As my time as editor-in-chief comes to an end, I look back fondly at everything Helicon has done for me. I’ve been inspired at every step of the process, from reading the thrilling and original work of our contributors, to discussing the wide range of submissions with the brilliant members of our staff. The pieces published in this issue truly fill me with awe. The humanness captured by the brush strokes, musical notes, and the written word is abundantly clear on every page of this issue. I’ve read stories I wish I could have written, poems teeming with careful metaphors that I never could have imagined, and yet the comparisons seem inevitable: it could only be written that way.

I would like to express how grateful I am to everyone who has ensured Helicon’s success: thank you, first and foremost, to our contributors who have filled these pages with their work to make this issue possible. Thank you to our generous donors who have supported us year after year and allowed us to expand Helicon beyond the page, and thank you to the English Department for the continued support. I’d also like to extend my gratitude to the members of Helicon’s staff and to the executive and editorial boards; each of you has worked tirelessly to make this issue a success. I am also endlessly grateful to Brian Bouldrey, Helicon’s advisor, who held the role of editor-in-chief more than 40 years ago—I know your love and care for Helicon will live on as it has all this time.

This issue is a culmination of creativity, passion, and dedication to the arts. When so much feels unstable and unknowable, I find that art and poetry remain. There is always an imagined world to step into and a color to see differently. All I can ask is that you all keep writing, keep reading, and keep creating.

This has been Abeje Schnake, editor-in-chief

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