Word from the Editor
In the first week of March this year, Amelia Anisovych, a seven-year-old Ukrainian girl, was in a bomb shelter in Kyiv with her family, as well as numerous other kids and adults. The Russian invasion of her country had begun just over a week before. From the shelter, they could hear bombs going off overhead. In that moment, when everyone was scared of what was to come, Anisovych started to sing “Let It Go,” from the Disney movie Frozen. The bomb shelter fell silent and its occupants listened, smiles appearing on their faces as they witnessed a bright spot in a world that was feeling increasingly dark.
Videos of Anisovych singing went viral days later, capturing the world’s attention. The courage of a seven-year-old girl to be vulnerable and brave helped remind us all that, even in the scariest of times, baring our souls and sharing a piece of ourselves can help others feel less alone, less fearful.
I’ve thought of Anisovych often as we’ve put the final touches on Lunch Ticket’s 21st Issue. Her performance in that bunker reminds me of why I write and why I believe so strongly in Lunch Ticket’s mission. Because something remarkable happens when we allow ourselves to open up, be vulnerable, and share our art. We’re able to shift policies, change opinions, and even save lives. We can expose people to something different or put a smile on their face for a moment.
The artists we highlight in this issue of Lunch Ticket have shared beautiful, poignant work, each piece entirely different from the next. In “Echolocation,” by Miranda Williams, we learn about a damaged, distant relationship between a mother and a daughter through the beauty of humpback whales and their offspring. In “The Quilted Multiverse,” we take a moment to smile as poet Stephanie Staab takes us through the many dimensions one circumstance can become. In “Ghost Birds,” we travel along the island of Maui with writer Karin Hedetniemi, learning about native birds and a tender relationship between an adventurous husband and wife couple. In “The Beautified Among the Insane,” Raquel Abend van Dalen and Dillon Scalzo work together to carefully translate Raquel Abend van Dalen’s symphonic poems from Spanish to English. These are just a small sampling of the amazing pieces in this issue.
The variety speaks not only to the eclectic world we inhabit but to the power of the human spirit in trying times. We live in an uncertain world. In the U.S., we’re seeing mass shootings daily. Across the world, we are still very much in a pandemic. War continues to wage in Ukraine. Iran and North Korea are working diligently to make nuclear weapons. These are just a few of the pressing concerns we’re dealing with. Still, we have artists who are willing to be vulnerable with one another, to share stories and art, to help us try and make sense of our world.
Without publications like Lunch Ticket, our world would be a much bleaker place. And publications like this one couldn’t exist without the work of our submitters, who consistently put beautiful, thought-provoking pieces in front of us. Thank you to all who submitted for this issue. You make our jobs of putting out this publication all the more fruitful. And a big thank you to the Lunch Ticket 21 staff who spent long hours reading submissions, writing our weekly content, proofing and editing pieces, building pages on our website, and sharing all of the work on social media and beyond for others to see. Your vision to see important writing and art put out into the world inspires me daily.
In “Connecting the Dots of Silence: An Interview with Roberto Lovato,” the writer speaks about the inspiration he got from Italian writer Italo Calvino.
“He thought his role as a writer was to lighten the load. The gravity is not going to go away … We’ve got gravity for the foreseeable future,” Lovato says. “The job of the writer is to bring some levity. Not just humor, but to lighten up the story in magical ways that make it easier to look at the abyss, to look at the difficult things the world has to offer.”
I hope this issue of Lunch Ticket helps bring you joy the way Anisovych’s performance did. That it “lightens the load” a bit for you. I hope, as you read through these pieces, you are reminded that, despite the challenges we face, we’re not alone. We will continue to try and make sense of this world together.
Barbara Platts is the editor-in-chief of Sweet Jane Magazine, an award-winning columnist, marketing specialist, and the editor-in-chief of Lunch Ticket. She’s worked in many forms of journalism, from public radio to newspaper, and is thrilled to be pursuing her MFA for nonfiction writing at Antioch University. She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her fiancé and two adorable pups. Follow her on Twitter @BarbaraPlatts and Instagram @BarbaraPlatts.