Brutal Nation is a space for the voices often relegated to the margins of this country. The feature consists of three poems & three stories selected from our inaugural Blueshift Prizes for writers of color, judged by Jess X Chen & Jeffrey Renard Allen.
I could explain to you in painstaking detail why Brutal Nation is important, why spaces for writers of color are important – but honestly, our nation has done that time & time again for me already.
I am neither skilled enough, nor anywhere near the right person to say what has not already been said about Orlando. I can only say that Brutal Nation has taught me how we do the best work in the dark. That the brightest spark forgets itself in too strong a sun, & our hearts, our hands keep going & rebuild, steady in the absence of light.
In spite of the thousand more dances they had to give, in spite of this country that takes & takes & takes, in spite of it all, look at what beautiful things, what horizons you create, too vast & unreachable for anyone else in the world.
Thank you for your work. Thank you for your love. Thank you.