Autumn is beautiful in the Northwest, and this one seems particularly so after our smoky summer. Still, the chill in the air and the waning light encourage contemplation, a turn inward. We entreat you to hole up, brew some tea or coffee, and settle in with some great verse, art, and prose. We happen to have just the thing!
VoiceCatcher held its first-ever contest, this issue, and it was on a national scale, drawing entrants from sixteen states. From New York to California, Georgia to Alaska, Montana to Arizona, and our own northwest corner—it was heartening to see writers heed the call and share their work on the theme of social justice. Judge Diana Garcia read every submission, and all of us at VoiceCatcher sincerely thank her for her tireless work in winnowing down and then making that final choice. Congratulations to our winner, Aiyah Sibay, and thank you to all our contest entrants! Half of the proceeds from the contest will go to Southern Poverty Law Center.
We are still, however, and will always be a local journal whose mission it is to nurture the talented artists in our greater-Portland community, and you will find that we have gathered together some very fine voices and visions for our Fall 2017 issue. This collective of writers and artists has captured the little pieces of everyday life. A neighborhood. Seasonal fruit. Face time with nature, written and quilted. Getting re-acquainted with our younger selves. And the losses. Of youth. Of body. The ability to forget and ability to deny. Feeling the tension between order and chaos. So many facets of existence writ large, housed in this fall edition.
Our Young Voices section is quite rich, again, this issue, and this is, of course, due in great part to the keen young minds coming up in our community, as well as to the parents and teachers who have nurtured and encouraged them in their efforts. Thanks also to Kate Ristau, our Young Voices Editor, who matched up our middle-school and high-school-age prodigies with local authors to mentor them and help shape their works for publication.
We present to you a feast of sights, sounds, and imaginings. You’re invited to find a warm, dry spot to sit and connect with the words and images of others like you in your community, your neighbors and future friends. May they warm you and light your way in the coming months.
Jennifer Kemnitz, Managing Editor
Desirée Wright, Assistant Managing Editor