A Note from the Editors
October 31, 2020
This issue marks Muzzle’s ten year anniversary, and represents a combination of editorial eyes—both that of our founder and former Editor-in-Chief, Stevie Edwards, and of the voices speaking to you here, collaboratively and across great distances: Brittany Rogers and Raena Shirali, Muzzle’s new Co-Editors-in-Chiefs. Here, the editorial eye that shaped the magazine’s aesthetic meets a push towards our vision for Muzzle’s future. We feel incredibly lucky to have been entrusted with a magazine that has consistently published voices that are both gorgeous and vital; throughout her tenure, Stevie made a point to prioritize new and marginalized writers, and in doing so, established Muzzle’s unique role in the poetry publishing landscape.
For past to meet present in an issue published the week before the 2020 American presidential election feels fitting, if not appropriately spo0o0oky. We hope that in this issue you will find work that affirms, surprises, and challenges you, work that allows you to consider what is beautiful and possible. Moreover, we hope you find reflections of broader cultural truths with which we are all trying, daily, to reckon. Namely, that we cannot move forward without accounting for the past, nor can we achieve equality in this nation without moving beyond simple recognition of past atrocities. The poems in this issue push towards moments of (un-) knowing, moments of upheaval. As Ally Ang writes in “On Being Asked, ‘What Is Your Dream Job?”: “Of course I do not waste my precious dreams / on labor.” Let this reminder push us to long for the world we deserve, and in the longing, imagine and work towards it.
To that end, we want to keep pushing Muzzle to those uncertain edges—to the places where what we know blurs, and a new aperture opens. With all of the reckoning of 2020, we are increasingly mindful of how important intentionality is; we seek to do work that is more than publishing for publishing’s sake. To that end, we will be closed for winter submissions as we recruit editorial staff and examine Muzzle’s overall mission and direction. A few things remain stable: our new submission policy will prioritize submissions by BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and otherwise marginalized authors. Our Spring 2021 issue is still forthcoming; we hope you continue to engage with the wonderful writers who we will have the honor of publishing.
This Halloween, we thank you for your patience as we turn our eye inward and toast to the unknown. Cheers to adjusting the lens, to the ceremonies and spells you cast tonight to remain (un-) tethered to this complicated world.
See you on the other side, loves.
Brittany & Raena