Two years into a pandemic marked by continued social unrest and global turmoil, we find ourselves in a “new normal,” the fallout after a pang of unprecedented change. But then again, it seems like every year, every moment, feels unprecedented. Every day is another step into uncharted territory. Time still moves, still flows, and carries us with it. We exist in a perpetual state of flux, if you will. Given that, it only seemed right to make “Flux” the theme of Volume VII.
And yet, we had no idea how much this motif would reflect our personal lives, as the editors at Exposition Review experienced major moves, career changes, profound losses, and other left turns. We all feel—as individuals, as a society—the reverberations of change, and those echoes resonate throughout the issue.
This year, the pieces we published played off the theme and each other. From poetry and comics that laid bare the tender intimacy of pregnancy and birth, to the practice of ballet dancing across nonfiction and poetry, to the language of gesture speaking across fiction and art, the pieces in this issue spoke to us individually but also talked to each other, and we’re so grateful for the opportunity to eavesdrop.
Expo itself also grew and changed this year. We introduced new genres to our lineup: film broke off into a category alongside comics, and flash fiction got its own section, each with dedicated editors. Our masthead expanded and shifted, as did our reader pool, with staff logging in to our weekly reading meetings from Los Angeles and New York, San Francisco and Fayetteville, Canada and Singapore. We welcomed two brilliant interns with very different interests and exciting projects. And submissions swelled by more than forty percent—to every submitter, we feel so honored to be trusted with your words.
However, it also feels right to say that even with all this movement, amid the chaos of our lives, Expo remained a constant. It remains to us what it always has been: a community, a safe haven, a place to find inspiration. Every year, we strive to welcome as many into that community as possible. From those who first appeared in “IX Lives” to those we have yet to meet, you are all invaluable members of the Expo family.
The more we reflect on it, the more apropos this theme feels. Volume VII—and the journal itself—feels vibrant with flux, both fluid and choppy. Even at its most chaotic moments, we felt motivated and inspired: movement meant Expo survived—another issue, another season. But more than that, thanks to our entire team—from editors and readers to submitters and donors—we thrived.