Whew! 2021 was not an ideal year for anything, and it certainly wasn’t an ideal time to bring The Vandalia to a digital platform. Nonetheless, we embraced the challenge, since it means we can share all this lovely writing and artwork with a broader audience.
In this issue, you’ll find bits and pieces of the Appalachia everyone knows: old-time religion, meditations on the natural world, poverty, and heartbreak. Our contributors, though, invite you to take a closer look. Dr. Jess Scott’s flash fiction piece explores the long, nearly-invisible influence of religion and family. Kyle Dan’l Mills takes the reader inside Appalachia—literally—as he descends into the world’s longest cave system. Vaughn Hartley’s art depicts wildlife from the sharp eye of a former Park Ranger. Taylor Risinger’s poems ask the reader to consider the names, needles, and triumphs hidden by statistics.
We could go on, but the best way to experience this issue is to click through it. We’ll sign off by saying we’re proud of our contributors, we’re honored that they entrusted their work to us, and we’re thrilled to share it with you.
– The Editors