Hello and welcome to the Summer 2020 Issue of Willow.
We greatly apologize for the extended hiatus. As Couri has gone through a major transition in both her location and taking the next and hopefully final step in her academic career, so have I. From moves to thesis work, life has a way of taking over your creative endeavors. Moving forward, you can expect more consistency on our end.
Of course, it is necessary to address all that is going on in the world. Well, maybe not everything. We might be good on skipping the murder hornets, but the continued police brutality and racial injustice is for the birds. As a Black woman, I can tell you that our voices are needed. When the world silences your message, just know I hear you, I’m with you, and I will not hesitate to act a whole fool to protect you! The submissions in this issue were from before our worlds got turned on its head. Please use these stories as a rare breath of fresh air.
Black lives DO matter. Black men DO matter. I, however, am here to scream from a rooftop that BLACK WOMEN MATTER! The silencing of Black women, the commodification of our bodies, and the intersectional oppression that has left us feeling alone for centuries WILL end. I’m not sure if we’ll live to see it, but this is a promising start. Keep dreaming, believing, staying hopeful, and staying safe.
Bridgette Lewis

Hello and welcome to the Summer 2020 Issue of Willow.

Sorry for the long hiatus. The last year has been a major transition for me as I moved back from Japan to America and enrolled in graduate school. From here on, my co-editor Bridgette and I are making more plausible and regular schedules for publication.

Given the state of the world currently, with the sweeping pandemic, the wealth of paranoia and misinformation that goes along with it, and the continued brutality of the police against people of color’s bodies, it becomes even more important to share our voices, share our stories, and keep creating. The poems and short stories featured in this issue came to us before coronavirus did, and in a time before the death of George Floyd reawoke the civil unrest always simmering in a nation where all too often police abuse their power against the most vulnerable and oppressed of our society.

But I think, because of that, they have special value right now, when so much is terrifying, and so much is emotionally tiring. Hopefully, they can give you a respite for just a moment before you have to face the hard realities our world currently faces. For a different kind of scare, you could read “The Panoptican” by Sara Torres-Albert. Or you could take a moment with the moon to mock leading men in Lola R. R. CherriesĀ  “The Moon Responds to Shakespeare”.

I hope you enjoy, dear readers, and above all I hope you stay safe and well.

With sincerest gratitude,

Couri Johnson

Willow Founder and Co-Editor