The theme for this issue is HANDS.
As we moved and continue to move into unprecedented times across the world, we chose the theme of ‘HANDS’ for its quiet strength, for the possibility of touch, connection and creation that it symbolizes and offers. In this issue, we present 21 powerful pieces that explore the remarkable variety of meanings that hands hold: from intimate relationships shared through and between hands to social customs and physical disease. Some pieces explore the traumatic memories associated with hands. Others provide a tender glimpse into personal triumphs and efforts to (re)create something new.
So, we offer you hands: as memory, as image, as metaphor, as fact, engaged in creating and destroying, extending and enduring, holding and letting go.
TW/CW: This issue contains themes of and references to illness, disease, physical / medical conditions, surgery, cancer, sexual assault and death.
Please let us know if we need to add anything more to this list.
Happy and safe reading!
Covert Art – Cosmic Gesture by Sarah Peck
Sarah Peck is a painter and illustrator living in Rockledge, FL. She earned her BFA in Animation/Illustration from SUNY Fredonia and attended residencies at Chautauqua Institution’s School of Art and The Yards Collaborative Art Space in Rochester, NY. You can find more of her work on Instagram @silverlynstudio and on her website www.sarahpeckpaints.com.
The first hello by Noreen Ocampo
Noreen Ocampo (she/her) is a Filipina American writer and poet based in metro Atlanta. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Taco Bell Quarterly, Hobart, and HAD, among others, and her debut micro chapbook TEASPOONS is forthcoming fall 2021 with The Daily Drunk Mag. Say hello on Twitter @maybenoreen!
Syndactyly affects one in 2500 babies and God chose me by David Salazar
David Salazar (he/xe/she) is a queer teenage writer from Chile. He has been published or is forthcoming in The Daily Drunk, The Hearth, Ogma Magazine, among others. You can find her on Twitter at @smalllredboy or on her website, davidvsalazar.weebly.com.
Sink Demon by Karo
Karo (he/him) is an ex-salaryperson who has only quit their job last year to become a storytelling pirate. He creates comic book stories, carefully written and illustrated with love, to bottle and throw into the vast seas of the internet, all while sailing these scary uncharted waters of being an artist. You can find him on Instagram @lastshanty.
The Gospel According to the CT Scan by DT McRea
DT McCrea (they/she) is a trans-anarchist poet, a reader for Flypaper Lit, and Pushcart Prize nominee. They love the NBA and know the lyrics to every Saintseneca song. Her work can be found in Indianapolis Review, Gordon Square Review, Honey & Lime, mutiny!, Stone of Madness Press and others. Follow them on twitter @dt_mccrea.
Pink by Hana Ghosh
Hana (of the bog) is a nonbinary queer artist who goes by they/them/she pronouns and adores frogs and butterflies. Their art usually has dreamy scenes with undertones to queerness and transness or straight up cottage core fairy fantasy vibes. They also make music! You can find them on Instagram @hanaofthebog.
My Marvel Movie Tattoo by Jennifer Furner
Jennifer Furner (she/her) has essays in the anthologies of Art in the Time of Covid-19 and A Teenager’s Guide to Feminism. She has been published in HuffPost Personal, Motherwell, Sammiches and Psych Meds, and multiple Medium publications. She lives in Grand Rapids, MI, with her husband and daughter. For more of her writing, visit her website jenniferfurner.com or follow her on Twitter @JenniferFurner.
Trauma by Aracely Medina
Aracely Medina was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. She has been published in Élan, Black Fox, The Freshwater Review, and The Talon Review. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and writing poetry and science fiction. She currently attends the University of North Florida, where she is pursuing a BA in English with a minor in Creative Writing.
Burnt Toast by Fran Fernández Arce
Fran Fernández Arce (she/her) is a Chilean poet currently living in Suffolk, England. She has recently started sharing her poetry to the outside world and has been published in Pollux Journal. She has been living in England for more than a year now but she is still scared of all the apparently harmless house spiders crawling around the ceiling of her bedroom. You can find her talking about poetry as @dylanblue3 on Twitter.
These Hands Is God by Devonae J. Manderson
Devonae J. Manderson (she/her) is a queer, Jamaican poet and storyteller. Her work explores themes of black womanhood, sexuality, spirituality, and culture as well as her experiences with meeting herself as the many different women she is. Find her on Twitter @soulandmelanin or blogging at soulandmelanin.wordpress.com.
In Nana’s Bedroom by Sophie Scolnik-Brower
Sophie Scolnik-Brower is a professional pianist in the Boston area with a longtime passion for writing poetry and creative nonfiction. An active participant in writing workshops throughout the city, she is drawn to prose that sounds like music. Her work has been published with Willowdown Books and in Sky Island Journal.
Still My Hands by Wendy Kennar
Wendy Kennar (she/her) is a mother, writer, and former teacher. Her writing has appeared in a number of publications and anthologies, both in print and online. You can read more from Wendy at http://www.wendykennar.com where she writes about books, boys, and bodies (living with an invisible disability). You can also find her on Instagram @wendykennar.
Holding by Sarah Hilton
Sarah Hilton (she/her) is a queer poet from Scarborough, Ontario and a Master of Information student at the University of Toronto. Her work is currently featured or forthcoming at Contemporary Verse 2, Off Menu Press, Ithaca Lit, and elsewhere. You can find her on Twitter @hilton_sarah_ and on Instagram @sar_ahhil.
Offering by Samantha K Mosca
Samantha K Mosca is a jack of many trades: actress, writer, academic, photographer, and editor. She is a bi-femme, immigrant, activist and a mum who spends her days chasing her wee toddler and her nights chasing her art. You can find her on Twitter @xsyrinex and on Instagram @syrine_barathrum.
Dead Souls by Amy Lee Lillard
Amy Lee Lillard is the author of Dig Me Out, a short story collection forthcoming from Atelier26 Books. She was shortlisted for the 2017 Berlin Writing Prize and named one of Epiphany’s Breakout 8 Writers in 2018. Her writing appears in Barrelhouse, Foglifter, Off Assignment, Gertrude, and other publications. Lillard is one of the broads behind Broads and Books, the funny and feminist book podcast. Find her work at http://www.amyleelillard.com, and connect on Instagram (@alillard77) or Twitter (@amyleelillard).
Pillow Talk by Carly Silva
Carly (she/her/hers) lives in Boston, MA, where she is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Writing and Communications. She writes both poetry and prose, and particularly enjoys exploring topics including femininity, mental health, and love in her pieces. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, playing guitar, or hanging out with her dog. Find her on Instagram @carlysilva23.
Hands and Flowers by Rae
Rae (she/her) is a queer artist in her 20s who uses her work to explore the relationship between herself and the world around her. She works both traditionally and digitally and has always been fascinated with light and the human body. You can find her on Twitter @DriveNii or on Instagram @i.drive.a.nii.san.
The Chair by Emmaline Bristow
Emmaline Bristow (she/her) grew up in Helena, Montana, and obtained her BA in English literature and creative writing at the University of Montana, then her MFA in poetry from Drew University. She currently lives in Missoula, Montana where she works in communications for her local government.
Contours of Land & Hand by Nicole Little
Nicole Little is the grown-up edition of that queer kid with ADHD who was always drawing. She has a deep love for picking up and reimagining discarded and unvalued things. She posts free, monthly pocket zines on her website: littleneocreative.com/zines and hangs out appreciating art & poetry as @littleneocreative on Instagram.
october elegy by Audrey Gidman
Audrey Gidman is a queer poet living in central Maine. Her poems can be found or are forthcoming in SWWIM, The West Review, époque press, FEED, Anti-Heroin Chic, and elsewhere. She received her BFA from the University of Maine Farmington and her chapbook, body psalms, winner of the Elyse Wolf Prize, is forthcoming from Slate Roof Press. You can find her on Twitter @audreygidman.
The Mehndi Ritual by Mariya Khan
Mariya Khan (she/her) is a South Asian and Muslim American writer from Maryland. She is a graduate of the International Writing Program’s Summer Institute in Iowa City. When Mariya isn’t writing, she’s trying new recipes and watching crime dramas. You can find more of her work at mariyaskhan.wixsite.com/portfolio.