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All artwork appears courtesy of the artist Pat Zalisko.

Welcome to our January 2017 issue with the theme of “SPARK.” (Hmm, last January’s issue was FLAME–clearly I want to warm up the winter issues.) There is something about the onset of winter that I accept–and even embrace (at the start of the season at least)–but I don’t know that I have ever celebrated winter. Winter feels like a necessary part of the changing seasons (I’m an environmentalist after all, I get it.) but it feels more like something to hunker down and endure while waiting for the arrival of spring.

This marvelous issue, however, I do celebrate. I’m honored to be able to share the work of these fifteen talented authors and grateful to be allowed to present their fine work to you, our readers. And each piece of writing has the further good fortune of being paired with the outstanding artwork of Pat Zalisko–in many cases, work she created in direct response to reading the work it illustrates. This type of direct engagement is so rare and special. I think of it as an artistic cross-pollination of sorts–the two genres combining to make a third, beautiful-and-interactive artful object.

As always, this issue exists, thanks in no small part to my devoted editors and readers who make my job so much easier, and to the contributors who have trusted us to showcase their work. Also, thanks for the gorgeous artwork, Pat. You made each essay, story, flash, and poem pop just a little bit more.

Our April 2017 issue has a tentative theme of DISLOCATION and for July 2017, SPECULATION.

As always, thanks for reading.

Yours in Recovery,

Mary Akers
Editor-in-chief