THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE is littered with phrases about home. There is no place like home. Home is where the heart is. For good reason. We are creatures of habit, creatures of comfort. What could be more comfortable than home?
Yet what does home mean? Is home the place we go to sleep each night? Or is home where we grew up, where only our parents still live? Oftentimes we refer to them both the same way. Perhaps the reason we think of so many places as home is that it isn’t a place at all. It’s a set of ideas. Home is the people we love, the community we are familiar with, the country of our origin. Home is the connection, no matter how tenuous, to our beginnings, our childhood, where we believe our roots have depth. But home is different for everyone. For some it’s a peaceful belonging, a sense of safety. For others, it’s fraught with tension, misery and pain. And sometimes, home is just a memory.
The Fall 2018 issue of Barely South Review has us on the editorial board thinking of home. Not only do we have two works by that title, many of the stories, essays and poems we are presenting to you deal with the concept. You’re going to read about the loss of family members or children, taking care of someone who is sick, or the memories that shape us into the people we are. Nothing could be central to what gives us a sense of home than the very concepts, people and places that shape our identities.
In this issue, we are pleased to announce and publish the winner of this year’s Norton Girault Literary Prize in Poetry. This year’s winner is Rochelle Potkar for her poem, “To Daraza.” Honorable mention goes to Liz Robbins for her poem, “And Life Grants My Wish.” This issue also features the winners of the 2018 Old Dominion University-Poetry Society of Virginia-Academy of American Poets College Poetry Prize. In addition, we are honored to be featuring the artwork of David Bonagurio, whose images are as fascinating in scale and skill as they are haunting. On the pages between, you will find the selections that our editorial staff are thrilled to publish in Barely South Review.
We invite you to find the place where you enjoy reading the most. Get comfortable, get your cup of tea or coffee, and perhaps a snack. But wherever you settle in, we hope you will enjoy the diverse selection of talented writing you are holding. You are in for a ride, one that we know will be entertaining and informative.