Issue #57

August 19th, 2021

Featured Artwork by Aakriti Karun & Anukriti Srivastava

View All Aakriti Karun & Anukriti Srivastava's Artwork

Poetry Issue #57
By Jen Ashburn
Fiction Issue #57
By Amanda Yskamp
Nonfiction Issue #57
By Laura Carnes Williams

Letter from the Editors

Imagine the earth after a wild thunderstorm, when all is refreshed and energized. After nature’s chaos there is a revitalized calm. The very greenery seems to stand at attention with a new empowered vibrancy. Similarly, after great pain we often emerge stronger in its aftermath. We resettle, incredulous, into peace of mind. We let go of cruel hardship. We forgive transgressions. We are again enlivened with constancy and purpose, strengthened by our struggle.

The writing and art featured here in Issue #57 share these themes of emergence, reminding us that within every body’s internal convocation of self nestles an obligation to rise.

As a speaker emerges from the painful experience of the death of a loved one in Jen Ashburn’s poetry portfolio, new forms are expressed and unfold. “Her spirit slipped out / an open window. Then the night gave us stars.” And yet, further reflection gives rise to rhythmic simplicity in light of hardship. “How easy it should be, then, to let it all go, / to let this language of syncopation and coupling implode.”

Within our fiction feature, Diorama by Amanda Yskamp, a narrator struggles through sorrow and loss to see the rich possibilities that surround her, emerging from the dark. She writes, “. . . that didn’t stop me from keeping a small hope in a locket, a little bit of paper with the word ‘yes’ written on it. I wore it even in the shower.”

The Slow Down by Laura Carnes Williams follows a family emerging from the disorder and uncertainty of the pandemic, newly liberated and released. In this creative nonfiction piece, she writes, “One day it was winter, stark and silent. Then, just twenty-four hours later, I discovered green crowns pushing from the ground, nascent nubs adorning branches, a balm to the air, sweet birdsong.”

And so we turn our minds to this: From the chaos of our sorrow, what grows?

Best to you all,
Rebecca and Elaine

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: Bill Glose

By Malisa Garlieb