A Letter from the Editor

Dear Reader,

Thank you for taking a copy of Bellezine.

Over the past few months, I have been challenged to answer
the question, why do literary magazines matter? Last winter, I
came across the Watchdog’s op-ed “In a War Between Art and
Science, Art Is Losing,” and then I learned that Tin House, Glimmer
Train, and Seattle Review, all long-standing literary magazines, were
ending their print publications. The Belletrist staff held a BC
Illuminates panel in response, and I realized how hard it was for
our voices to be heard on campus.

As a smaller issue, I hope Bellezine can make us more noticeable on campus and more accessible to you. I’m always interested in what diverse voices can be discovered from our peers at Bellevue College.

Reading through our assemblage, this issue initially evokes a
sense of weariness, about deaths of loved ones in Kevin Scott’s
“Mid Breath,” about trying to hold true to ourselves in Bailey
Tomlinson’s “Honey Rivas Smokes Cigarillos,” and yet our writers
find ways to turn that fatigue into something else, as in Mariana
Lopez Soares’ “Making America Great Again,” where she questions that provocative tagline.

As a student, I related to Annabel Shaw’s “Burnout” and
Gabriel Neale’s “Priorities.”

I was also delighted to find explorations of the fantastical. In Elsa Petrov’s “The Bender,” Mia wakes up to unfamiliar surroundings. In Samantha Mueller’s “The Magician of Sixth Avenue,” a nurse feels the effects of the war in a speakeasy.

Upon reading vivid imageries, I paused: Robert Krause‘s “Seaweed” evokes wanderings into the cosmos and Isa Lewis’ “What the Water Gave Me by Frida Kahlo” ventures in ekphrastic poetry, reflecting on the artist’s perspective and artwork.

We have writers revealing their vulnerabilities to us. Lilith Perry’s “Opened Eyes” deeply affected me and made me feel as if
I was there, experiencing the traumatic situation. Nola Peshkin’s “Wrinkles” reveals her fears in a charming and endearing way.

I’m constantly amazed at how illuminating and expressive our students are, and am grateful of our contributors for sharing their personal stories with us.

Why is it important to write and publish? This was one of the
questions I prepared at the BC Illuminates panel. I dreamed of
being a published author as a kid but when I took my first creative
writing class, I was surprised at how many things I had yet to
unearth about myself, and how I wished an author had published
stories I could relate to while unabashedly thinking my written
words were worth hearing.

This issue ends with “inspired.” by Chloe van Vliet, an encapsulation of what we hope to achieve while having a perspective on
reality.

I hope this small idea called Bellezine can grow and this space
can continue to exist.

I hope you’ll be inspired to dig deep and explore.

Emily Yu
Editor in Chief, Bellezine