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Top row: Calida Rawles, Tina McElroy Ansa
Bottom row: Tayari Jones, Ariana Benson

The 2023 Issue

...wherein we venture to explore, in micro-section, the valences and vicissitudes of African American women’s interior lives, particularly those whose formative experiences were shaped in the crucible of the South. This issue is visually anchored by the gorgeously evocative artwork of Calida Rawles, and further enlivened by the wit, wisdom, honesty, vulnerability, compassion, and craft of three generations of storytellers—Tina McElroy Ansa, Tayari Jones, and Ariana Benson. In addition, we bring you poems, songs, drama, stories, and essays by established and emerging artists and writers—offerings that contemplate, dream, confess, praise, call out, critique, and celebrate, as they discern and validate the historical and contemporary contours of Black women’s knowing and despite of, and because of.... Many thanks to our contributors for affirming the necessity—the urgency!—of sharing our voices.

Advisory & Contributing Editors


Sharan Strange

Sequoia Maner

Elyce Strong Mann





Photo Credits for the 2023 issue:

Calida Rawles by Marten Elder - courtesy
of the artist and Lehmann Maupin

Tina McElroy Ansa - courtesy of Beacon College

Tayari Jones by Jonathan Blanc

Ariana Benson - courtesy of the poet 

Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Interviews, and Submissions pages photos by Sharan Strange

Toni Morrison by Jack Mitchell/Getty Images


2023 Editorial Collective


Tyler Ryan

Lead Contributing Editors:
Tellisa Massey

Kelise Williams

Nigella McConnell

Assistant Editors:

Marsanna Harris

Kennedy Dunning

Kayla Jackson

Jordan Wooley

Londyn Meeks 

Ana Villavasso

Advisory Board

Kyla Marshell

Chantal James

Brittny Ray Crowell

Ariana Benson

Rochelle Spencer

Teresa Leggard

Opal Moore

Arturo Lindsay

Michelle Hite

Tina McElroy Ansa

Pearl Cleage

Tayari Jones

Mendi Lewis Obadike

Shay Youngblood

jessica Care moore

Kenji Jasper

Major Jackson

Anthony Kellman

Sarah Stefana Smith

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