From the Editor in Chief of ERA Spring 2020 Edition
Philo has a rich history as a literary society, including two publications throughout the years: ERA (1964-1980) and Philomel (1981-2013). I am immensely proud to be the Editor in Chief of ERA’s 39th volume, a number that reflects the years of investment in both publications since ERA published its first edition in 1964.
When I first threw my name in the hat for Editor in Chief late last year, I could never have imagined where we would be today: sharing ERA virtually, as the Halls remain shuttered, along with Penn and much of the world. We kicked off ERA with an incredible open-mic, organized by Trize Stephen-Pons, and I imagined that we would celebrate the publication of ERA in much the same way. Instead, we are releasing the issue virtually, at Meeting the Eighth (held via Zoom), toasting in our own homes. I am profoundly grateful to my editorial team, who reviewed poetry, prose and literary criticism in the midst of incredible upheaval. Thank you.
I’ve been seeing a lot of notes about how the Renaissance followed the plague, and how perhaps this pandemic will be followed by incredible artistic creation. I personally have spent many afternoons taking ballet class online and contemplating how we might adapt performing arts for the new reality- or at least the one we might live in for the next couple of years. I hope that there is a huge resurgence in writing and the performing arts, but I think it is far from a guarantee. And throwing out the idea of a new Renaissance without context ignores the massive societal loss that preceded the Renaissance in Italy. Not only are smaller artistic organizations shuttering, like the ballet company I danced for in Dallas before moving to Philadelphia for grad school, but thousands of people are losing their lives.
The words contained within the pages of ERA bring me hope. We all have stories to tell within us, and there is so much talent in the world that we, as Philos and as individuals, can share. Whether you are producing your greatest work or simply keeping your head up, take care of yourself during this time. Rediscover great works. Explore new works, like the ones we have the privilege to share in these pages. And take care of yourself, in whatever way that looks like to you.
Stay safe, and may it not be long before we all meet in the Halls once more,
|Spring 2020 (1.7MB)||