Issue 5 | February 2021

As we approach a year since the descent of the coronavirus and its scarifying transformation of our lives, it seems natural that we attempt to make sense of what happened and what it means. We expect that for many of us this work will last us the whole rest of our lives. There also may be a concomitant sense of weariness, an intellectual fatigue, a desire to look away from the rolling, all-enfolding disaster, if only for a little while. These two impulses can co-exist within one person, one community, and (we hope) one literary journal. The letters in this issue are direct, unmediated documents of life during COVID-19; they hew to the sturdy, if unimaginative, format of the virus diary. The essays include one piece, by Matt King, that explicitly asks us to look forward to post-corona life and its as-yet-unseen changes. The others—by Patricia Matthew, Emmeline Clein, and Kion You—are less specifically topical but they, too, are absorbing and even disturbing testaments to our contemporary realities. 

The Vertical Wasteland

On the Future of the Tall Office Building

by Matthew King

Searching for the Undo Button

Bulimia and the Drive to Destruction

by Emmeline Clein

The Endless Archive

Black History Against Academic Liberalism

by Dr. Patricia Matthew

Brand Ambassadors

On Asian YouTubers and College Admissions

by Kion You

Letter from Ottawa | Michaela Cavanagh

Letter from Kenya | Donald Ngonyo

Letter from France | Bella Dally-Steele