Hello, friends. This late summer and early fall have, to put it lightly, been challenging for many in our country, region, and Change Seven family. We must start this issue by acknowledging the terrible flooding that took place in Eastern Kentucky at the end of July. The devastation that swept through several counties was quick and unforgiving. Hindman, KY, and the Hindman Settlement School, are places near and dear to all the editors’ hearts. Many of our friends (including our own poetry editor, Doug Van Gundy) were briefly trapped at the Settlement School when the flooding interrupted the famous Appalachian Writer’s Workshop. Thankfully, everyone at the workshop eventually made it out safely, and some returned in the days to come to help with recovery efforts. Many people in the region lost everything they owned; some lost their lives. In true Appalachian fashion, though, neighbors immediately began helping neighbors and rebuilding efforts began. The Settlement School became an epicenter of aid, housing those who had lost their homes and handing out donations by the truckload.
And as I write this, Hurricane Ian has just made its way up into Florida, leaving a trail of destruction behind.
I could say more–about wildfires, and COVID, and political unrest–but this is meant to be a welcome and not a list of miseries, so I’ll stop here and say this: welcome to these pages, where art lives for a while, and where you can enter, take your metaphorical hat off, and breathe for a minute. Have something pumpkin spiced. Wrap up in a cozy sweater with a dog at your feet. Rest.