Wow. What an incredible experience it has been to curate this issue of The West Review over the course of the last four weeks. We want to thank everyone who submitted their poems, prose, and art for our consideration. Our team knows the vulnerability required to send out work for editors to read, and we are so grateful to everyone who trusted us to be among those to witness it.
More than ever, we have realized that art (and—in this case—poetry in particular) continues to thrive: within the first week, we received over 150 submissions worldwide, and we ultimately only were able to publish 3% of the writers and artists who submitted to us. In the future, if we can afford to pay more contributors, we of course hope to publish a higher percentage.
The creative work we have chosen to publish in Issue 1 feels both timely and timeless, with contributors reflecting on race, gender, queerness, police brutality, quarantine, history, art, and much, much more. It has been such a blessing to be able to connect with other writers and artists around the world—especially now, with so many of us feeling isolated and at a loss for hope. Despite everything, we continue to believe in the power of words—as a means to both incite action and provide solace.
We hope you'll enjoy Issue 1.
-Despy Boutris, Editor-in-Chief