Chinquapin trees are only able to grow after a fire has burnt all other vegetation. The ash wakes them up and lures them into life.
We’re not sure what the trees do during a pandemic. I imagine the spiky husks that wrap the chestnuts are never shed. I imagine the chestnut brings its protective layer closer around itself, willing the tree to not let it drop.
But it does drop. And the husks are shed. And the husks do rot.
This first issue is all about descent. This first issue is the rotting and the falling and that unbearable heaviness in our chests.
This year has forced us to re-evaluate what Chinquapin means, and what sort of purpose it must serve. The decision to forego printing a physical book was not an easy one. We savor the material, sacred interaction one has with a book. We love being able to bring this object that we have created in partnership with all our contributors to you.
But now, that physical interaction is no longer possible. But Chinquapin is more than a book. It is a space to value and sit with the words and art of your peers. It is a place to hold your memories and your hurts and your anger and your longing for comfort. Chinquapin is nothing without readers. To bring Chinquapin to you, the readers, we had to move online.
We decided to take advantage of this online platform and publish three separate issues, which normally would be too expensive for us to do. We hope that you move through this first issue and the following two with the same amount of carefulness that you would offer a book.
Take your computer outside if you want, have a drink of water, close all your other tabs, take a breath, and enter this moment of descent.
– Olivia Loorz, Co-Editor in Chief