Vol. VIII: Letter from the Editors


Every year when we consider the bones of our annual issue—the hundreds of submissions in the slush, the tens of thousands of words of discussion and feedback, the missed opportunities yet endless potential—there’s a slow build of anxiety, and at-times overwhelming fear: “How will this ever come together?”

Yet it does: Sinews of words and art painstakingly assembled into something that feels vibrant and alive: Volume VIII.

The more we engage with the final product, the more we realize how much our theme “Lines” emphasizes one of the most vital aspects of Exposition Review: connection. What started as a kinship among fellow grad students and friends has since extended to readers, interns, editors, and writers across genres, platforms, and the globe.

We spent a lot of time talking about longevity this year. From our annual editors’ retreat at the start of the season to our panel at the AWP Conference this spring, we considered what Expo’s lifeline is, and the state of the literary landscape in general. After eight years, the lines we’ve drawn have created something that binds us all together: a community lovingly built.

Expo is a body that wouldn’t exist without the marvelous writers and artists inside these pages, the readers and editors who pored over their work, and the donors who believed in our story. They are all reminders that even in an ever-evolving endeavor, it’s one we don’t have to navigate alone. For that, we continue to be grateful.

The lines that compose Volume VIII span generations of mothers and daughters and are cast for fish by a father and son. They examine borders in both words and imagery, and explore lyrics in earnest and satire. They’re crossed out on legal documents and drawn onto photographs. They’re physical and metaphorical, and on our cover—designed especially for us by Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin—they illustrate the moments when art intersects reality, when we scrawl over the way the world appears and redesign what is into what could be.

As we put this issue out into the world, we extend the line that is Expo to you, reader. We hope that you intersect with these pieces, that you run parallel alongside them, that you draw your own conclusions—and perhaps even find your new favorite writer or artist. We hope that when you look ahead with us into Expo’s future, when you squint down the line, you see the same thing we do: an arrow.

Annlee Ellingson
Mellinda Hensley



Back to Vol. VIII: “Lines”