Welcome, and happy 2021! If you’re anything like our team here at Nightingale & Sparrow, you were eagerly counting the moments until the new year—and now it’s here! Even as we celebrate making it here, and all the hope that comes with this year, we’d like to take a moment to remember all those who couldn’t join us in 2021, from Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Jacob Blake, and other victims of racist violence and police brutality to the millions who’ve succumbed to COVID-19.
As I write this introduction to blizzard, I’m sipping a mug of hot, black coffee and gazing out the window at another interpretation of our theme. “The February 2021 nor’easter” already has its own Wikipedia page! The nearby woodland (hearkening back to our November 2020 issue!), having long since lost its leaves, is coated in a thick layer of white and ice. Watching the breeze blow snowdust through the air, I can’t help but think of the photos and written work that make up this Nightingale & Sparrow blizzard.
With blizzard, we aimed to showcase the unique facets of every snowflake and the dichotomies present in every storm. As we make our way through the early proofs of the issue, I believe we’ve done just that.
“Snow can sparkle on tree limbs or block your view of the outside world,” we wrote to submitters. “ Ice can create a graceful skating scene or a painful fall. Wind can burn your cheeks or blow a caress through your hair. We hope to explore the seemingly contradictory nature of the quintessential winter storm with this issue. Every snowflake is unique and we hope that each piece featured in blizzard will be equally distinct.” From Fija Callaghan’s “A Midwinter Night’s Dream” and Kate Gough’s “Yule Known” to Jasmine Kuzner’s “Snowsquall” and Karla Linn Merrfield’s “Breaking Story,” you’ll feel the chill in the air and smell the distinct scent of snow as you page through this issue.
As always, thank you to the N&S staff, submitters and contributors, readers, customers, and other supporters who’ve made this issue and all of our efforts possible.
Welcome to 2021, and to blizzard.
Editor-in-Chief, Nightingale & Sparrow