As I was putting together this issue, I found myself smiling. Not because the pieces in this issue are especially happy—that’s never the case with literature, is it?—but because of the honesty and playfulness and even hope that runs through many of these pieces. From Janus C.’s hilarious and heartfelt horror-comedy to Ilene Dube’s eccentric bather, from Lauren Stanzione’s youthful cry “I Am Meant to Be Here” to Harvey Steinberg who is “Still Reading at Age 88,” these pieces, many of which were written during the pandemic, carry within them a spark to light the darkness. There is a sense that the act of writing these pieces, making meaning out of the moments and memories and pain and strangeness of life, is an act of hope. We may not be able to make sense of it all, but we can make art out of it, and perhaps we can even make it beautiful.
This issue has been woven together by the generous hands of so many people, who I would be remiss not to thank. First and foremost, thank you to my fellow Kelsey Review editors, Roberta Clipper, Luray Gross, and Ellen Jacko, whose artistry and wisdom helped curate this issue. Thank you also to the support of the Liberal Arts Department, including Dr. Dylan Wolfe, former Interim Dean of Liberal Arts during the submission phase of this year’s issue, and Dr. Robert Kleinschmidt, current Dean of Liberal Arts. Finally, thank you to Dr. Jianping Wang, MCCC President, and VPAA Dr. Robert Schreyer for their support of this project. It is more important than ever to support the arts, and these many people have shown their support for Kelsey Review.
Finally, a sad note: we lost an extraordinarily bright light at MCCC this year with the passing of Communications Professor Kathi Paluscio, a creative individual who was an ardent supporter of the arts. Our first poem, written by her colleague Michael Griffith, is a tribute to her, and this issue is dedicated to her memory.