Our final issue of the 2015-2016 year comes in the midst of a presidential campaign that becomes uglier by the minute. In choosing the theme “Realpolitik,” we asked for works that explore the difficulty of balancing idealism and reality, especially in a political context, and you delivered in spades. From an examination of the difficulties surrounding diverse representation in literature, to a sly political cartoon, to a darkly comic look at the very human gears of the rumor mill, this issue helps us take a harder look at how what we do as individuals resonates on a larger scale.
What does the equilibrium between idealism and reality look like? As I and my fellow soon-to-be graduates search for places to land, like big awkward birds with mortarboard beaks and flapping black wings, that equilibrium may seem impossible to find. Idealism, we’ve been told, doesn’t pay for rent, or food, or our collective trillion dollars of debt. But just as we don’t live fully in idealism, neither are we fully without it. We live everything at once: our creative voices are also our voices in work, relationships, politics. My great wish is that we all, like the contributors of this issue, continue making and consuming work that weaves all those voices into one strand—that we find the power to stay checked into our own lives, ugly politics and all, and find equilibrium as we go.
I end my tenure as Editor-in-Chief with enormous pride and sincere appreciation for the work I’ve been a part of, and for all the people with whom I’ve shared it. And it is my great honor and delight to welcome Lily Starr, your next Editor-in-Chief, with the knowledge that she, and all of you, will keep stepping ably forward into this strange new world.