When it comes to curating issues, what interests me most is the resonance of a work. Such a resonance can be experienced as a trace which is carried across an issue, informing how the singular works interact. This trace may harden and crystallise or dissolve into another substance under the pressure of a particular narrative. Salt felt like a fitting theme in terms of this image of a trace, and the idea of an issue constituted of membranes, parts interconnected to create a fluid, osmotic whole.

         When curating this issue in particular, what compelled me were the elements found in the everyday, the motifs that feature in these writers’ and artists’ responses to the world. Traces that are received and carried via histories, inheritances, and responses to environments and forces.

         In this issue, heritage is explored in the poems of Munira Tabassum Ahmed and Josie Deane. Subterranean dwellings are navigated in Sam Emery’s and Stephanie Ochona’s comics. Queer morphings take place. The sci-fi psychedelia of Niamh Schofields’ ‘Pulsar’, and the ebbs and flows in Jalen Lyle-Holmes’s nocturnal narrative. The forming and un-forming in Neika Lehman’s poetry.

         The shapes taken in each work, the experiences of submission and resistance, speak to the sensitivity of us as beings, the textures we encounter and the capacity we have to receive and respond. I’m thrilled and awed by the works that feature in our latest issue and invite the reader to dive in and embrace the crashing wave that is #21: SALT.

ZOE kingsley
(deputy editor)