Welcome to Issue 19 of Jet Fuel Review! The editors are excited to share with you the wonderful collection of writing and artwork that comprise this issue. After months of reading—and much deliberation—editors have carefully selected pieces that reflect our mission statement. As a result, we have curated an issue that highlights an array of voices which speak to the world we live in and investigates the nuances of the human condition.
Housed at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, Jet Fuel Review is a student-run, faculty-advised, CMA Pinnacle Award-winning literary journal that publishes writers and artists from across the globe. Founded in 2011, Jet Fuel Review continues to grow with writers and artists who unapologetically challenge the artistic canon. We are honored to provide a platform for those who are otherwise hidden in the margins. For example, our featured cover piece for this issue, Path, by surrealist photographer Deandra Lee, is one of five pieces that explores the beauty in the bizarre. Lee uses her self-portraits as a vehicle for emotions such as wonder, melancholy, and inspiration, and in doing so, she encourages us to navigate our way through the concealed parts of our imagination.
In our poetry section, we present chilling pieces by writers such as Maya Marshall, one of the co-founders of underbelly, manuscript editor for Haymarket Books, and Callaloo and Cave Canem Graduate fellow, and the 2017 CNY Book Award and 2016 Washington Prize winner, Jessica Cuello. Marshall’s poem, “Portrait in the Lone Star,” is a harrowing account of Britney Cosby’s and Crystal Jackson’s murder—an act of violence that is not an isolated incident in terms of the Black LGBTQ+ community. Cuello’s epistolary collection adopts the voice of Mary Shelley to address the tragedies that Shelley experienced in her lifetime as these poems focus on themes of infidelity, death, and alienation. In our fiction section, we include a variety of texts that showcase jarring tonal shifts, complex symbolism, and evocative snapshots, with one of them being Timothy Day’s “The Human-Shaped Hole,” a story that broaches the internal battles people have with addiction and their complicated journey of self-discovery. In addition to the pieces by our cover artist, Deandra Lee, our art section features striking works by Christy Lee Rogers (Kailua, Hawaii) and Paco Pomet (Granada, Spain). Both Rogers and Pomet deconstruct and reinvent images that comment on the human condition.
The pieces that inhabit these pages are a testament to the many contemporary voices of our society—voices that are full of bite and sting, but also charged with compassion. We invite you to enjoy our 19th issue and we hope that you appreciate the poignant assortment of work that we have curated.
Patricia Damocles & the Jet Fuel Review Editors