Welcome to WordCity Literary Journal’s November 2021 issue. If you visit this space often, you will have noticed that our back issues, which first appeared on Time of the Poet Republic, are being reproduced here, on our dedicated site. We hope that Mbizo Chirasha is soon able to safely resume his work at Time of the Poet, but assure all of our WCLA contributors that the final four issues from there will arrive here soon. It’s slow and painstaking work, but work to which I am devoted.
Meanwhile, here in Canada’s Northern Rockies, winter has arrived, even if not on the calendar. Snow is softly falling, and there’s a quiet that makes the world feel softened. It makes it easy to forget so many things, like the Covid-19 wave cresting in Europe, or the lack of available vaccines in developing nations. In British Columbia, the westernmost province of my home country, where I lived for 25 years, there is massive flooding, which follow a summer of wildfires, both caused by climate change.
A few weeks ago, I was able to spend time with family here in Canada, where we are fortunate to have enough vaccines for everyone. And yet, while anti-vaxx beliefs are not as rampant here as in some other places, I found myself sitting outside with many of my loved ones, trying to keep a distance, in sorrowful deference to their choice to remain unvaccinated.
At the time, hospitals in my home province were overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients. Surgeries and other life-changing and life-saving procedures had been postponed indefinitely. The Alberta government had acted too slowly and too reluctantly to curb the disease. People were dying, and misinformation was as much to blame as the virus itself. I’m not afraid to say that I worry my loved ones will be next.
Here in the snow, in the quiet, it’s easy to forget, even if just for a moment.
Reading can be a similar type of escape. Even reading this issue, which importantly and necessarily features so much else of the human experience.
In this moment, however, I’m going to ask us all to remember. Remember our neighbours and loved ones who have been lost in these last many months. Remember the ones still with us, especially those most vulnerable. Remember climate change is already here and needs to be slowed. Remember to act and vote for change. Remember to get vaccinated. Remember the gatherings we’ve missed and may miss again these coming holidays. Remember ourselves and all the life we have yet to live. Remember, please, to take care of each other, and not let fear or denial take away anyone or anything else.
Now, though, I turn the rest of this space and its accompanying pages over to WordCity Literary Journal’s editors and contributors, and I do so with gratitude for their work and their trust in this publication.
Thank you for reading.
Darcie Friesen Hossack
Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance (Thistledown Press), was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LA Crete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightning), Darcie is now completing her first novel where, for a family with a Seventh-day Adventist father and a Mennonite mother, the End Times are just around the corner. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, an international award winning chef.