Welcome to the inaugural issue of Quince Magazine, an online literary and visual arts journal hoping to be an exciting and inclusive space for writers and artists from around the world.
Last year when dreaming up this magazine I chose the theme of love for the first issue because even though it spans the spectrum of despair to joy, it is still fundamentally hopeful. Love: it’s a big idea, a revolutionary experience and the foundational emotion of a meaningful creative process, as well as all great art.
In January, when submissions opened, it would have been difficult to foresee how much life – inner and outer – would change for everyone so quickly. There are the challenges, grief and anguish brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, the consequential economic crisis and the burden on healthcare workers. Alongside this, Black Lives Matter, a global movement to centre the lives of Black people in the US, UK and world-over, stopped being perceived as marginal and burst into mainstream consciousness with the footage of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. It is when things move from the marginal to the centre that they go from being thought of as political issues to being undeniably human issues. The transformative tools here are the forms of love that manifest as horror, rage, grief and deep heartache.
In this light I want to call particular attention to the only life writing piece in this issue, Clinnesha D Sibley’s “Black Girl from Mississippi”. It speaks to this historical moment through its rich, grounded, emotional language and with its reference to Emmett Till.
In our first issue we have poetry that explores love through images of nature and lush sounds, that uses whimsy and form in unique ways, that delves into tenderness. We have scripts that transport us to Cairo and imaginary spaces that reveal themselves through the behaviour of the characters. The visual art explores the deep well of love – whether it be maternal, light and joyful, or the aftereffects of a one-night stand.
Special thanks to novelist Anjali Joseph who opens the issue with an excerpt of her fourth and forthcoming novel Everlasting Lucifer, which begins with a meet-cute set at Heathrow Airport and thereafter transports us to Mumbai.
I hope in these pages you will explore and engage with the texture of words and images and enjoy the creative work of writers and artists who are all, in some way, re-imagining love.
Love, Peace & Solidarity