Welcome to the inaugural issue of Multiplicity Magazine, an online literary journal hosted by the MFA in Creative Nonfiction at Bay Path University. Our first issue was conceived many months ago as an exploration of the theme “borders, boundaries, and belonging.” The topic is relevant to so many of us today as we grapple with boundaries between nations, cultures, religions, political parties, genders, ages, abilities—and look for where, how, and to whom we belong.
Now, in the midst of a global pandemic, we find that our theme has taken on another, unexpected dimension. As we shelter from COVID-19 in our homes (if we have safe homes, if we are not among those working in hospitals or clinics or stores that must stay open); as we practice social distancing, some of us in gloves and masks; as we wash our hands incessantly and refresh news feeds on our phones every few minutes, we find ourselves turning in other ways to one another. One of those ways is through the power of art, which we are finding online in ways never seen before. Painting and photography. Music. Theatre. Literature. And in our case, creative nonfiction writing and poetry.
Writers make meaning out of chaos and find expression for the urgent and complex task of understanding ourselves, others, and the world we live in. Although the essays and poems in this magazine were written well before the world was aware of the viral threat coming, they take on new meaning in light of today’s reality and give us the experience, more necessary now than ever, of human connection that transcends boundaries.
Each of the 22 writers featured in this issue—18 essayists and 4 poets—has written a brief statement about life during the pandemic, reflecting on their own work in light of the new reality. These statements accompany the writer’s work.
We are also pleased to feature additional writers on the Multiplicity Blog, publishing flash essays, craft pieces, reviews, poetry, opinion pieces, humor writing, and short reflections. New work by upcoming and established writers will be published each week on Tuesday and Thursday.
We hope you will find something in these pages to inspire you, change you, make you think, perhaps make you laugh (a form of medicine we also need), and most importantly during this time, remind you that you’re not alone.
The Multiplicity Editorial Committee
April 2, 2020