Each year, we strive to select a theme that not only lends itself to diverse inspiration by our contributors, but also gives insight into Exposition Review’s own stance in the world of literature, Los Angeles and beyond.
With Vol. I: “IX Lives,” we were coming from a very different place: we were in the midst of transitioning our journal out of academia, focused on rolling with the seen and unforeseen punches that came with becoming a fully independent literary journal. After the dust settled and the issue was published, though, we had the opportunity to take a deep dive into how we wanted to define ourselves as Exposition Review.
What emerged was our desire to take Expo beyond just an annual publication; we wanted to engage more with our local community and offer more opportunities to writers to engage with us. To that end, we kicked off a season of Flash 405 contests and hosted a series of #ExpoPresents literary events, readings, and programs to connect with and promote our contributors and other local artists, and in turn make each issue of the journal stronger.
We posed the theme “Surface” as the reflection of that journey; of looking closely at how we wanted to grow and present ourselves to the world and at the endless possibilities ahead. As such, we were drawn to stories that explored possibility and perception. We wanted narratives that played with fact and fiction. We wanted to see work that evoked what it means to look beyond the surface—to push the boundaries, with words and genre and point of view.
Vol. II: “Surface” is the result: an issue bursting with narratives in all forms, full of stories that move us, make us laugh, and inspire us. This issue also encompasses our off-the-page activities. Two pieces submitted by flourishing young writers who attended our WriteGirl “Share Your Voice! How to Submit Your Work for Publication” workshop appear in this issue, and our podcast Two Writers Walk Into a Bar makes its debut in Vol. II.
“Surface” is shiny and bright new chapter for Expo, and it would not have come to life without our tried and true editors: section editors Lauren Gorski, Mellinda Hensley, Rebecca Luxton, and David L. Ulin; managing editors Annlee Ellingson and Laura Rensing; as well as our associate editors and readers. We cannot thank them enough for their hard work and dedication to bringing Expo to new stages and new heights.
We also thank the many people who supported and shared their voices and art in our #ExpoPresents and Flash 405 series, including Nan Cohen, Janet Fitch, Judith Freeman, Wes Gabrillo, Amy Gerstler, Sonia Greenfield, Jeffrey Lo, John Lucas, Kevin Staniec, Max Tachis, Vanessa Angelica Villarreal, Larry Wilson, the Chromolume Theater, and the WriteGirl organization. And to you, our writing community, we thank you. You make this work we do feel like a breeze and make it all worthwhile. We hope you enjoy taking the journey through this volume of multi-genre narratives as much we’ve enjoyed creating it.
Jessica June Rowe
Brianna J.L. Smyk