FALL 2021Volume 4, Issue 1

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

My son, Simon Patrick Reynolds, was born at 3:03 in the afternoon on the fourth of November, 2021. Hemingway would probably end the essay right here, and in fact all great writers probably should—having stumbled upon a direct object so singularly profound, inherently depictive, and diversely applied that any adjectival phrase only demeans the depth of the tangible thing. There is a poetic elegance in the silence of shared knowing that is so transformative it radiates an observable kind of influence to even those who don’t know. And even someone as absurd as me won’t try and tackle fatherhood in an editor’s essay, especially when there are plenty of good Cat Stevens records to listen to on the subject.

 

Instead, I’ll simply tell you that I love him, and you’ll get it. We who live in this place together, this house of ideas; we grasp it. It is a calamitous love. And calamity is the only way to live.

Instantly I was confronted by those paradoxical waves—excited for milestones and moments to come, while being terrified about how old I would be when they arrived—covetous of this time together and egotistically paranoid about the parts of my own life that I was neglecting, that I was “losing.” But that’s all trash; we live too much on the balance sheet, negotiating with time, negotiating with sacrifice. And we; those of us who live in this place together, should really know better. We should only ever be on about things that live outside epochs and trade-offs and timelines—things about joy, achievement, sport, art, Trinity College Dublin, love and melancholy. We’ve all grown too weary and too practical and aware of sacrifices in the last two years, and I guess history will tell us if our excuses for that were good enough, but let’s forget all of that claptrap now. In this place together. My son taught me all of that in two weeks, and that dude doesn’t even talk yet.

 

The truth is I’ve always lived my own way. The more humble truth is that you can only really do that if the people in your life don’t throw you overboard for it. So I thank all of you for being here, in this realm, in this place of places, with me. And I thank my wife, for being better than me, and stronger than me and tolerant of me and all of the things I get wrong.  Did I end up doing the things I said I wouldn’t do in the opening paragraph? Oh well, promises and such.

--JR

 

Ps—We’re back around again. Playwriting, songwriting, new writer contests launching in the spring. Salon events in Boston, DC, and Connecticut in the lead up to the Dublin residency in May. The Sophisticants winter TCD cohort starting next winter. Ask us about them—newsquarelit@gmail.com.

STAFF PICKS

Books/Literature

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour (Amber)

Reading in the Dark by Seamus Deane

This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Quiet American by Graham Greene (Joe)

A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris

A Swim in a Pong in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Gave a

Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life by George Saunders

Let Me Tell You What I Mean by Joan Didion

Having and Being Had by Eula Biss

Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson (Kerry)

 

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw

The All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet's Journey by Richard Blanco

The Emigrants by W.G. Sebald

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Ring Shout by Djèlí Clark

Edinburgh by Alexander Chee (Sean)

Film

All That Heaven Allows

It Happened One Night

You Were Never Lovelier

Meet Me in St. Louis (Bianca)

Fear Street Trilogy

Sleepy Hollow (Eri)

 

Rushmore

Brooklyn

Once

Rounder (Joe)

 

The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Sean)

 

Documentary

The Beatles: Get Back by Peter Jackson (Kevin)

 

Television

Over the Garden Wall​​

Arcane: League of Legends (Eri)

Only Murders in the Building (Kerry)

Downtown Abbey

The Cook of Castamar

Frontier (Sean)

 

Music (Albums)

Murder Ballads of 1846: The Donner Party by American Murder Song

Murder Ballads of 1816: The Year Without a Summer by American Murder Song (Eri)

The Kick Inside by Kate Bush

Lindsay Buckingham by Lindsay Buckingham (Kerry)

Million Dollar Bill by Middle Brother

Changing EP by The Brazen Youth

Other You by Steve Gunn

Okie by J.J. Cale

30 by Adele

The United States Vs. Billie Holiday Soundtrack by Andra Day (Sean)

Music (Songs)

"Vienna" by Billy Joel (Amber)

"Autumn Leaves" by Nat "King" Cole

"Early Autumn" by Ella Fitzgeralnd

"October Twilight" by Frankie Carle

"Great Pumpkin Waltz" by Vince Guaraldi Trio

"Shine on Harvest Moon" by Artie Shaw (Bianca)

"Give and Take" by Poor Man's Poison

"This December" by Ricky Montgomery

"Bones in the Ocean" by the longest johns

"Puzzle Pieces" by Saint Motel

"Sisters" by Saint Motel

"Angry Too" by Lola Blanc (Eri)

"Mi Forma de Ser" (Mambo Version) by Farruko featuring Ala Jaza

"Essence" by Wizkid featuring Justin Bieber (Sean)

Artists

Halestorm (Eri)

EDITORIAL STAFF

Editor in Chief/Fiction Editor | Joseph M. Reynolds
Managing Editor | Samuel Marx
Poetry Editor | Sean Frederick Forbes

Nonfiction Editor | Kerry Feltner
Book Review Editor | Amber Smith
Film Review Editor | Cassandra Steele
Music Review Editor | Kevin Carr
Layout/Design | Eri Lauer
Copy Editor | Bianca J. Robinson