by Timothy Schaffert
Growing up in the Midwest, one quickly learns about the culture of the middle. Often, we are told that we live not in one place or another, but somewhere between them. Instead of resigning ourselves to this idea of placeless, of mediocrity, we’ve come to the understand the middle for what it actual is: a kind of no man’s land where anything is possible; a passageway not for destinations, but for the journey itself.
Issue #11’s theme, “Neither/Nor,” called for work that is nether here nor there. By this, we mean work that does not easily fit into a particular category, or that locates itself somewhere in the middle—that liminal area between two points, where definitions are less sharp, where wandering is permitted and encouraged. A refuge not for hiding, but for considering polarities and polemics, and for empowerment through imagination.
In this issue, you will find work that stakes its own ground, work that struggles against tradition. Work that refuses easy categorization and simple interpretation. Work that is neither this nor that, but something else entirely.