Editor’s Note: Writing About Joy

How dare we write and seek joy in our tumultuous times? But when has there not been discord in society, in our lives.

We will find the joy.

It will manifest itself in different ways.

Many of you have demonstrated this.

As guest editor I appreciated the creativity and resourcefulness of the writing

Of the contributors who shared their joy.

Keep on searching for the joy.

—Debra J. Stone, Guest Editor

Debra J. Stone is a writer, advocate for bicyclists of color and a member of Minnesota’s Major Taylor Bicycle Club and Black Girls Who Bike. In the short but beautiful Minnesota summer you can find her glamping with the tear drop trailer along with husband and Ziggy, the German Boxer, in Minnesota state parks and riding her road or cruiser bicycles along the trails. In the too-long winter on some of those same trails, she’s cross-country skiing.  After early retirement from a career in education, Debra is enjoying the freedom of living her next chapter in life. When not riding the bicycle paths, cross-country skiing or traveling, she belongs to several writing groups in Minneapolis.

Sundress Publishers awarded her essay, Grandma Essie’s Vanilla Poundcake, Best of the Net, judged by Hanif Abdurraquib in 2019 and 2020 her poem, the year of-stay-in-place, was nominated. The essay and poem submitted for nomination by Random Sample Review.  Her poetry, essays and fiction can be found in Under the Gum Tree, Random Sample Review, Green Mountains Review (GMR), About Place Journal, Saint Paul Almanac, Wild Age Press, Gyroscope, Tidal Basin, and forthcoming in other literary journals. She’s received residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Callaloo, The Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, New York Mills Arts Residency and Kimbilio Fellow. In 2019 she was a Loft Fellow for the Minnesota-based The Loft Mentor Series in creative nonfiction and was a finalist for The Loft Emerging Writers Grant. She is also a recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board Cultural Community Partnership Grant and Minnesota Regional Arts Council Grant. Debra is a board member and Chair of the Governance Committee at Graywolf Press in Minneapolis.

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