 1 – April 1, 2021 (Submission link here and below)
and October 1 – December 1, 2021
We publish semi-annually, with submissions open in February / March (for July/August publication) and October /November (for January/February publication).

Letter from the Editor:
– February 12, 2021

Dear Readers,

Here we are in February 2021. Today is the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Ox, a symbol of persistence and hard work. Last January, I decided to make a New Year’s resolution (I seldom do) to finally learn some patience in my “old age” (I’m 65). I’ve always been a persistent person (I raised children, had my own business, went back to school in my 50’s), but I have never been very patient. The thing I hate the most is waiting. Little did I know I would acquire patience this year, mainly because I had no choice in the matter. The COVID crisis has been an overwhelming and trying time for all of us, certainly one of the most difficult challenges humanity has faced in many years. We are up to over 400,000 deaths just in the United States, and many more worldwide. Our hearts have been broken with losses of friends and family. Several of my friends and family got COVID and were sick for months. A close family member died. Some survivors I know have permanent damage to their bodies. We are often left feeling frightened and helpless. We place our hopes in vaccines, masks and social distancing. One blessing to count is the fact that there has recently been a change in government in the United States. I’m sure many of us have renewed hope that several deeply important things will change for the better. We need to end systemic racism in this country. We need to learn to resolve our conflicts without constant wars. We need to learn to accept one another, regardless of race, origin, beliefs, sexuality or gender. The climate crisis has escalated under the former administration due to greed and apathy, and I hope it’s not too late.

One issue I have had on top of all the rest is trying to find a time and focus in order to write. This is where patience needs to kick in. I decided to spend more time reading, so have been getting books of all sorts on my Kindle or friends’ new books delivered. I have read works of fiction by Ocean Vuong and Jendi Reiter, revisited Toni Morrison, enjoyed Michelle Obama’s memoir and Mary Trump’s revealing book, and I read some good non-fiction by Brian Stevenson and Justin Lee. Poetry is piling up on my night stand, as usual, with so many wonderful new books. My newest book of poetry came out in March and I got to read “in” San Francisco and Portland, Albuquerque, New York and Boston, thanks to all the poets providing wonderful reading series on Zoom. Inspired but a bit lost, I decided to start writing down my dreams, and now I have several strange and image-filled prose poems in my files. Our work as poets and writers is needed in this time, to help others connect and be inspired. For those of us who have been more prolific, more power to you! For those of us who, like myself, have been striving to find the patience and focus to write, I suggest reading as a way to find that patience, a way to find an inner strength and start to imagine a different world.

Lori Desrosiers is the Founding Editor of Wordpeace, poet, teacher/mentor, workshop leader.

Photograph by Lori Desrosiers Feb. 2021

A Note from Founding Editor, Lori Desrosiers:

Monica Hand and I founded WORDPEACE in the hope of making a difference, despite having to live our lives, care for our families, and continue writing and publishing. Monica isn’t with us anymore to see the continuation of this vision, and I miss my friend. Every issue of this journal will be dedicated to her.  We are so blessed to have Monica Barron (non-fiction), Ciona Rouse (poetry), Lisa C. Taylor (fiction) and Russell Taylor (art) choosing work for the journal. We all want to stand up to indifference by publishing work that inspires people to think, in the hope that it will spur someone to activism, and, hopefully will help pave the way to kindness, sensibility, peace and social justice.

Lori Desrosiers
Founding Editor & Publisher, WORDPEACE.CO

in memorium

This and subsequent issues are dedicated to my beloved friend, co-founder of WORDPEACE and poetry editor, Monica Hand who passed on December 16, 2016 after a short illness. She was a PhD student at the University of Missouri and a professor at Stephens College, and has been a force for poetry through her enthusiasm, her scholarship and through her book, me and Nina which won the Alice James Award in 2012. Monica’s powerful second collection, DiVida: Poems was published posthumously in 2018 by Alice James Books.

Here is a link to some of her poems at poets.org, the site of the Academy of American Poets.

 

Lori Desrosiers