Well, dear readers, it’s here. My last day as the editor of Fourth & Sycamore, and my last day as a librarian.
I’m leaving to write, as you probably know, and leaving this journal in the very capable hands of Amanda Rodeheffer-Olson. I have enjoyed my two and a half years at the helm of this small but mighty publication tremendously. I’ve made a lot of friends along the way–writers, editors, publishers, authors, librarians–and probably pissed a few people off too. At least, I hope some of what I’ve written has done that; if not, I haven’t been doing my job.
Here at Fourth & Sycamore, we’ve tried to lift up marginalized voices as much as possible, and I trust that will continue in my absence. We’re living in troubling times, and it is more important than ever to listen–listen to stories of people who don’t look like you, who didn’t grow up where you did, who don’t believe in the same religion you do, who aren’t your gender, who don’t subscribe to gender at all, who don’t share your sexual orientation, who are undocumented, who are refugees, who have mental health issues or physical disabilities, who have fears you’ve never had to think about. Listen. Read diversely. Every person is a person with a story.
Some voices are handed megaphones, and they get to write the narrative everyone else must swallow. Some of those voices belong to bullies and they use fear to make sure their voices stay the loudest voices. You have a choice which voices you listen to, which ones you read. You have a choice which voices you amplify so others can hear them too. Choose wisely. I’ve tried to do that in my time here, and I will continue to do so after I’m gone. I trust Fourth & Sycamore will as well.
Thank you for reading Fourth & Sycamore in these first two and a half years. Please continue to read this journal going forward. Libraries matter. Poetry matters. Books matter. Stories matter. History matters. Words matter. We must continue to do our best to choose and use them wisely.
I’m off to write the great American novel. Wish me luck.
P.S. The cover photo is a picture of my favorite work shoes. Because it’s my last day, and I can put up a picture of my Converse #LibrarianShoes if I want to.