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Art: Halli Lilburn
When I launched Feels Blind Literary, I did so in the spirit of resistance. Since Trump’s been in office, there’s been a lot of things to resist: locking innocent children in cages, condoning White supremacy in Charlottesville and beyond, attacking journalists, gutting regulations protecting our environment, banning Muslims, confirming rapist Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, pushing to overturn Roe v. Wade, and telling Congress members who are American citizens and women of color to go back to where they came from, just to name a few. This past week we’ve seen some of that resistance pay off in major ways, however. A whistleblower spotlighted Trump’s plan to conspire with a foreign government to impact the 2020 election just as he had in 2016, a move prompting Nancy Pelosi to launch an official impeachment inquiry.
Despite this positive turn, it’s important to stress we were and still are resisting more than just Trump and his administration. The political, financial, and social landscape of this country was toxic to the most vulnerable among us far before Trump took office and it was exactly those conditions that made Trump possible in the first place. Removing him doesn’t change our country’s history.
Removing him also doesn’t give us a clean slate or absolve us from the work we need to put in to undo the impacts of things like systematic racism and late stage capitalism. Although there is hope for change (hi, Elizabeth Warren), many are standing by Joe Biden as our safest choice and best alternative to Trump, a guy who represents what is familiar instead of what is possible and what we deserve.
But many are pushing against the status quo and rejecting stasis. I’ve seen this through the work of educators, activists, and artists, individuals committed to decentering dominant narratives. I’ve been privileged to play a role in elevating some of these stories through my work on this magazine. What I didn’t realize when I started this project, however, was that I would be doing more than just editing and publishing the work of incredible artists and writers. I would be connecting with a tribe of badass creators across this country who would forever change the ways I think, create, and collaborate.
Thank you once again to all of the women who had powerful stories to tell and trusted us with those stories. We are ecstatic to launch Issue #2 of Feels Blind Literary. We have brilliant plays from Jennifer O’Grady, Becca Plunkett, and Caity-Shea Violette, pieces exploring the aftermath of mass shootings, the misogynist nature of an
internship gone wrong, and the blind eye our criminal justice system so often turns on survivors of domestic abuse and intimate partner violence. There is captivating fiction from Nicole Anderson Ellis and Sarah Pezzat, as well as creative nonfiction from Lisa Mae DiMasi and Alex J. Maryn, stories of displacement, female friendship, and the predatory nature of men in positions of power. There are poems that slay from Nicole Moore, Aimee Nicole, and the runner-up for our First Annual DIY Prize, Devon Balwit. We also are thrilled to share the work of our First Annual DIY Prize Winner, a multimodal essay by Karen Krolak. We knew “Slippers” was exactly what we were looking for the moment we opened her file.
We hope you have as much fun reading this issue as we had putting it together. Submissions already are open for Issue #3, a special playwrighting edition, and Issue #4. We are thrilled to have the capacity to continue expanding our community of artists, writers, readers, and resisters.
Lindsay A. Chudzik, Editor in Chief