We’re delighted to announce the new print issue of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art. Columbia Journal’s Issue 57 features work by Jenny Holzer, Patti Smith, Jesse Paris Smith, Eileen Myles, Duy Doan, Lili Kobielski, Donika Kelly, and more. Read more about Issue 57 in Editor in Chief Adrian Perez’s Editor’s Note below. Issue 57 was published in May 2019, and you can order a copy now.
The Issue 57 team would like to thank the Columbia Writing Program faculty, our faculty advisory board, our readers, and our Winter Contest judges: Alexander Chee (nonfiction), Lauren Wilkinson (fiction), and Jericho Brown (poetry).
From the Editor
History will be the judge of the current political and social climate in our country, yet some may have noticed as a result the trending tendency to look inward, to focus on the internal without regard to the external. When we began working on Issue 57 of the Journal—both online and in print—our goal was to find, champion, and publish work that inspires readers to look outward, to understand the world we live in and the world we inherited. Within these pages you will find art with the power to incite progress and spur engagement, that is knowledgeable of the past and thoughtful of community. Art that is transformative.
Great art has always had the power to transform if it engaged the reader or viewer on an intellectual and emotional level; our staff held to this mantra when seeking new work. Print Fiction Editor Cat von Handorff noted that the process “…challenged people (including myself) to really think about what it means for something to create change, to transform and push our way of thinking forward.” Print Arts Editor Grace Ann Leadbeater put it this way: “What began as conversations with artists about this wide notion of transformation evolved into elated ideas shared with one another and then morphed together to create something even more robust, more communal.” Kate Greene, our Print Poetry Editor, summed it well for all of us when she said that “We wanted a poem party that encompassed a range of experiences, of beginnings and endings and the joys, raptures, and ruptures that happen in between.”
This issue of the Journal was assembled by a group of dedicated students over the course of the 2018 – 2019 school year; we are nonfiction writers, essayists, poets, fiction writers, visual artists; all MFA students at Columbia University. As proud as I am of the work that is within these pages and online—and there is much to be proud of—I am equally proud to have worked alongside some of the most talented, generous, dedicated, and gracious people I have known. We sought work that was transformative, and in doing so were transformed ourselves.
Image credit: Valerie Hammond