Ah, cities: home to beach fronts and boardwalks, multi-storey car parks and huge, huge green parks. There’s something about cities that we like... no, we need, to write about. There’s something about being able to turn onto a street corner and flit between art galleries and bookshops and cinemas and banks. There’s something about lairy pubs and the people that go into them, and there’s something about walking onto a train platform and meeting a loved one in between crowds of others that is so very, very powerful.
Some of the stories in this issue have cracks in the pavement, others are noisy and bustley and a few are like quiet, abandoned streets that just need another soul to love them. Our Venetian short story, ‘Volare’ by Amanda Oosthuizen, on page 93, is a trickling, smokey canal, with cats sidling along the walls and water slapping against stone: “And then, blood orange accordion music bounces between the buildings...” that's sure to sail you along with it.
Some of our poems are sky-high complexes that try not to look down, and some are busy jazz cafes that clap and sing. Robert Klein Engler leaves trails of broken city scenes throughout the magazine, each one reaching the edge of the universe and turning left back down Anonymous Avenue and taking another look around. Julie Kim Shavin’s poems dance between urban worlds and Jo Davey’s ‘Atlas’ flashes blue, blue, blue.
But we don’t ever just hand you words, and then leave. This issue is one big neon sign, demanding your attention with mind-blowing photography from an abandoned island in the Nagasaki Prefecture to sepia-toned markets in Vietnam.
And for the first time ever, we’re introducing music. Whenever you see a ‘play’ button, hit it. The page will come alive with glittering piano notes or ghostly voices - and if you’ve had enough, just press ‘stop’. But we’re pretty sure you’ll want to hear it out.
It’s our biggest issue yet, and we’re so excited to present you treats for the eyes and the ears. We wouldn’t exist without our contributors though, so we’re dedicating this issue to each and every one of our writers and artists who were willing to share their creativity with us. And, of course, to our readers. You’re all the best.
Annabelle and Carlotta