Editorial – Spring 2021

First things first: Congratulations to our Rhysling nominees!

For short poem:
“The Old God Dies”, by Jennifer Crow
“Black Water, Black Bones”, by Michelle Muenzler
“Andromeda’s Lament”, by Gretchen Tessmer
“Acacia”, by Holly Lyn Walrath

For long poem:
“Learning the Way”, by Sarah Cannavo
“Seven Steps to Reach Your Father Across the Great Divide”, by Adele Gardner
“A Song from Bedlam (with apologies to Christopher Smart)”, by Nike Sulway
“A Dish Best Served”, by Lisa Timpf
“Daughters Saving Mothers”, by Holly Lyn Walrath

Congratulations to the poets; if you’re an SFPA member, I hope you’ll consider these well-deserving works.

And now, welcome to the penultimate issue of Liminality!


If you didn’t catch it on Facebook or Twitter – yes, we’re wrapping up the magazine this year. Seven years is an appropriately mythical run, I believe! I would have waited to announce it in this editorial, but I wanted poets to have more notice than just the one reading period. And poets took notice! You’ll see returns from year one in this issue, as well as new voices.

I’ve been asked why, and why now. The why of it is simple: seven years is a long time to do any one thing, and I’ve always tended to keep exploring new territory instead of settling in for the rest of my life.  It’s an excellent run, and I’m proud of it, and choosing to stop means getting to stop on my own terms.

Which leads me to why now, and part of the reason for that is, yes, the pandemic. The forced slowdown has given me the opportunity to deeply consider the shape I want my life to take, and that shape involves more writing and less editing, among other things. And the constant fear of death has forced me to evaluate everything that I would leave hanging, should I suddenly die. Which is a threat for longer than however long the pandemic ends up being, of course. My particular condition makes sudden death far more likely than a death that I’d get to prepare for. And the thought of leaving the magazine unfinished, in disarray, with my husband having to figure out how I handle contracts and the slush pile and how to get the poems on the website with all formatting intact – well. The idea of wrapping things up the way I want them wrapped up appeals.

More than anything, it felt like time.

So this is our official penultimate issue! Our final reading period will be April-May, our official final issue will come out in June, and… why do I keep saying official? Because I’m leaving room for a small coda in autumn, in case I’m thrilled by too many submissions in our final reading period. Either way, subscribers, this is why I’ve cancelled your subscriptions! All subscriptions will be fulfilled through the end of the term, as most would terminate after our summer issue. And don’t worry – all issues will remain online in perpetuity.

Editing this magazine has been one of the great honors of my life… but I’ll write more about that next issue! For now, follow me through the underworld one more time, through night-slicked streets, through love and loss and ritual. And I’ll see you once again, in the sunlight.




Shira Lipkin