KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 7: Spring 2017
Nonfiction: 818 words

Introduction: Issue 7

by Clare MacQueen
(editor-in-chief and publisher)

Welcome to the spring 2017 issue of KYSO Flash, KF-7!

Meteorologically speaking, spring begins in the northern hemisphere on the first of March; astronomically speaking, the vernal equinox on March 20 marks the first day of spring this year.

The winter weather in southeastern North Carolina has been so unseasonably balmy, with temperatures in the seventies and even the lower eighties now and then, that it certainly has felt as though spring sprang early. In February! Pollen counts have exploded as plants blossomed and trees leafed out. Hay fever is already upon us. (Bummer.)

And yet, as I begin writing this mid-morning on the Ides of March, the thermometer says 31 degrees Fahrenheit. Last night’s low was 25 degrees, and the same is predicted for two more nights. A high near 70 is predicted for Saturday in this rural area, where huge temperature swings and overnight frosts have occurred several times during the past few weeks—which likely means no fruit this year from my family’s small orchard: the plums, peaches, pears, and apples have been frosted out.

Of course, the lack of favorite home-grown fruit is trifling compared with climate-change effects that other living beings are suffering elsewhere on our planet.

KYSO Flash Issue 7 offers more than a dozen works on the theme of climate change. They range from nonfiction to poetry to “cli-fi” (a term which refers to climate fiction and originated with climate and literary activist Dan Bloom*). These 14 works include the three winners and four finalists of our “One Life, One Earth” (OLOE) Writing Challenge.

In total, KF-7 presents 52 works, by 32 authors and artists creating in a range of genres: flash and micro-fiction (13 works total), lineated poems (10), prose poems (2), hybrids such as haibun forms (12) and tanka forms (4), nonfiction (essay, memoir, and review, 1 each), and visual arts (8), including haiga.

Please be sure to see these special highlights:

We are proud to present the winners and finalists of our recent writing challenge. OLOE was designed to reward the observations and inspirations of writers and artists worldwide in the hopes of fostering compassion, understanding, advocacy, and innovation to counteract this threat to all life on our planet.

We are delighted to be the first to publish poetry by playwright Leslie Powell. And we hope that Stuffed is only the first of many such opportunities.

On a different note: You may notice that Issue 7 is half the size of previous issues, which typically include more than a hundred works each. In part, this is because I was unavailable for outreach during our reading period, 15 November through 31 January.

Instead, I was pre-occupied with significantly paring down my belongings and cramming what was left into my mini-van for a cross-country move—a 22-day, 3900-mile solo trip across the USA in December, from the Seattle area down to southern California where I was blessed to stay with dear friends and colleagues (old and new) in three cities for several days; and then on to Arizona, where I visited another treasured friend/colleague for a couple of days. From there, I continued via the southerly route across the country all the way to eastern North Carolina, arriving in time to enjoy Christmas with my siblings. Probably no surprise, after a month of living out of suitcases and boxes, that I greeted the New Year sick with a virus which left me feeling puny for weeks—just as I was finalizing State of the Art, the third annual KYSO Flash Anthology.

I imagine we also received fewer submissions during our reading period because so many folks were reeling then from the aftershocks of the Trump election. And we are reeling still from the daily outrages of his presidency, which continue to dismay and even terrify. We suffer generalized anxiety and a collective PTSD. Many of us are diverting a good deal of precious time and energies from our artistic endeavors in order to fight the destruction of progressive social and environmental programs. We are resisting. And “Despair is not an option!” as life-long resister and social activist Bernie Sanders continues to remind us.

One of the ways I will continue to resist is by publishing KYSO Flash for as long as I’m physically able. It is such an honor and a pleasure to provide this showcase where, to borrow the words of co-editor Jack Cooper, “our artists and scribes—painters and poets, photographers and memoirists, fiction writers and other conjurers—flood the global stage with their healing, visionary artistry.”

If you’re on Facebook, please consider supporting our little journal—and the 260+ writers and artists whose works we’ve published across seven issues—by “liking” our Facebook page and by sharing our link with your friends, family, and colleagues. A world of thanks!

As always, we’re so glad you dropped by, and we hope you enjoy what you find on our menu...

Statistics for Issue 7

* For more information about Dan Bloom and climate-change literature, see:

Site contains text, proprietary computer code,
and graphic images that are protected by:

⚡   Many thanks for taking time to report broken links to: KYSOWebmaster [at] gmail [dot] com   ⚡