"When I found out about my father’s diagnosis, my first impulse was to light up,” Nalu Gruschkus writes in the opening line of Abnormal Whites and Excessive Blues, her striking piece about her father’s cancer and her own addiction to smoking.

In A Bit of Extra Fun, Delaida Rodriguez is having an unpleasant lunch at a restaurant with her boozy mother. Over a chicken sandwich she has barely touched, she peers into her mother’s jade eyes only to realize with dread that she is more like her than she would care to be.

Sam Geida looks back in Friday Night Dinners to the glorious family get-togethers at his grandmother’s house – now it’s only a few of them around the same table, with paper plates and the flat blue and white cardboard boxes of Gino’s Pizzeria.

The stories in last year’s issue of Lit/Pub were mostly about making sense of things as we emerged from our Covid isolation. The mood is more assertive this year. Isabela Alongi’s vibrant cover design brilliantly evokes a world in movement and young people going places. It is a thread we pick up again in Josephine Dlugosz’s delicate musings (Work of Art), and in the short fiction of Scott Cameron and Raegan Peluso (A Song for Mr Solomon and Two-Faced).

The poetry section is especially strong with Gina Carlo’s compassionate trilogy about love and loss and Scott Cameron’s haunting poem about his return to the bleak post-Katrina wasteland. On the lighter side, Lit/Pub spoke to Professor Bruno Montefusco about campus fashion. In the new memoir section, D.P. gives us a tender account of a childhood road trip with her father to Arizona (Snow). And students are traveling again! Emily Chow takes us with her on her intrepid solo trip to Malta.

Rome, May 2023