We are undoubtedly living in a time of great uncertainty. How many times have we read or heard about mass killings all across the country, terrorist infiltrations, disaster, and war—all amid the theater of cut-and-thrust politics. It’s enough to keep us teetering on the edge, nails firmly in teeth. But even though the air of the American atmosphere can seem to bite cold and wicked, there is still the shimmer of hope when the hawk is out.

Sometimes the glide of the wondrous can be detected through the layers of frost when the sun slants just so; even cruel arctic nature has its heavenshow in the northern lights and the hard sparkle of electric stars. There can be a “dying into life,” as John Keats’ famous phrase would have it, where we emerge from our abrading days renewed, and assume a fresh existence with a shining eye.

Art, so often garlanded with a cosmic intensity, can bestow these restorative gifts. So if you are here, then you have come to the place where the sustenance is free to all, and endlessly nourishing. You will find a crockpot of creativity—so ladle your dish full of the good stuff, carve and fork us up, bite every word and image with great gulps, for you will discover the choicest of delights. This is art cooked for a most rapturous banquet, and you are our special guest.

You will encounter familiar fare, such as the joyful cadences that emerge from one of our favorite poets, SVA’s own Saul Zachary, and the polychrome pyrotechnics of Alison Armstrong’s ekphrastic verse, inspired by Whistler’s painting Nocturne in Black and Gold—The Falling Rocket. Sail a few knots towards the shores of light that cradle the “Moon Village” in Suyoung Yang’s lovely poem, before soaring the skies to alight on a branch alongside Emily Grimaldi’s “The Woodpecker and the Cardinal.” After that you may want to glide up the lunar rainbow and pinball among the small gleam of periwinkle planets when you read Marisa Wedlock’s “Collage of the Universe.”

There are warming yarns, too, so let’s slip off the leash of labor for a spell and relax with Kevin Smock’s “The Day of the Fat Cat,” or enjoy the reinterpretation of a fairy-tale character thrust into the grimy urban milieu in Mina Elwell’s “Stilts.” There’s also the sweet and unpitying remembrance of a Latina childhood by Brenda Salazar, and we can guarantee that once you’ve finished reading the hilarious piece by Kieran Mahoney, you will never look at a bathtub in the same way again. Oh, and if you wish to continue with the funny stuff, then check out Amber Ross’s superbly drawn cartoons.

Lastly, we are simply red-faced with pleasure to feature the work of the impressively talented artist Kyoko Miyabe, whose ink drawings, inspired by Celia Bland’s intriguing poem, “Bird Bone,” demonstrate a beauty and boldness that deliver a clarion kick to the gut.

We hope that you enjoy this congress of the strange and the sensational.

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Ink drawing by featured artist Kyoko Miyabe