Issue #55

June 20th, 2021

Featured Artwork by Mane Hovhannisyan

View All Mane Hovhannisyan's Artwork

"Unlikely Phosphenes," acrylic & mixed media, on paper, 16 in by 20 in Poetry Issue #55
By Gwen Hart
Douglas Campbell, "Chatooga," acrylic on canvas, 26 x 32 in Fiction Issue #55
By Talbot Hook
"Waves of Memories" by Kiha Ahn, watercolor, 8 x 16 in Creative Nonfiction Issue #55
By Rachele Salvini

Letter from the Editors

A stumbling out of the pandemic’s hold. A turning.

The artists featured in this issue of Mud Season Review explore the disquietude that has gripped us, and attenuate its hold. Armenian conceptual photographer Mane Hovhannisyan’s images lighten us with their magical realism, as in the weight defying posture of “Anti-Gravity” and the whimsical levity of “Transparency.” While acknowledging the tightness of anxiety’s grip, poet Gwen Hart assuages it through brilliant absurdity. How felicitous are her titles “Your Anxiety Joins the Cast of SNL” and “Your Anxiety Books a VRBO.” In the creative nonfiction piece “Memorabilia,” Rachele Salvini pulls us through fear in this scene from her story: “Suddenly, as I listened to Ted Bundy’s words crack from the tapes and watched black and white pictures of him sliding in front of my eyes, the Oklahoma wind knocked off a bike against the wall of my apartment. A crash. I jumped. I spent the rest of the night in my living room, my fingers crawling up the sleeves of my sweatshirt. I moped around the house by myself, somewhat sure that a serial killer was going to break into my apartment as soon as I let my guard down again.” In “Gone From the World” by Talbot Hook the characters face uncertain and irrevocable change: “Turning, he had just enough time to look upon his wife and child, seeing the fear and realization of his wife, and the beautiful innocence in the eyes of his daughter, before the doors were thrown open.” How do we manage the grip of anxiety? The works in this issue take a deep look at the nature of our dysphoria and offer us pathways through it. Perhaps this is art’s most crucial role, after all.

~ 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: Zachary Kluckman

By Jonah Meyer