Editor's Note – Sentences

Is it a prose poem? A flash fiction piece? Random thoughts or an ingeniously structured argument? Deceptively simple or cunningly complex? The thing about hybrid writing is that you can never be sure.

We asked for submissions that challenge the definitions, ignore the boundaries, and laugh at the rules. The results were amazing. Our final picks were based not only on what we “liked” best, but also on what seemed to convey mood, essence and power through its very structure. At times we felt ourselves to be reckoning with the furthest reaches of creativity and imagination. It is always challenging to create something original, but when an artist succeeds in walking the fine line between innovative and indulgent, and manages to produce a work that expresses old truths in surprising ways, the boundaries of our own collective imagination stretch a little wider. Our interview with Abby Beckel and Kathleen Rooney, the co-founders of Rose Metal Press, offers a look at how this vision plays out in the world of publishing.

But structure isn’t the only way that hybridity makes itself felt in these pieces. In some cases, it plays out in a unique use and/or juxtaposition of registers, voices, or themes. In others, it’s the way language crosses borders and accumulates unexpected perspective. It can play out in the use of the page as a visual canvas—enabling words, space, black, white, shapes and lines to work together to create an fusion of text and image. Still others were chosen for their ability to convey meaning and depth in a few brief lines. But no matter how each of these pieces “works”, every selection in this issue is striking and thought provoking in its unique mode of expression.

Because Sentences is about rejecting labels, we’ve decided to forgo a traditional Table of Contents. Imagine this issue to be a party. Open the door. Walk in. Grab a drink and head for a conversation with a fascinating stranger.

Janice Weizman