Editor’s Note — The Men Issue

We said we had an issue with Men, and asked for your input. As we suspected, the many and varied submissions we received bore out the notion that perceptions of maleness are at the root of our most primal ideas about identity, family, love, friendship, fatherhood, war. The work in this issue enacts the way these ideas play out in our lives.

Ultimately, we were interested in the complexity of being male in the 21st century. Not surprisingly, the dictates of power struggles, cultural expectations, sexuality, social norms and the necessity of questioning those norms were a strong subtext in much of the work received. What interested us were pieces that convey the way these subtexts operate – both in dealings with others and within one’s own psyche. How does one integrate Male identity? How does it both limit and expand one’s range of thought, feeling, experience? How much of Maleness is chosen, and how much resides in the mind, in the instincts, in the genes?

The selection process was indeed difficult—we received enough interesting material to create an anthology, let alone a journal. What guided us was, as always, the quality of the writing, its ability to take up and explore the theme in an interesting or original way, and of course, that enchanted moment when you read a submission so absorbing that the world falls away and all that’s left is image, narrative and voice.


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