Brian Phillip Whalen

Addiction. Memory. Disease. Loss. These are just a few of the recoveries that pull together the hauntingly beautiful work on display in this special feature. A mother’s lament. A daughter’s prayer. A brother’s sadness. Who are we to one another? What can we offer by way of our stories? What remains—and what must we let go? I could not be more moved, or awed, by the range of heart, and the variety of form, in this collection of writings. The theme of [recovery] was inspired by the death of my sister, who overdosed on heroin and fentanyl last year after a decade-long struggle with addiction. Reading work by these authors inspired, and healed, me during my experience with grief (who can’t say that certain books have found them—and shown them light—in moments of love and loss?). I have more I could tell you—but nothing I would say could speak to you as eloquently as the poetry and prose curated here. May they light the way; stir up the past; reawaken the heart.


Brian Phillip Whalen’s writing has appeared recently or is forthcoming in The Southern Review, Creative Nonfiction, Spillway, North American Review, Hotel Amerika, Willow Springs, Sonora Review, Cherry Tree, and elsewhere. Brian teaches at The University of Alabama.