Editor’s Note: Earth
Welcome to “Earth!” These electronic pages are windows into China, Ukraine, Chiapas, Nigeria, England, Czechia, Germany, and the United States. Robin Young’s front cover suggests the worlds beneath our feet, over our heads, and in the seams between our footsteps; while David A. Goodrum’s back cover image flows at the juncture of earth, sea, and air. Visual art has always been integral to our pages; this time, we’ve tried to give even more space to the strange and beautiful images that come our way by pairing some of them with poems and stories.
In this issue, Sarah Sassoon and Edmée Lepercq create cartographies of Babylon and London via dates and figs. We often find ourselves up in the air, where weather happens, where souls of the living and dead unite. We see the destructive forces eating at the Earth from within, alongside the generative. We mingle in the elements themselves, the ones we hold inside us, the ones we give birth to. We contemplate nature, the idyllic and the terrifying. Indeed, this is the perfect occasion to celebrate the Bat Mitzvah of Camille T. Dungy’s groundbreaking anthology, Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry. Finally, we are grateful to guest poetry editor Lauren Camp for her sensitive and discerning eye.