In Issue 3 of The Dawn Review, we celebrate work that is surprising and otherworldly. The writers and artists in our third issue buckle against the restraints of language and form– in doing so, they unearth beauty and strangeness in how we build, rebuild, and destroy ourselves.
In “Metaverse,” Deryn Mierlak paints our physical and digital home in shades that are alternately barren and intimate. Despite being speaker-less, Edward Gunawan’s “Little Heart 小心” allows personhood to bloom between its contrapuntal depictions of daily life. In every piece, the self is intimately connected to its environment– as the world turns and folds inward, the self is reconstructed, and new usages of language are essential for capturing the transformations that occur in the crossroads.
Throughout Issue 3, the old is constantly torn apart to make way for the new. Death is life’s precursor– not its end. Muhammed Olowonjoyin renews language in “Sanctuary with the Burning Self,” where he writes, “I oasis of my existence. I camouflage/ into fluorescence.” Meanwhile, in “Memory: Nonlinear,” Ivi Hua lays bare the labyrinth of memory after loss, and the rebirth that follows every recollection. The works in Issue 3 refuse a concrete ending, just as life itself forces us to be reborn again and again. In “Yes, No, Goodbye,” LeAnn Perry wakes the dead, and even as summer ends in Fiona Jin’s “Cassiopeia,” time is relentless, keeping the speaker “so here, so here, so here.”
This reading period, we received over 920 submissions, and were able to provide feedback on more than 200 pieces. In addition to highlighting the best work from our reading period, Issue 3 features the winner and the finalists of the Dawn Prize for Poetry, judged by Sarah Ghazal Ali. It was incredibly difficult to select pieces for Issue 3, due to the sheer amount of high quality work we received. This time around, we also put special effort into arranging each piece so as to maintain intricate connections throughout the issue.
As we pass our one-year anniversary, I am continually reminded that The Dawn Review is a labor of love, and I am so thankful for everyone who has shared their love with us. Our eyes are always on the horizon, and we plan on doing everything we can to champion writers, artists, and their convention-defying work through our next issue and beyond.
Editor in Chief