~Volume 5, Issue 1

Editor’s Letter

MockingHeart Review friends! Welcome to the new decade.

Here we are in 2020, finally, a new and hopefully optimistic year–and the fifth year for our journal. A lot has happened since the last issue a few months back. Poetically, artistically, politically, and environmentally we have seen changes of a certain magnitude that can be a lot to dwell on. But in this year where hindsight is supposedly at its clearest (you know the phrase), the winter season does call for some measure of reflection.

Each poet and artist in our new issue excels at this sort of deep contemplation, and their work here reflects that capacity quite well. Our featured artist, Kelli Scott Kelley, Professor of Art at Louisiana State University, exhibits the minutiae of solitude through surreal dreamscapes where fantastical beings engage in amazing or unspeakable actions, and reality is tenuous throughout. Poet Dan Gallagher considers the mythical lives we think we see in “Where Bigfoot Slept,” as the titular cryptid endures the solitude of quasi-recognition. Featured Poet Sara Epstein explores the loneliness of our “after” moments—after relationships, past the times we sometimes think will never be matched in their high watermarks. And artist John Swincinski reflects on the quieter solitude of American landscapes, gleaned from his travels and rendered boldly in this issue.

Solitude is encroaching upon us the world over as I write this—and plenty of examples spring to mind for discussion—but because we are speaking of solitude, it’s time I step back and let you explore this new issue in just as much company as suits you best. Enjoy your time in these pages, friends, and as always, thank you for your excellent work in the world.

Tyler Robert Sheldon, Editor-in-Chief