Welcome to Issue 20 of Jet Fuel Review! After careful consideration of nearly 800 submissions, the editors are excited to share the dazzling collection of writing and artwork that they have tirelessly worked to curate over the last few months. Our editors have chosen work that best upholds our mission statement of publishing work that captures the eclectic human experience of living in a complex and evolving world.
Housed at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, Jet Fuel Review is a student-run faculty-advised, nationally recognized literary journal that publishes writers and artists from across the globe. Founded in 2011, Jet Fuel Review continues to expand, often featuring writers and artists who unapologetically challenge the artistic canon. This semester, our journal was honored to receive the College Media Association’s Pinnacle Award for “Literary Magazine of the Year” at a four-year institution for the second year in a row. We owe this honor to our diligent editors and brilliant contributors; we are thrilled to be able to provide a platform for the multitude of voices that allow us to unite the literary community. In this issue, our featured cover art is It Was Heavy And She Carried It All by DeAnne Williamson. This piece poignantly portrays this particular moment in history, not only speaking to the weight of the pandemic on all humanity but also acknowledging the oppression that women frequently face. However, the cover image simultaneously provides hope as projected by the vibrantly textured red background and the unfurling leaf pattern of the protective mask, suggesting regrowth.
In our poetry section, we present emotionally-rich pieces by writers such as Dayna Patterson, co-winner of the 2019 #DignityNotDetention Poetry Prize, and Ashanti Anderson, winner of the Spring 2020 Black River Chapbook Competition. In our fiction section, we feature the work of Wendy Thompson Taiwo, whose prose piece “Blasian” explores the tension of having dual racial identities as it relates to racism and finding a sense of belonging in a conflicting environment. In our creative nonfiction section, we’re delighted to showcase Jami Kimbrell’s “Grief as an Image Board: Equine Edition,” which uses an innovative style to paint the complex process of grief and loss by framing each scene as a quadrant in a storyboard. In addition to our cover artist, our art section includes the vivid and mysterious work of abstract artist Damien Diaz-Diaz. In his collection, he investigates the in-between space of art by offering ambiguity in his abstraction. We also highlight the work of high school artist Sarah Yun, whose disquieting painting comments on the intangibility of memory, as well as showcasing the gorgeous work of Elsa Muñoz, Ana Zanic, and Jens Brasch.
Many more powerful and imaginative voices bring together Issue 20. The work included in these pages demonstrates the intricate emotional landscape of today’s writers while offering a unique, and sometimes witty, representation of the human condition. We encourage you to enjoy our 20th issue and we hope you appreciate the impressive collection of work we have comprised here.
Stephanie Karas and the Jet Fuel Review editors