Maysie: Stefani Farris,

Photovoltaics / Nowhere Else / If I Could: Mary Mercier,

Timber: Mark Tredinnick,

After the Aleut / Cormorant Killer / The Hardness Scale: Jerah Chadwick,

Jack 1942: Natasha Tarpley,

“After too long of a hiatus, we are more than pleased to bring you this issue of Connotations. It is being published on the verge of the 21st Sitka Symposium, its theme, If This if Your Land, Where Are Your Stories? taken from a book by that title by our friend and colleague Ted Chamberlin. “We need to understand the power of stories,” says Chamberlin. “Our lives depend on it.”

…We share Ted Chamberlin’s sense of the essential power of stories. The Island Institute’s programs aim to engage stories in ways that might help people understand both differences and shared beliefs. Whether working at a local level or trying to grasp global political and social realities, we find that stories offer avenues to possibility. In almost any storyline, whether that of a friend or an adversary, we can find some element that we know from our own experience. If we allow ourselves to approach these shared openings with an authentic yearning for understanding, we may find ourselves engaged with others in ways that allow us to move beyond the classic division of “them” and “us” to ground where, collectively, we gain keener insight into what it means to be human.

This issue of Connotations offers stories–in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction–that touch the vein of what it means to be human. They connect us to family, to places, to history; to adventure to suffering, to hope; to truths that link us fundamentally to each other and to the greater world we live in…”