1 – 04 – 2022
Brand New Sun
Lily Rose Winter
Jason de Koff
Aidan Michael Casey
Gurupreet K Khalsa
Paradise Never Lost
I’m a tyr/ant reconverted as a poet
Portals: Terrors and Contemplations
Not Suited for Reclining in Feather
The Cat, The Mirrors and The Moon
This is the Story of A Man
We Need Another Robin Hood
KJ Hannah Greenberg
Be The Flow
Papaya at Breakfast
what we inherit when we aren’t paying attention
Failure to Stop
The Exodus of the Gulls
“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.” – John Lennon (‘Imagine’).
These famous words from the advocate for peace and incredibly talented member of the Beatles, particularly resonate with us at this time for a number of reasons. At Spellbinder, we believe that the arts can be used as a means of peaceful protest and social commentary. We are also convinced that the arts bring people together through their unique ability to navigate and explore human experience.
It is with this in mind that I want to think about our contemporary moment, approximately two years on from the start of the Covid-19 pandemic for a large proportion of the world’s population. It is no surprise that many people are beginning to reflect on the lessons learned and hardships faced in the previous two years. Spring is a time of hope which is in alignment with the increasing relaxation of regulations relating to Covid-19, particularly in Europe. It is a time of renewed optimism, but also one of sadness for all that we have lost. A number of our editors have noticed the prevalence of submissions which deal with the themes of mental health, grief and nostalgia. We think that this demonstrates that trauma from the pandemic is still very much at the forefront of our minds. It is evident that the impacts of the virus will remain with us for a very long time, if not forever, whether these be changes on the world stage or small shifts in our own way of viewing the world post-pandemic. Literature and visual art have the task of processing this global trauma and world-wide sense of change and of navigating the complex emotions and memories we all have of the past two years. Of course, not all of the pieces submitted which are concerned with the loss of someone close will be directly linked to Covid-19; however, it is still interesting to think about how these recurring themes of anxiety, loss and isolation, which have become so central to our contemporary narrative, unite us as a species due to their nature as fundamental aspects of the human experience. These are themes which speak across the boundaries of time and nationhood and offer us perspectives on what it means for a human being to endure fear, grief and loneliness. I hope that the art and writing included in this issue finds some way of communicating with you and helping you to process your own experiences as well as your nostalgia for life before the pandemic and your hope for life after it.
At this point it must be mentioned that not everyone may have been particularly inspired with hope in the first few months of 2022. This is an opportunity to join in solidarity with those whose hardships have been particularly shocking in recent weeks. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been at the forefront of many people’s minds and everyone at Spellbinder wants to an extend a quiet prayer or wish or hope for all of those impacted by the conflict in Ukraine. We hope that creating and thinking about art will be able to offer at least some comfort and some support in navigating these awful circumstances. Lennon’s optimistic words seem more relevant than ever now; the world must someday ‘live as one’, and we hope that you will ‘join us’ in our hope for a better reality.
As always, we try to foster a community within the artistic sphere which can offer people support and friendship in difficult times such as these. One way we have managed to bring people together this season is through our writer’s workshop hosted by Jeannine Gailey. This was in collaboration with Prospectus: A Literary Offering. Jeannine gave an inspiring talk on speculative poetry and enabled our attendees to have the opportunity to write some of their own. For those of you who attended, thank you once again for coming and we very much hope to be able to host many similar events for you all in the future.
Another way we tried to develop our community over the winter months was to introduce Spellbinder Sunday on Twitter, our most active and popular social media platform. Every week, Linda Arrighi has been asking you our questions, some of which have been very related to the arts and others of which have been random and just for fun. This has promoted conversation on Twitter which we are now celebrating and recording on the Community page on our website. This has enabled us to get to know our contributors, followers and readers better and thereby helped us to improve our platform in line with the interests of those who use it. It has been incredibly heart-warming to find a common appreciation and gratitude for an art-filled life. So far, we have asked for your recommendations regarding must-reads, and artistic experiences, and your favourite musicals and mind-bending films or series. We have also asked you what music you listen to while writing and what your most life-changing writing habit has been. Watch out for more thought-provoking questions on Twitter very soon.
To conclude this editor’s letter, I will reflect on and celebrate the work of small businesses such as ourselves. The Twitter-sphere has made us even more aware of how many non-profit literary and art magazines there are out there with tiny teams of editors who volunteer and dedicate their time and efforts to be able to provide a free platform for emerging and successful creatives. It is certainly a challenge running an organisation without funding and finding the time to host events and market our magazine widely, all whilst pursuing other studies and paying jobs. I am sure everyone on our team would agree with me that it is an incredibly rewarding and rich experience despite the difficulties we face to reach our audience on a daily basis. Our team goes to great lengths to encourage creatives to submit and value our publication even though we have insufficient means to pay contributors at present. If you would like to donate to Spellbinder to support the development and expansion of this magazine further, such that we can one day pay contributors, please don’t hesitate to get in touch or use our donate page on our website.
Amber Kennedy, Chief Editor
We have created a playlist inspired by the Spring 2022 Issue. Feel free to play it while reading the issue: