letter from the editor

To the readers of honey & lime:

          At the time of writing this editorial, it has been over a week after the worst act of terrorism in my country, New Zealand/Aoteaora. It’s hard to fathom the impact this atrocity has (and will have) on New Zealanders, and in particular Muslim New Zealanders, as we are a country with a small population – so we will all know someone, or know of someone, directly affected by the event.

 

          In the immediate aftermath, like many of our readers would have done, I turned to poetry to find comfort and hear the voices of writers: Fatimah Asghar, Kaveh Akbar, Hanif Abdurraqib, Momtaza Mehri and Ahmed Zaoui. Lately, I have been reading essays from New Zealand Muslims and their experiences in our country, and their understanding of events. In the coming months, it will be important to act as audience to the experiences of those closest to events in Christchurch – and to understand the grieving process takes time and to honour that.

 

          I am so grateful that creative people give their time and attention to speaking to the difficult issues and to the topics of living - the sweet and the sour - those who shape words and images and make us feel something. And I am grateful for the spaces, such as honey & lime, where we can find these words and images and spend an hour or a day or a year with these feelings. That there is this space to celebrate the parts of ourselves that make us unique, and the parts of ourselves that make us united. That in our diverse community of writers, visual artists and creators we are able to bring visibility to our experiences, gain insight and empower others.

 

          For the April 2019 issue of honey & lime we received over 300 submissions and as a new team of genre editors, along with Wanda, it has been a privilege and honour to read and immerse ourselves in the brave voices that have entered our inbox throughout the submissions period.

 

          I felt these words so strongly from Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau: “with the grief trapped in the ship of its own sea” and I wandered through the light and shade and spaces of opportunity in Haley Winkle’s photography. I found strength in Virginia Eggerton’s: “You don’t know this word yet, but you will” and Paige N. Price gave me hope: “Sometimes we flip the switch. Sometimes, someone does it for us.” And Marie Ostendorf-LeClair’s words, “constellations collect / small pockets / of daylight”, allowed me to dream and open myself up to imagination.

 

          As a new team, we are all uplifted and full of joy in this issue of honey & lime. We would like you to enjoy these pages and find comfort and solace and inspiration. We hope these words and images continue to help you heal and find hope.

 

          In New Zealand/Aotearoa, many people have been using the Maori expression, Kia Kaha (meaning stay strong) in the aftermath of the Christchurch attack as a united and positive response – so to all readers of honey & lime, we say: Kia Kaha.

 

S.K. Grout

Poetry Editor

honey & lime literary magazine