In spring of this year, we were crushed by the news of Prince’s death. So many have written about the unearthly legend in the months since his passing, both to celebrate and to mourn him. We’ve heard a chorus of immense gratitude to the artist who expanded and even obliterated the social categories meant to keep us conforming and controlled. We remembered how much we need artists like Prince: brave enough to pave the way to a creative space that inspires radical explorations of identity.
The artists and writers in Issue 07 continue to create this space. Incidentally, many of the pieces in Apogee Issue 07 deal specifically with mourning: JP Howard’s powerful essay on losing her mother; Soraya Shalforoosh’s poem narrated on her late father’s birthday; and Fatimah Asghar’s poem, where the speaker asks about a young boy “executed in an alley way”––“Can we get him back?” Themes of childhood lost emerge in radhiyah ayobami’s essay on teenage motherhood written in first person plural, and in Hadeel Salameh’s short fiction, wherein she explores the trauma of human trafficking through a dreamscape. Loss permeates the imagination and memory as Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas writes in his lyric essay, “Memory is not any one person’s task, memory is something we build together. The reason for this is because memory is a burden.” Issue 07 holds these memories, and offers them to the community to hold with us, in hopes that our collectivity will ease the weight.
If you have never picked up a copy of Apogee Journal before, know that we believe in the artist as a social commentator. We believe that commentator should have something useful to say. We believe that narrative and narrators have identity, and that those identities are embedded in history and experience. Our staff, a majority of whom define themselves as women and people of color, are deeply engaged and personally invested in exploring how unique intersections of identity inspire the stories we tell and the forms they take. The artists curated in our issues speak to this intersectionality–individuals we believe in; artists brave enough to pave the way.. What you are about to read is a collection of interrogative, poignant, and, at times, hilarious work, that honors a range of life experience, from pleasure to heartbreak.
Though Apogee has not yet curated a themed issue, we find that, inevitably, the pieces in these pages speak to each other, as though there’s something in the groundwater that all the artists are drinking. If this is the case, then we raise our glass to the artists in Issue 07 and to Prince, to radical love, and a brilliant future made brighter by our dearly beloved.
CECCA OCHOA, Managing Editor
On behalf of Apogee Journal Staff