In light of trying times, we learn to work with the uncontrollable and unpredictable. Essay’s 2022 edition features the creative talents of Nala Washington, Lexi McDonald, Andrea Repetz, Miles DeRosa, Emily Hizny, and many more. This edition of Essay Magazine offers a sense of connection in spite of, or because of, difficulty.
In these pages we explore and pay homage to the places that have helped us grow, those in which we have already outgrown, those which we know we will part from, those we long for, and those that have shaped individuals who have come before us. As a human collective we have endured and strained against the uneasy and incalculable, which has sharpened our skills and awakened our adeptness for further adversity. Through difficulty we will struggle, we will learn, we will prevail.
Through it all, we would like to thank our brilliant advisor, Hasanthika Sirisena for not only encouraging Essay’s growth and success, but supporting this edition, and the ones before it, through difficulties as well. This would not be possible without them. We thank Sue Williams Silverman for her stunning Cunningham essay, “The Memory Box” and for her assistance in selecting our Erik Kirkland Memorial Prize winner, Nala Washington, and our finalist for this prize, Lexi McDonald. We thank our stellar reading board members and copyeditors. We thank all of our contributors. We thank you, our reader. Essay is nothing without the support of others, the connection to its community.
In her essay “Holding Steady,” Lexi McDonald offers this wisdom, “there are only two guaranteed things in life: those which you can control, and those which you can’t.” Dear reader, do not fret the inevitable. Write, read, feel joy when it feels difficult to do so, and enjoy our 2022 edition of Essay.
With kindness and love,
Kelsey Diven and Julie Heaney