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A rainy day, a classroom, a special hill, Mars, Ancient Greece—this is an issue that celebrates place. The stories and much of the art—especially Delilah Prager’s landscape paintings and Jay Nimchonok’s photograph Northern Ontario—all provide a vivid sense of being in a specific place, whether that’s a dry, lifeless planet or an idyllic forest.

I love works of art—in all mediums—that celebrate place. They tend to be very simple and yet surprisingly profound and beautiful, even if the setting is mundane or even ugly. But they remind us that we are rooted in space and time, that we are a part of the world even when we retreat from it, and that our surroundings influence how we think and feel. Finally, paying close attention to them—especially to the outdoors—can soothe us and lift our spirits, grounding us in more ways than one.

As you read this issue, please be attuned to how these writers and artists depict place, and then go out and try to do the same in your own work.