Word from the Editor

It gives me great pleasure to introduce Lunch Ticket’s 19th Issue, themed That Which Has Yet to Emerge. This issue is nothing if not a reflection of our strange and unprecedented times. At the end of 2021’s first act—this June intermission, if you will—we present to you a collection of work that brings hope, humor, seriousness, and solidarity to a moment we have never experienced before.

As writers and readers, as friends and family, as citizens and community members, we position this Issue against the backdrop of our times. In the months we spent reviewing submissions and constructing Issue 19, we witnessed an attempted coup on American soil, a successful one in Myanmar. Gun violence claimed the lives of 4000 Americans. Unrest along the Gaza Strip left 256 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead. The remains of 215 indigenous children were discovered beneath a former Canadian residential school… The list is, of course, longer than this, and the immensity of these events is truly exponential. And none of this news even touches COVID-19—the lockdowns, the fear, our changing minds and bodies as we try to cope with near daily tragedy, the perils of isolation, and the anxiety of leaving it behind for something like the lives we used to know.

2021 has seen our world shrouded in disinformation, surrounded by a deadly, invasive, invisible enemy, and submerged in unknown darkness. In Issue 19, we were searching for light. We searched for sounds in the dark to lead our steps. In quarantine we have lived subterranean lives, and for some of us, it is nearing time to venture back up to the surface. The creation of this issue was a part of that journey.

Minimalism is a defining feature of Issue 19. Quality won the day. For the first time ever, our reading teams selected themes for each section of the journal, all of which I’m excited to share with you now:

Creative Nonfiction chose Openings as the theme of their section. 2020 foreclosed a number of possibilities. In response, our readers sought work that looked to 2021 for new doors, windows, and crawl spaces we might slip through. In search of new passages that might allow us to emerge, we received memoir, personal essays, and flash nonfiction that met, exceeded, and exploded expectations about how openings look, feel, and sound.

Fiction sought the Vivid, the Unusual, and that which Lingers. Quarantine has affected our lives in countless ways, not the least of which regards our notions of sense and time. When we are past this season in our history, it will undoubtedly be the visceral and often surreal moments—those which are most vivid, unusual, and lingering—that stay with us for years to come.

Flash Prose sought stories infused with Satire. And writers brought to us just that—human artifice in an ironic candy coating. Utilizing wry humor and wit to reveal the peculiarities of human behavior is a practice that will live as long as we do, and we love it.

Poetry asked for works that signified a Hopeful Future. Whether that meant imagining one or wrestling with the changing tide of 2020, poets were invited to bring their strong imagery and unique voices to the forefront of our poetry section. The results speak for themselves.

Translation’s theme would later be co-opted by me, as the theme of this issue as a whole: Yet to Emerge. Our readers sought translated and multicultural works that felt fresh and current, highlighting underrepresented authors, languages, and cultures.

Our Young Adult team was open to surprises, though partial to stories that featured Hope, Humor, and a Dash of Love. Time will bring us the stories of young people wading through this time in history. For the moment, we can be satisfied with and moved by the ones included in Issue 19.

Our final theme was Emergence and Resurgence sought by our Amuse-Bouche team. Their hope for our weekly content series is the same hope our journal has for the world: that we all might begin the process of looking forward to tomorrow, again and together.

While other teams, like our Visual Art, Blog, and Interview Teams didn’t chose themes, the spectrum of perspectives, tones, and topics in each genre is not to be missed. There is something quite unique about the juxtaposition of direction and wandering. And that very sentiment is no better introduction—without further ado, I present Lunch Ticket’s 19th Issue, That Which Has Yet to Emerge.

Regan Humphrey is writer, film critic, and psychologist. She is the inventor of the REF Score, the first and only scoring system to rate films on craft and social justice. She is an MFA candidate in young adult fiction at Antioch University Los Angeles. She is the Editor-in-Chief at Lunch Ticket Magazine. Her publications include interviews with writers Angela Morales, Aminah Mae Safi, Blas Falconer, and Povi-Tamu Bryant, blogs on the search for self, health and wellness, the grieving process, and love and loss, as well as numerous film reviews. When she’s not scoring films, curating her enormous and unwieldy music collection, or annoying her dog, you might find her rarely on Twitter @_ReganHumphrey.