Summer Issue 2020

Photography by Madeline Thornton

A lot has changed since we published the Winter Issue of Parhelion. If being upended by a global pandemic isn’t enough for you, our country is in the middle of a social revolution. I’m not sure “revolution” is the right word to use here, perhaps “movement” is better, but it seems revolutionary to me, and one that is long overdue. Parhelion believes in the Black Lives Matter movement, and we stand behind those seeking justice for the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. 

Here in Richmond, Virginia, BLM protests and public outrage over the senseless death of George Floyd have been a catalyst for swift change in this city that was once the Capital of the Confederacy. This is a big deal—Richmond is deeply entrenched in this identity, even though it’s clear that many of us are ready to move out of the past and into the future—a future that remembers and acknowledges our history, but one where we don’t publicly celebrate long-dead war “heroes” who led the fight to keep people enslaved. That’s really not a good message to share, no matter how you slice and dice it, and we need to do better. We all do.

Now, on to other things. In the news here at Parhelion, I’ve promoted Rebecca Moon Ruark from Features Editor to Associate Editor. Rebecca is basically my right-hand-woman, running features, reading fiction & flash with me, brainstorming ideas, making sense out of my nonsense, and managing our social media. Thank you Rebecca, and congratulations!

I will also give a shout out to our other beloved editors—Darren Morris, Stephenie Brown, and Leeta Harding—thank you for hanging in there with me and for everything you do to keep this magazine running.

Finally, thank you to everyone who submitted their work for this issue, and to our amazing contributors. We’re excited to share their work with you. We hope, during this time of great uncertainty, that you will find joy in these pages. We certainly have.

Elizabeth Varel
July 27, 2020