Welcome to APIARY 12: The Genre Jawn. This is the first issue in APIARY’s history devoted entirely to cross-genre, hybrid and interdisciplinary work. In these pages, you’ll find pieces that bend the borders between poetry, prose and visual art to tell stories through new shapes: ancestry and complex family histories in itemized lists, apologies broken apart and alphabetized, trauma and healing unfolding in footnotes and acupuncture diagrams of literal feet. There’s more to explore online, too: visit our multimedia section to view video and more from this issue’s authors!
APIARY 12 also gave our editors an opportunity to work together in new ways, teaming up across genres to review submissions together outside our usual wheelhouses. While we embraced the chance to read work beyond our comfort zones, this year was a challenging one for our team in many ways as well. The pandemic stretched us thin as several of us lost old jobs, started new jobs, taught classes through COVID, went back to school or finished degrees ourselves, moved to new homes or welcomed new additions to our families – all while navigating a constant evolving threat we’re still learning to live with and adapt to in real time.
This issue is not simply a celebration of changing forms: it’s also a meditation on the pain and loss that so often necessitates change and reinvention. It’s a space of tension where authors trace indelible traumas passed down across generations, carried in body after body, transmuting in cycles with no clear resolution or end. Held together, it seems to say: when you need to express something that happened to you, to your loved ones, to your community that defies closure and can’t be processed in straightforward paths, then you need a shape for writing about that experience that’s defiant, too – one that creates a new path, a new process.
Whatever path led you to this issue today, we are so grateful to finally deliver it to you. APIARY has always been a labor of love, but this issue is a testament to the perseverance of our staff, the patience of our authors, and the support of the Philly literary community, our friends at CultureWorks, and our partners at The Philadelphia Cultural Fund and the Velocity Fund. Thank you. We hope you get lost in these pages, share this issue with a friend, read your favorite piece aloud to a family member, teach a piece from this issue in a class, and, when you’re ready, pass this magazine along to someone who has never picked up APIARY before. Thank you most of all, dear reader, for helping us carry these words back into the world.
The APIARY Staff