Winter is often the season of stirring in silence. Winter is always the season that tests our true wits—what is it like to go five months without seeing green grass? What is it like to cover ourselves in layers, to shiver, to know you may be your only source of warmth, at least for right now. Not in the true sense of survivalist, but in the modern, more metaphoric way.

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How do you carve out a space for yourself in this world?
Questions of identity–the fight to be heard and seen.
Images that challenge and don’t take “no” for an answer.
Images that celebrate the unexpected. HOW DO YOU, DO YOU?
Vagabond: The wandering rogue, wild, trailblazing soul.
Strong. Relentless. Soulful. Aching. Powerful.
Art that isn’t afraid to speak- art that shouts even when it is disguised as a low whisper.
Art that digs out the things that hide in the shadows –
creepy/crawly/night-creature art.
Manifestos of the dreamers, lovers, and provocateurs.

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Tell about how snowflake once kissed your nose during a time when your life was on fire. Tell about how your skin turned it to steam. Let your form be loose. Let your form tighten up. Shy away from the cold, or run toward it. Let icy wind burn your throat. Give fiction that makes the dry skin on your hands ache. Give essays about police brutality, climate change, patriarchy and how they are the icy wind that burns your throat and keeps you desperate for something warmer, softer. Ask the questions that steal the blankets from your feet at night and leave you shaking. Offer the answers that warm lips. Scrape away the ice with bare hands and offer hope.

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Staggering poetry. Raw poetry. Poetry that tells it how it is, how it really felt, even if it isn’t too pretty and lyrical, even if it’s ugly. Inclusive poetry. Blunt poetry. Poetry that tells unique stories from unpopular perspectives. Poetry by women, for women, poetry that empowers women. Poetry by outcasts. Poetry by people of color. Poetry by people who feel marginalized, misunderstood. Poetry about the struggle to shape identity. Poetry about aching. Poetry that makes us ache.

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Something fresh, exciting, growing into something else. Work that doesn’t apologize. The re-writes, the re-hashes of that poem you never thought you could write. That short story that you never finished. Attempts and failures and success, and mostly courage. The struggle of what comes to be.

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