In 2017, iō Literary Journal was an idea. Actually, it wasn't even iō yet. It was a vision for an accessible literary space. We mapped this space with the hope to display works that highlight diverse experiences and embrace all artistic forms without abandon. That was our blueprint.
2018 was the year iō took its own shape. The idea became more concrete, and by the end of the year, it became a tangible literary journal with its inaugural print volume. To celebrate iō's first year, we would like to thank our readers, contributors, and supporters for making the following milestones possible this year:
We cannot thank you enough for shaping iō this year. The blueprint the editors developed through numerous Skype conversations took form with the voices of all who became a part of iō, and we are looking forward to the year to come.
Wishing you a happy new year,
In Florida, fall is a nuanced transition from peak summer heat to a slightly cool breeze when the sun goes down—it's barely noticeable. It's a different experience from Illinois' fall, which touches all of the senses, from the howling wind outside my window to the frost and steady drop in temperature.
Since leaving Florida, I have grown to miss parts of it I hadn't really thought about before. What I took for granted comes to me in the way unexpected flashes of memory do. I miss the bright blue cloudless sky, the flat greenery, the nearby masses of water. Hell, I even miss driving long stretches over bridges to get from place to place. I do think fondly about how close these things feel. Yet, for now, I appreciate being able to witness the passage of time take physical shape in slow, wondrous seasonal changes.
In the middle of a particularly stressful week, I was lucky to come upon this lovely poem, “Uns, com os olhos postos no passado”/“With one eye on the past” by Ricardo Reis at a time when I needed it.
I have struggled my whole life with perfectionism, and I hate to admit grad school has summoned the perfectionist in me. The worst part about wanting everything you do and produce to be perfect is that it never really is, and it’s easy to neglect other important parts of life. It’s a cycle that leaves no time for repair or reflection, no time for rest, and all that mental spinning does is breed a feeling of inadequacy.
This insecurity has challenged how I feel in all of the roles I have. It’s made me feel below my own self-imposed line.
Yet, in the middle of it all, this poem helped me erase that line. Or at lease make it fade away a bit. I felt myself be present, more still, rather than swimming upward. Alone in the quiet of a late night, I could look at how I felt and accept it for what it was. The pressure of changing it by being a better, more self-aware future version of myself lifted, at least for the moment when I needed to feel lighter.