While the straightest path to our theme of “sustenance” may be through writing about food, our writers took greater care than we could have imagined to expand our definitions of nourishment, and to question the assumptions we make about what it means to subsist and survive. We certainly have no qualms about offering our readers strictly food-related writing (we’ve got some awesome pie poems in our Spring 2012 issue!), but this selection of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry offers up a feast of ways to envision sustaining ourselves that have very little–if anything at all–to do with food (at least as we normally imagine it).
We initially thought we’d call this issue “Food for Thought,” but the exceptional writing we’ve received seems to put that title to shame; the material here is more dire than food, more visceral than thought. This issue has much less to do with epicurism than it does with survival; yet in these stories and poems we come to experience tastes and aftertastes–sweetness, acidity, bitterness, piquancy–as qualities that linger not only at the dinner table, but also on the page.
So devour, and enjoy!
Leigh Thomas, Editor-in-Chief