Feels Blind Literary Issue #1,
Cover Art by Halli Lilburn
I'm writing this note during a week that seems surreal in many ways. The president served a buffet of fast food to a college football team and, while the government shutdown stretched to nearly its fourth week, I couldn't shake the image of McDonald's Sweet and Sour Sauce puddled in those fancy White House gravy boats, a symbol for the lack of civility within those walls. RBG worked from home while recovering from cancer surgery, an announcement that has many worried Trump will have the opportunity to appoint a third Supreme Court Justice, a harrowing possibility after living through Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation. Jayme Closs was found alive after a man murdered her parents and abducted her, keeping the child hidden under his bed for months. He targeted Closs after seeing the girl board a school bus on his way to work, yet many men were more troubled by a Gillette commercial critiquing toxic masculinity than living in a world where acts of violence like this are committed against women and girls. Educators continued marching and organizing nationally to demand better schools for our children and better pay for our teachers, the #RedForEd campaign an uphill battle in a country that claims everyone is created equal, yet has treated people unequally based on race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, class, and gender identity since its inception.
Working alongside brilliant women to create this issue inspired me to keep resisting, to reject toxic masculinity and the overt-isms of our public officials, instead imagining and fighting for a more inclusive world. Creating art is one of the best ways to do so, a lesson I learned early from individuals like Kathleen Hanna. Thank you to all of the women who had powerful stories to tell and trusted us with those stories. We are thrilled to now share that work with a larger community in the inaugural issue of Feels Blind Literary. There are poems that slay from Annie Franklin, Michele Harmeling, Haley Hendershot, Melissa Johnson, Mercedes Lawry, and Katie Sallee. There is fiction from Tiffany Grimes and Michelle Zamanian, haunting stories of abuse and isolation that gripped us from line one and stuck with us long after reading. There is a play from Hannah Vaughn and an interview withShelby Marie Edwards, both playwrights pushing the boundaries on stage as they explore pressing issues like sexual assault and white supremacy.
Lindsay A. Chudzik, Editor in Chief