Welcome to Issue 11.2

A Note from the Editor:

My friends know me as a kind and joyful person but find it difficult to understand how I can be that way with the history I have. Depression, drug addiction, and trauma outline my childhood and trail my heels into the loose mud of young adulthood. I am no stranger to the darker sides of life, but I am also not a citizen. I prefer to visit the darkness with an open mind and leave it having a deeper understanding of why it came to be that way, and how I will not.

This edition of the Rappahannock Review explores themes of darkness in interpersonal relationships, trauma, and grief, and yet we found many maintained positive takeaways from these experiences. Kiana Govoni’s “Grave Flies” presents grief in a fresh and comical way while simultaneously expounding on grief’s ability to change one’s perception of reality; Erin Samantha Hanson’s poem “Lakedog” portrays parental trauma bitingly, but acknowledges a root system does not have to absorb its given nutrients; Kennedy Bailey’s “The People Who Find You” punches you with its bluntness toward grief and provides comedic relief as a vehicle for exploring rage. These writers and so many others in this issue offer new perspectives on familiar experiences. Some hold your hand and acknowledge everything will be okay, while others grip your soul and force you to confront the darker truths. 

One of our goals at the beginning of this spring was to find pieces that resonated with us and that we felt represented our struggles in a positive yet realistic light. We wanted to deliver pieces that did not shy away from themselves or the darker themes they present. I felt honored to work with my fellow editors whose differing perspectives kept the process feeling fresh, and without them our issue would not be such a grotesquely gorgeous amalgamation. From all of us, we hope you search these dark pieces for their light and feel that search was worth it.

Noelle Jones, Editor in Chief