Word from the Editor
In 1921, Warren G. Harding was sworn in as the 29th President of the United States. Calvin Coolidge (a future president himself) was sworn in as his Vice President. On Campobello Island, another future present, Franklin D. Roosevelt was on vacation when his paralytic illness struck; he was diagnosed with polio and at age 39 became permanently disabled.
In the affluent Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, mobs of white citizens attacked black residents and businesses in what would come to be known as the Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the worst incidents of mass racial violence in the United States.
The same year, 29-year-old Bessie Coleman got her pilot’s license in France and became the first African American and first Native American to earn an international pilot’s license. The University of California beat Ohio State 28-0 in the Rose Bowl. The first religious radio broadcast was heard in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The first Lowe’s opened in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Sixteen-year-old Margaret Gorman won the Golden Mermaid trophy at a beauty pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey; officials later dubbed her the first Miss America. White Castle, the world’s first fast food chain, opened in Wichita, Kansas.
Prohibition was in full swing. The Great Depression was in its second year. F. Scott Fitzgerald celebrated the birth of his son Frances Scott Fitzgerald. “The jazz age,” as the elder Fitzgerald would later dub it, had only just begun. It was the dawn of the roaring ’20s.
In 2021, a hundred years later, the roaring 20s have dawned again. Together, we have faced an unprecedented attack on our democracy. Kamala Harris was sworn into office as Vice President of the United States. She is the first woman, the first woman of color, the first Asian American, and the first African American to hold this office. In recent weeks, three white men were tried and convicted of hunting down and murdering Ahmaud Arbery. Since March of 2020, the coronavirus has claimed millions of lives worldwide, including those of hundreds of thousands of Americans.
To me, the challenges we face today feel parallel. Political strife, social injustice, first strides, disease, and innovation mark us, just as they did our predecessors. Looking back on the 1920s in some ways gives me hope for the 2020s. We are here to tell the tale, which means that those who came before us survived their struggles, as we endeavor to survive ours.
Here at Lunch Ticket, 2021 represents ten years of our literary journal. 2021 marks the start of a new decade, one I can only hope will stand as tall and iconic in the history of our publication as the jazz age in America. What we’ve put together this fall is what I call and will fondly remember as our “Roaring 20th Issue”.
From hundreds of submissions, we combed to find works that explored extraordinary unexpected possibilities, milestones big and small, overcoming adversity, and subversive truths. We selected works that featured lost languages, hybrid forms, and translations from underrepresented languages. We wanted works that delved into re-discovery, self-expression, and heritage, works that helped create a portrait of the world we live in, of common people in their every day lives.
With this issue, we bring you interviews with distinguished writers (and literary citizens), Lisa Locascio Nighthawk, Sally Wen Mao, Robin Davidson, Crystal Hana Kim, and Paisley Rekdal. This fall, we introduced Midnight Snack, a destination for our late-night obsessions, a place to capture in words the Dadaist impulse within us all. From our Friday Lunch Blog, we delivered biting personal essays on climate change, lost poetics, writing in community, depression and the anxieties that plague us, across all walks of life.
In this publication’s ten-year history, we’ve celebrated and published the work of writers from all over the world. We’ve contributed fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and translation to a growing literary community. We’ve uplifted young and emerging voices, and honored the legacies of Diana Woods and Gabriel “Gabo” Garcia Marquez. Our mission is and has always been to publish writers and artists who have been marginalized, underrepresented, or historically misrepresented. We champion work that engages with issues of social, economic, and environmental justice. We strive to foster community and leave the world of publishing more equitable than we found it.
None of this would be possible without you—our talented and dedicated community of readers, writers, and submitters, our friends in this fight. With great pleasure and immense pride, I introduce Lunch Ticket’s 20th Issue and leave you with this—a lyric, popularized in 1921 by the Marion Harris hit recording:
Look for the silver lining
Whenever a cloud appears in the blue
Remember, somewhere the sun is shining
And so the right thing to do is make it shine for you
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.