Issue #54

February 20th, 2021

Featured Artwork by Linnea Ryshke

View All Linnea Ryshke's Artwork

Stacks, (With Time, I Am) 64 x 101 cm Ink and oil pastel Poetry Issue #54
By Michelle Hulan
Girl with Roses Fiction Issue #54
By Nicholas LaMendola
A Colorful Topping. 20 x 20 Acrylic on Canvas Creative Nonfiction Issue #54
By Rhiannon Catherwood

Letter from the Editors

The deep winter can be a time for solace and solitude, when many of us find ourselves with time alone and opportunities for introspection. Each of the written pieces in Issue #54 reveal the aftermath and value of this introspection. In Rhiannon Catherwood’s “Mr. Sick,” the writer wanders through memory, examining old journal entries, looking for clues to the incipience of her understanding of self. She delves through the layers of her past, finding the groundwork of her own becoming. In Nick LaMendola’s “to my love, a portrait” a young woman moves through the trials of adolescence and toward a tenuous adulthood, and sees herself through the lens of her grandfather’s eyes. Michelle Hulan boldly breaks down limitations by insisting on the promise of possibility and the freedom to be rough. In “Sonnet for Fat Purple Figs” she writes “I will consume enough / versions of myself to fill a century,” and in “On Becoming My Own God” she ends “If this year is a burning pile of plastic / with enough fumes to knock out a cockroach / I’ll be my own god taking it day-by-day.”

The shifting perspectives in each of these pieces reveal how challenging it can be to determine who we have been and who we are becoming.

Linnea Ryshke’s mixed-media images The Always and Never Seen provide vivid visual accompaniment to our written pieces. As Linnea expresses in an artist statement, her paintings ask viewers to reflect upon the “ethical imperative to restore our relationship with nonhuman animals” and “through the allure of images, mark-making, and texture…offer viewers an intimate encounter with animals as enigmatic subjects of being.” Our connections with animals deepen when we are faced with our solitude. Linnea reminds us that these connections waken us not only to who we are but to our responsibility to Others.

Readers, let us all dive into introspective solitudes, be brave, pay attention to others.
‘Til next time,

Elaine and Grier

The Take

Ever wonder how journal editors make decisions about work to feature? The Take gives you a glimpse behind the scenes at Mud Season Review. Here, we feature one single poem or flash fiction piece that caught the attention of the editorial team, apart from the signature poetry portfolio or fiction piece in our bi-monthly issues. We hear from the author about the inspiration for his or her work, and we hear from a co-editor about why the poem or flash fiction story stood out.

The Take: Hollie Dugas

By Malisa Garlieb