A snarling wolf graces the front cover of this issue. This jolting art, titled “The Queen/Bitch,” by Jennifer Murray provides an intriguing introduction to the central themes of the issue: loneliness and isolation.
The opening piece, “Some Sort of Grace: David Wojnarowicz’s Archive of the Death of Peter Hujar” by Emily Colucci immerses the reader in the age-old search to find meaning in death. Colucci explores different mediums of death representations and how they “create an affective space for representing…intimacies through a melancholic struggle with loss.” The discussion of death continues with Salvador Olguin’s “Interactions With the Non-Human: Fetishism, Prosthesis, and Postmortem Photography.” Olguin probes deeply into the way humans interact with death and loss, using “the material dimension of images [and] questions regarding their personhood.” Other exciting essays in this volume include Renée DeVoe Mertz’s “The Art of Displaying Life and Death: Aspects of Surrealism in Vienna’s Naturhistorisches Museum” and “Edgardo Antonio Vigo’s Proyectos a Realizar” by Vanessa Davidson. A memoir by Hugo Pezzini is included along with several fiction pieces.
Poetry in this volume focuses on the concept of finding the self or the individual, highlighted in the poems “To My Breast-Pump” by Kiran Mascarenhas and “Lady Capulet to Daughter Juliet” by Katie Beers. An intriguing poem is “Fugue” by Marina Blitshteyn. Combining English, Hebrew, and music notation, the “periods of silence” draw the reader in and entangle them in simplicity. “Fugue” is a poem that not only draws the eye but also the mind. Each re-reading presents one with new revelations.
Also featured is an Art and Photography section which includes more of Jennifer Murray’s fabric, pencil, and charcoal creations as well as some beautiful pieces by Emily Sharp, Tiffany Minaret Sakato, Scott Bankert, and April Elisabeth Pierce. The mixed media on canvas piece, “Sex and Death” by Briana MacWilliam is a shining jewel tucked into the middle of these pages. The image of a beautiful woman holding two cattle skulls emerging from a flower bed makes a striking picture. Cleverly contrasting the lively flowers and accusing skeletons, this picture draws one in and does not easily let go.
As the foreword to first issue of Anamesa suggests, this issue continues to invite readers to “blur boundaries, re-imagine links, [and] explore the between.” With pieces that take the individual from death, to love, to injury, and beyond, Anamesa provides a glimpse of the many aspects of the human soul. The editor’s note states, “In the darkest moments—of betrayal, loss, confusion, and even death—there is the potential for a burst of vibrant color to emerge and enliven what formerly seemed hopeless.” Readers will emerge from this volume with that renewed sense of hope.