Plank of wood, metal, stone beneath the door. A boundary. An opening. The point at which something begins or changes. That “there, we’ve arrived; now, let’s cross over” moment. Consider the threshold of pain, of love, of language. What happens when you approach, remain, and/or take a step to the other side?

This issue’s collection of prose and poetry starts in one place—a mindset, an emotion, a room, a life—and moves toward another. We’re excited to present fourteen contrasting, beautiful voices that respond to the question: “What’s next?”

-Nita Noveno and Sara Lippmann, the Editors


The original idea for this issue of SalonZine came soon after the 2011 earthquake in Japan, a magnitude 9, and the fourth largest earthquake in the world since 1900. This past year, the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy, the Connecticut school shootings, and other seemingly endless gun-related tragedies have shaken us to the core. In our unsettling world lives change in an instant, only to become irrevocably defined by that which cleaves. How does one come out of such terrible loss? How do we deal with the worst? The unexpected? The inevitable?

The writers and poets in this issue respond to these questions. Their prose and poetry address things, people, and …


Most recently, the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history has been seeping into headlines and into our shared culture. The permanent damage this event will leave economically and environmentally is yet to be seen, but what is known is that 206 million gallons of oil spilled into our oceans. It began on April 20th and was officially declared over on September 19th.

Historical “spills” like this, or even personal upsets in our individual lives, serve as a wake-up call to the fact that the world is never as it seems.

As a noun, “spills” typically refer to negative occurrences. But, flipped on its side as a verb, to spill is not …

Why Believe?

Cafe by the RuinsThe writers and poets in this issue of SalonZine remind us of community and possibility, of what is absurd and beautiful in our world. Take a break from your work and worries and read this issue. Believe that the world is on your side, even in challenging times.

We dedicate this issue to risk takers, caretakers, and survivors.

-The Editors, Nita Noveno & Caroline Berger
-Assistant Editor, Barbara Sueko McGuire

Special thanks to writers Padmapani L. Perez and Luisa A. Igloria for connecting our communities.

In early October, devastating typhoons hit regions …

Audacity: The New Scarlet Letter


“Audacity: the quality or state of being audacious: as a: intrepid boldness b: bold or arrogant disregard of normal restraints.” -Merriam Webster Dictionary

As I type these words, it is 12:45 a.m. on Inauguration Day, and I cannot sleep. About an hour ago, I watched, giddy with excitement, the clock’s slow progress toward history. Granted, my being awake was in part due to a looming deadline for this essay and one or two espressos, but as it grew nearer and nearer to the stroke of midnight, I could not help but think of what the day ahead …