STEPHANIE CHANG — Founder & Editor-in-Chief
Welcome to the inaugural issue of OROTONE Journal!
Wow. It's really happening — the thing that's been festering in my mind since 2017. When I started writing poetry and submitting to publications as a wide-eyed fifteen year old, I never expected to actually run a literary journal myself. Sure, I eventually began working for publications, sifting through submissions (so much love to Sine Theta Magazine; everyone there feels like an older sibling to me), but I wasn't certain a magazine made by my hands necessarily had a place in the literary scene.
Until I stumbled across an idea: to reinvent the tradition of ekphrastic poetry; to allow art and poetry to make conversation, rather than only letting one respond to the other. I wanted to see what I could do if I wasn't publishing them as separate entities. Why place them on opposite ends of the same issue?
This issue is our first step into the unknown, toward redefining the parameters and possibilities of ekphrastic poetry. It's fun, very fresh, and not afraid to unravel the fevered winds of youth. We're treated to dazzling sights at every turn; from a "daisy-studded tongue" (Perfect Edge by Dane Hamann) to "the musket eating / demons out of deer" from Nova Wang's Wolf Princess, to the Ironworks. These poems are offering to drive you home, back to what's sacred and safe to hold. How long will you last before flinching?
To say that I am utterly enamoured by every poem in this issue and all twelve poets would be an understatement. I even debated (for a long time) if I should even include an editor's note, and simply let this wondrous body of work speak for itself. As you can tell, I decided to give myself the space I needed to fangirl and shamelessly revel.
A special thanks to all twelve contributors for entrusting us with your stunning poems, early supporters for helping us get the word out on social media, and my partner, Dohyun Kim, whom I met all the way back at the 2019 Kenyon Young Writers Workshop.
Here's to countless more issues of OROTONE Journal!
Stephanie Chang (she/they) is a Chinese Canadian writer from Vancouver, British Columbia. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming from The Adroit Journal, Kenyon Review, wildness, Frontier Poetry, Waxwing, and others. She is the winner of the 2021 Adroit Prize for Poetry, judged by Carl Phillips. Additionally, she has been recognized by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, Poetry Society of the UK, League of Canadian Poets, Hollins University, and Anthony Quinn Foundation. Currently, she serves as an Associate for The Kenyon Review and edits for Sine Theta Magazine. She attends Kenyon College and intends to major in English and Art History. Stephanie enjoys chai lattes and listening to Mitski.