Welcome to Issue 21 of Jet Fuel Review! This spring, our editorial team navigated their way through nearly 800 submissions in order to bring forth a collection of fantastic artwork and writing. This work was carefully selected over the last few months and best represents our mission statement of publishing outstanding and diverse work that represents the human condition and the world around us. Over the last year, our editors have overcome the isolation of quarantine, the monotony of virtual meetings, and have adjusted remarkably well to the necessary restrictions in order to create a collection that we are proud of.
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 grow with writers and artists who unapologetically challenge the artistic canon. This semester, our journal was given the designation of “Excellent” from the NCTE for the Spring 2020 Issue #19 Recognizing Excellence in Art and Literary Magazines (REALM) Award. As a journal, we are incredibly honored to have received this designation and are motivated to continue to do work that enlightens and enriches our community. For this issue, our cover art, titled When We Cannot be Where We Want to Dream comes from visual artist Deedee Cheriel. This piece uses elements of the natural world to brightly communicate the relationship between the individual and their environment. The vivid scene of the bustling ocean life in contrast with the relaxed family on the surface shows the tension between appearance and reality when we try to connect.
For our poetry section, we feature the sophisticated work of 2020 Barjeel Art poetry
prize winner Emily Khilfeh and 2019 NEA fellowship recipient Marcela Sulak. This issue, we are delighted to present our special section of golden shovels, an experimental form where the writer uses a line from another poet and uses these words as the ending for each of their lines. In addition to the pieces from our cover artist Deedee Cheriel, we feature the stunning work of Mary Chiaramonte and Vicki Sullivan, who use light and foregrounding to create a profound sense of mystery in their portraits. In our fiction section, we showcase the work of former editor Andrea Y. Rodriguez, whose story “The Fall” provides a fresh and unique twist on the mythological and religious figures of Athena and Adam. The story uses symbolism and allusion to draw the reader’s attention to the complexity of domestic relationships. Within our creative nonfiction section, we include the work of 2018 Black River Chapbook Award winner Christopher Locke, whose nonfiction essay “Corrections” offers a heartfelt account of his experience teaching in the prison system. Locke’s excellent use of setting and dialogue immerse the reader and truly drive home the power of empathy and rehabilitation.
There are many more powerful pieces and creators that swell in this issue of Jet Fuel
Review. The work that is included here is not only intellectually inspiring, but emotionally
resonant as well. This work explores and captures the complex experience of living in today’s evolving society. We hope you enjoy the dazzling and brilliant work that makes up our 21st issue.
Stephanie Karas and the Jet Fuel Review Editors