Letter from the editor

Dear Readers,

Thank you for a wonderful year and a half! I don’t want to be overly sentimental, so I’ll say simply and briefly that working on Alchemy has been a genuinely life-changing (and, in important ways, thought-changing) experience. I’m thrilled that my last issue as Editor-in-Chief is full of incredible writing. 

Like Megan McNitt’s beautiful cover art, every work in this issue achieves a moment of perceptive transformation for the reader––a moment when things shift. The highly lyric prose of Nazli Karabiyikoglu’s “Colours of Sage” examines the precarious emotional allures and dangers of an illicit affair.  Ana Maria Machado’s story “Flakes,” translated by Elton Uliana, slowly and often sweetly explores the relationship between a grandmother and her grandchildren; Uliana’s fascinating translator’s note provides further perspective on the deceptive simplicity of the story. The inherently collaborative nature of translation is highlighted in Maria João Marques’ Portuguese translations of Michael Garcia Spring’s English poems––both versions of the poems turn everyday images into emotional portals through time and space. 

Marielle Sutherland’s translation of Ulrike Ulrich’s “Not Your Heidi,” in addition to Sutherland’s contextual notes, reintroduces an entirely new set of readers to a national icon and how she might react to others’ use of her image in service of political and material capital. Iulia Militaru’s “About Death,” as translated by Claudia Serea, is a bold and experimental work questioning biopolitical regimes of language, policy, and ideology. Adem Garić’s poems in their translations by Mario Frömml are simultaneously political and delicate, casting a golden but urgently searching light through issues of immigration, identity, and family. And, finally, Zixi Cai’s translation of Juyi Bai’s long narrative poem, “The Song of Endless Sorrow,” closes the issue with a tragic relationship and the poignant ache of a golden hair clip, broken in half. 

Thank you, also, to the reading committee who helped shape this issue: McKenzie Ross, Klara Feenstra, Alissa Tu, NM Mashurov, and Becca Rae Rose.  

Iliria Osum