Word From the Editor

Issue 17: Summer/Fall 2020

The concept of “worlds apart and interconnected creatively” is something that has been in the forefront of my mind since late March. What does this concept mean to us, especially during a global pandemic? How do we hold onto that creative flow as the world turns into an uncertain mess and battle lines continue to be drawn?

It’s nearly impossible to turn a blind eye to the current events, and somehow, through it all, the Lunch Ticket team held onto this idea of creating something that highlights our connections to one another. It’s no surprise that Issue 17 is unlike past issues, because we have carefully curated delicate stories and art pieces that reflect the current climate. Each piece still represents Lunch Ticket’s mission of social justice and of showcasing underrepresented voices that spark important conversations.

Author Demree McGhee writes in her fiction piece, Sympathy for Wild Girls: “Put your keys between your sweaty fingers, look over your shoulder, speak softly, move quietly, don’t look men in the eye. Keep pepper spray in your backpack. Always tell friends where you’re going. Stay where people can see you…” She highlights a common practice many of us can relate to of deep-seeded fear. This subject branches out, connecting many of us together, despite our physical distance, because we can all reflect on when we had those “what if?” moments. It’s these feelings that our authors and artists can incite through their work that we as humans share and that bind us together.

The Lunch Ticket team is insightful with its decisions and they share a comradery for finding the right stories and art that reflects that special bond of togetherness. Our shared goal to create something wonderful and raw is how we embrace Antioch University’s mission of empowering others and community activism. This interconnectivity is what kept us afloat and somewhat sane as we ventured to find cutting edge literary pieces and visual art. We made sure this issue reflects the current pandemic that brought about such ugliness in our society while balancing messages of hope.

It Happened at 4:32 p.m. After Daylight Savings offers a flash of what many people are currently enduring due to ignorant assumptions and prejudices created by irresponsible leaders. Writers and artists alike shared that anger and frustration and expressed this through their work. They painted the world through various mediums and showed how they planned to fight back against the injustices. Spoken word artist Masaki Takahashi’s An Ode to MC Jin Ending in Response to the Chinese Virus Outbreak gives insight on how to resist the racism, the narrow-mindedness, and the fear.

There is a new vulnerability created during the social distancing and isolation, and artists have found such creative avenues to showcase these emotions. It’s an area where most are afraid to truly feel or understand and yet, within Issue 17, artists have allowed these emotions to be their inspiration. Artist Jakki Daley’s Vulnerability Has No Boundaries shows how colors, the human psyche, and the body are affected by such intense feelings. Artists ventured into the darkness to truly understand and express the seclusion and sorrow of our current times.

Human connection is how we thrive as a community. Our art and stories celebrate individuality, but they also link us through the many themes that are explored. Issue 17 reflects the complexity of our current realities. From the pandemic to the consistent racial injustices found in our country, each piece shows the bonds that we share of loss, love, despair, hope, and courage. Our volunteers combed through numerous submissions and found the stories and art that mirror their own human connection. We feature a prolific young writer who tries to understand how people view her through her features and ethnicity. Her story, Pulled Apart, is something that many can connect with as she tries to understand her own identity and to fit in with her classmates, but at what cost?

“You roll your eyes to lighten your self-deprecating answers to their high-pitched interrogation, your heart dropping with every word.” Her words capture that yearning to belong, to be linked with others, and to feel a shared camaraderie. It’s these relations to others that humans crave. These are the narratives found within this new issue that created active conversations among our team and excited us to share them with the world. I echo author Angela Morales’ sentiment in her recent interview: “Believe that your stories have value and embrace your voice, the voice of your home. Embrace the voice of your people, the voice of wherever it is you come from.” We value the voices of our artists and writers at Lunch Ticket and we make sure to amplify them further.

Humans are social creatures despite half the population identifying as introverts. We all want that connection to others because it brings some comfort knowing there are people who want to listen to your stories and understand you. For the last few months, we had to be socially distanced from our loved ones. Our community of artists and writers experienced such a rare global event that created unusual obstacles for all of us. And through it, the Lunch Ticket volunteers relentlessly and passionately worked to make this issue possible. Many team members faced their own hardships and yet were still dedicated to our mission statement to ensure that marginalized and underrepresented voices are heard. Through extended virtual hands, we reached out to the community and to each other in order to create something wonderful.

Issue 17 is a special one, where you will find yourself lost in a brilliant kaleidoscope of stories and art.

Loumarie I Rodriguez is a newspaper reporter in Connecticut and is an MFA candidate at Antioch University. She is the editor-in-chief of the Lunch Ticket literary journal. She is currently working on her novel along with several short stories. In her spare time she can be found lurking in coffee shops, traveling, or attempting to read several books at once. You can find her on both Twitter and Instagram at @rloumarie26.