Milestones 1440 960 Jason D. Ramsey

Dear Readers:

We’re back.

Issue 20 is a milestone. Not because it marks twenty issues in less than four years, but because it shows our potential after some process changes and a challenging last few months. ‘Stoic’ is filled with tenacity, grit, and feeling. Although it is our smallest issue in terms of content, it took me longer to build than any other (>50 hours). I’m in awe of the final result. All thanks go to contributors and volunteer staff.

So much has happened since we were here last. COVID has waxed and waned. Inflation has soared. Tensions have mounted from needless war. Labor shortages have left organizations large and small without the means to press on.

‘Stoic’ is an outlet to take our minds off of the world around us and turn them inward. It does this in so many ways: world-weary photo galleries; reflections on place; religious contention; mental illness; suicide; cancer; hope. Like all Barren issues, ‘Stoic’ is heavy, but its stories shine in perseverance. I cannot say enough about the tremendous talent within these virtual pages or the editorial team that selected them out of so many worthy submissions.

I had the distinct pleasure of getting to know the three featured artists: author and photojournalist Erica Sandifer, and her Deltonian roots; Columbia College Chicago professor Jeff Schiff, and his travels to Morocco, Guatemala, and Colombia; and Courtney Elizabeth Young, whose ‘Exsanguination’ blends harrowing accounts of cancer and abuse with (in my mind) the most stunning photo gallery we’ve ever published. These features epitomize the Barren Magazine vision. It is a blessing how it all came together.

I want to thank Lannie Stabile and Norman Belanger. Lannie recently vacated her post as Managing Editor to be able to spend time with her pregnant wife and prepare for parenthood. Lannie had been with us from the outset and had worked her way up from Contributing Editor to Managing Editor. She is and will always be a close friend of mine. She is dearly missed. Norman, who served as Fiction Editor, told us from the outset that Barren was a two-year commitment. Sadly for us, those two years are up. But, Norman’s expertise helped pave the way for newcomers Em Messall and Kira Riley to move seamlessly into the role. We are excited for what the future holds.

I also want to thank every person involved in this issue — submitters, contributors, readers, editors.

Barren Magazine takes a village, and we have a great one.


Love to you all,


Jason D. Ramsey
Publisher / Editor-in-Chief
Barren Magazine

Header photo copyright Courtney Elizabeth Young.

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1 Comment
  • N.Krishnamurthy 10/29/2022 at 11:56 am

    In my list of Literary journals to read, how is it i had not come ecross Barren Magazine. To read gives so much food for thought. It is a highbrow mag for the literate and sophisticated. It gives aesthetic pleasure. It has intellectual content and it is overpowering.
    I am a late-comer and it would be good if i get access to archives.

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