“Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light,” wrote Madeline L’Engle in A Ring of Endless Light. In this issue, we invite you to consider the shadows, to look squarely, without fear, with honesty and compassion at the things we might rather avoid. We look at the murder of a boy in North Carolina, at bones coming to powdery ash, and reading poetry over graves. We reflect upon how we are, each of us, a marriage of glory and grime, saints and sinners.
This issue also features the winning and finalist poems for the Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize, with renowned poet Li-Young Lee serving as our finalist judge. The winning poem, “Necessary Work” by Nicole Rollender, gives us truthfully poignant images of life and death, like “the beautiful plum falling/from its long branch, then sweetly decomposing.” She, and all of the artists in this issue, show us how truth—and truth-telling—can unravel the dark.
FEATURING Temple Cone, Tarn Wilson, Tony Woodlief, Ivan de Monbrison + 2012 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize judged by Li-Young Lee, winner Nicole Rollender