We’re trying something new. Things are changing here at Whilst HQ—we’ve got a Patreon page, we’re asking subscribers to support our content—and in the spirit of that change, we thought we’d write a collaborative letter from the editors.
That can’t be too hard, right?
Well, it didn’t go as smoothly as we thought it would. But we’re having fun while we figure it out, and that’s what makes the process worthwhile—the laughter amidst the struggle of trying new things. (The wine we’re drinking may have also made us extra giggly.)
We’re sitting here on the night of the launch of Issue .04, laughing and working and generally making fools of ourselves while somehow managing to cross items off of our to-do list. We’re on the cusp of a new venture and we’re excited about this issue and the pieces we’re sharing with you.
Devon: Hey Niki, what’s your favourite piece?
Niki: First of all, you spelled “favorite” the British way (#classic).
Emily: Niki. You can’t use hashtags if you don’t use social media.
Niki: Hashtags have entered the lexicon of spoken language. It’s a thing.
Devon: Still didn’t answer my question…
Niki: Okay, okay…I have several favorites from this issue. In “Overheard, Or, Eavesdropping,” Sophia Loomis writes a series of delightful haiku-esque poems that capture the language of everyday life in surprising and quirky ways. In “A Meeting,” Bren Lanphear writes about the arc of falling in love and living with the memories of that relationship once it’s ended. Raw and heartbreaking. And Chiree Graham’s piece, “Beauty in Brokenness,” draws us into her struggle, her pain, and ultimately her triumph in the midst of physical strife. Don’t miss her transformational journey.
…And you, Devon?
Devon: We got lucky—we have so many beautiful poems with varying focal points in this issue. One of my favorites is Rachel Hall’s poem titled “Home.” Rachel doesn’t hold back when she writes about her grief for a life lost and I love the very tangible language she uses throughout to invite the reader into her experience. Another piece I adore and resonate with is Abby Lombardo’s piece, “PDX.” Abby is so joyful and expressive as she captures special moments in time in a new city. I felt like I was discovering Portland with her. And Theresa Payne’s piece about finding a new career path after a crisis will inspire anyone who questions their calling. Over to you, Em!
Emily: It’s so fun being behind the scenes and getting to see each issue take shape. It’s hard to choose favorites when you feel invested in each piece, but there are a few really visual pieces in this issue that I especially enjoyed reading because I felt immersed in the scene as each story unfolded. Two that stand out to me are the poem “Young Jesus” by Kelli Johnson and the prose piece “Engagement” by Hannah Johnson. Kelli uses detail and repetition to draw the reader into an everyday occurrence, which gives the moment she describes a surreal and almost holy quality. Hannah pauses during a drive along the California coast to reflect on her relationship and make a conscious decision to enter fully into the present. But again, I really can’t choose a favorite. There’s something new to learn and be inspired by in every piece submitted to us.
Each issue we have put together over the past year is a beautiful reflection of the power of vulnerability in action, and this issue is no exception. What’s different about this issue is that we’re asking our subscribers to become our patrons.
So take a breath, take a leap—we’re going over the edge.
Devon + Niki + Emily