A fallen, yellow leaf lays on a rock, ice melting around it. The photo appears in black and white with a V-shaped center section in bright, water-colors.
A fallen, yellow leaf lays on a rock, ice melting around it. The photo appears in black and white with a V-shaped center section in bright, water-colors.

Editors’ Note

Welcome to the Vast Chasm. Finally. 

There have been late nights and early mornings and plenty of time spent in between: dreaming, planning, and reading. Vast Chasm grew from that joy: the joy of reading together. This expedition started in a third-floor room of Nebraska City’s Lied Lodge—tucked in among the rafters and rich-toned wood—we shared words and found community, discovered what we would call knownness. We unearthed ourselves in the thrill of a first line, the knife-twist of a final paragraph. No surprise that we can draw a clear line from those shared readings to our current mission: Publish bold work, champion distinct artists, and cultivate literary community. This mission—the joy of it along with the challenge—is what Vast Chasm Magazine is all about.

For a magazine that grew from joy, it might seem a bit strange that this issue, our first, centers around grief whether large or small. To us, joy and grief are a natural pairing. We’ve often talked about looking for stories that find the glimmer of light in the dark, stories that shine a beam of light through the dark-walled chasm of human experience. We originally envisioned the colorful “V” of our logo as a flashlight illuminating a portion of the world. And so, we invite you to share in this, our first trip into the Vast Chasm. There is plenty to discover between lost love and the lives we could have lived. Plenty to find: a second-hand hearse, a perfumed scarf, a demon-faced eel, and more.

Again, we welcome you to the Vast Chasm. Spelunk your way through these gatherings of the human experience. These are stories that changed us, ones that clung to our skin long after we left them. May you too be changed by your explorations.

Table of Contents

Title Genre Writer
The First VisitFlash FictionAndrew Weinert
how time curves come morningPoetry Jessica Robinson
Leap Year MotherFictionClaire Taylor
What No One Tells YouFlash CNFJessica Bates
Monsoon ShowersPoetryFaiz Ahmad
Being the Murdered NewlywedFlash FictionCathy Ulrich
Behind Closed DoorsFlash FictionKristin Kozlowski
Mort FictionJoe Baumann
My Husband and I Talk of Nursing Homes At the Shedd AquariumPoetryChristine Butterworth-McDermott

22Q1 Cover Image Photographer

Deborah Hughes lives in the red rock canyon country of southern Utah where she hikes, gardens, photographs, draws, and writes her world into a kaleidoscope of imagery of inner and outer landscapes. In a previous life, she maintained an accounting practice, lived on the Colorado River as a camp host, and raised three sons, sometimes simultaneously, sometimes not. She considers her sons, their 12 children and those children’s four children as her greatest works of art and strives to encourage and support their own creative aspirations.

22Q1 Cover Image Digital Artist

Jordan Keller-Wilson (she/her) is the Digital Artist for Vast Literary Press and Managing Editor for ICM Photography Magazine. She received her MBA from the University of Iowa and spends her days on grant accounting. When she’s not immersed in spreadsheets, she scratches her creative itch with photography and graphic design, and entertains herself with all things cats. You can find more of her work at jordankellerwilson.com.