With the beautiful red pointe shoe of On Thin Ice, cover artist Ann-Marie Brown offers this issue’s poignant opening act. Just as a dancer en pointe appears weightless, suspended in a moment of grace, so too do our authors, balancing the weight of beauty and sorrow.
- Blood and booze set the stage in ‘Wrap Party’ as featured author AM Dellamonica takes us behind the scenes of community theatre.
- It’s turtles all the way down as Frances Rowat explores the itch and scratch of reckoning in ‘The Smell of Antiseptic’, and Graham Robert Scott and Wallace Cleaves consider the weight of legacy in ‘A Parable of Things that Crawl and Fly’.
- Two very different genies awake when Susan Pieters casts off ill-fitting confines in ‘Buddha in a Bottle’, and Akem explores capture and deliverance in ‘Shotguns and Jinn’.
- Elusive moments slip away as Rebecca Ruth Gould’s ‘Hands’ and Allison Bannister’s ‘Ghost Room’ remind us that love and memory are companion phantoms.
- Adult children ask what is owed by a daughter to her mother, and a son to his father, as our Hummingbird contest winners, Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki and Chad V Broughman, explore loss and longing in ‘Afterlife’ and ‘Featherweight’.
- Poets David Troupes, Matthew Walsh, and Nicholas Alti deftly guide us through landscape, dreamscape, and escape, each finding unique ache in the ties that bind.
- And finally, two fan favourites reappear: Mel Anastasiou’s Frankie Ray arrives in Hollywood in part three of The Extra, and JM Landels gives us a prequel glimpse of Irdaign, her twin sister, and the caper gone wrong that sets the wheel of the Allaigna’s Song trilogy in motion.
Issue 25, Winter 2020