We Want Your Writing.
Dear Fellow Readers and Writers,
This time last year, waves of headlines announced that Americans were facing an epidemic—a deadly illness that one survey claimed had infected three in five people. Experts said this disease was as damaging to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and cost the economy more than $6.7 billion per year. They were talking about a loneliness epidemic.
Of course, the world has changed. The word “epidemic” has disappeared from headlines and been replaced by “pandemic.” The viral infection we now face is novel, transmittable, and—unlike loneliness—no known cure for it exists. Social distancing, though necessary to mitigate COVID-19 transmission, has exacerbated already rising trends of social isolation and loneliness.
Like many of you, I haven’t left my house in months. No walking my dogs around downtown to get pets and treats (for the dogs, not me). No in-office therapy or recovery groups. No gym. No movies. No salon; birds are trying to nest in my hair. Though at times I’ve felt afraid and uncertain of the future, I have never felt alone. I’ve had the privileged and joy of spending my days inside the minds and worlds of our fellow writers—writers you will meet in The Maine Review’s Issue 6.1 and Embody, our weekly feature.
You’ll meet Jennifer Lang as she navigates her parents’ aging, Justin Lin as he explores his family’s history, and J. David, Ron Riekki, and Xenia Taiga as they wrestle with origins, inheritance, and identity. You’ll explore the transitional worlds of Matthew Barrett, Sarah Pascarella, and Fajer Alexander Khansa. You’ll ache with Robert Vivian, long with Natasha Sajé, erase with Kimberly Ann Priest, recover with Bailey Blumenstock, survive with Sacha Bissonnette, sing praise with Dawn Potter, and more. You’ll meet all the beautiful writers we’ve come to consider part of our creative family.
After the basic needs of food and water, shelter, warmth, safety, and rest, Maslow’s hierarchy lists a higher order of needs: belongingness, love, friendship, and creative expression. These needs do not disappear in a crisis, and I believe our work as writers is medicine for loneliness.
If you’re feeling isolated or alone, stop by and meet our writers in Issue 6.1 and Embody, which will always be free and accessible to readers and writers of any income. Join our newsletter to stay connected. Find us on social media. Or, if that’s not your thing, send us an email and tell us how you’re doing. We’d love to hear from you.
We wish you good health and happiness.