Welcome to our final installment of our first year of the online quarterly of the Community of Writers. In this issue, we celebrate our history of community, and engage its vigorous, diverse and transformative new manifestations in essays, poetry and fiction chosen to encourage and inspire. Longtime staffer Elizabeth Rosner meditates, generously and insightfully, on the enduring individual and community imperative to describe, explain, transform, complain, criticize, celebrate and, most of all, collaborate. Elizabeth was meant to deliver this gorgeous essay as a talk in an anniversary event postponed due to the pandemic. Novelist and activist Jervey Tervalon, founder of LitFest Pasadena, tells the story of its origins and explores the political economy of creating community as an answer to cultural hegemony, racism, and Hollywood’s disappointing lack of imagination. Jonathan Cohen’s meditation on grief and loss considers the possibilities of incompleteness, with a vividness and empathy that offers so much beauty and, yes, completion. Poet and scholar Therí A. Pickens shares three beautiful poems of self-instruction, analysis and memory: “Linger at the lost spaces of not and undoing.” Finally, Caroline Kim, whose collection The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories won the 2020 Drue Heinz Literature Prize, gives us a short story of spooky or only everyday political and cultural alienation.
Please stay safe, and by all means share our journal.