LETTER FROM AN EDITOR


I first came aboard the good ship ANTIGRAVITY in the fall of 2015, after a frustrating year of failing to find a trailhead into a life as a writer. When I reached out to Dan Fox about doing some writing for AG, he expressed interest and offered to discuss it in person, and I almost wept with relief at the prospect of a face-to-face human interaction for once. We met for coffee at the HiVolt Cafe, and he laid it out. “Everyone here has a day job, including me,” he said, “but we’re a tight crew.” Dan wasn’t effusive—then as now—but he didn’t need to be. His welcome was warm, his vision was strong, and he was prepared to offer me what I needed most in that moment: a place to belong and purposeful work. I would have signed in blood right then and there if Dan had asked me to, but he just said he needed someone to cover a documentary film festival for the September issue, and hooked me up with my first press pass. I never looked back.

Next month will mark our 20th anniversary as a publication, a quasi-miraculous milestone for a print magazine fighting to survive independent media’s age of extinction. One by one, we have watched publications either shutter their doors or sell out until they are mutilated beyond recognition. And still every month we keep going, expecting the very best out of ourselves and each other, refusing to quantify the value of our effort. However much we hate our day jobs or scramble to pay our rent, we show up—even when the work seems utterly thankless. As Dan puts it, “Being an editor at ANTIGRAVITY means eating a lot of shit.”

For all of us on the editorial team, there are days when the cost of survival can feel too heavy. It may be our responsibility to take readers through the darkness when necessary, for in the immortal words of James Baldwin, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” But what this city is facing now is anguishing. My heart is in a constant cycle of rupture and repair, and it is weary. Nevertheless, at the end of the month, when the editors conduct the ritual of looking over what we’ve put together before we send it out into the world, I am left without a shadow of a doubt that it’s worth it. I thrill at the brilliance of the people who have made it into these pages, either as contributors or subjects, all of them calling a new world into being by pouring their lifeblood into their creations.

Next month, you will be treated to a trip down AG memory lane for a special anniversary issue. But this month is business as usual. If, like me, you think that’s worth celebrating, might I propose you invite the issue you now hold in your hands out on a date? Take a long morning to flip through the pages over a cup of coffee and something sweet, or sip a glass of wine one evening after work, pausing to watch the world between articles. Let our columnists’ good advice percolate, think about the implications of your horoscope on the coming month. Admire how skillfully each page is laid out, and observe with gratitude all the small businesses who have chosen to participate in our solidarity economy by taking ads out, without which we could not continue. Chuckle at the comics, praise the photographers, savor the writers down to their last word. And when you finally close the back cover, consider, as I do, how lucky we all are to live somewhere that inspires its people to do this much and love this hard, and fight tooth and nail for the right to keep on doing it. —Holly Devon


illustration by Laura Frizzell


May 2024 cover illustration, an homage to Filipino presence in Louisiana, including the St. Malo village, home to the first Filipino settlers in America, by Anneliese DePano.

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