Letter from the Editor

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South Florida is many things:

Densely populated, diverse, at times frenetic.

Life is tropical and lush here—alligators surface in the Everglades, fire coral stings in ocean shallows. It’s not uncommon for our staff, during the obligatory “long walk on the beach,” to have to sidestep a half-buried jellyfish washed ashore. Even the iguanas around campus can unpredictably fall from their perches in the trees if the weather gets too cold; a rare bout of 40-degree weather this winter meant you had to keep your wits about you on palm-lined sidewalks. Beauty and danger here seem intertwined. Perhaps the danger intensifies the beauty.

Yet this year also brought sobering danger: hurricane season devastated countries in the Caribbean, as well as many people across the state. Some lost property, income, lives. Election year continues to bring uncertainty and change to the 6+ million people who live here, particularly those affected by DACA and immigration laws.

South Florida has a lot to say. And I find that this online issue is arriving not a second too soon. These pieces come once again from talented writers and artists around the world, as well as those with ties to our region. A generous South Florida Arts & Cultures grant from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) helped us bring the South Florida feature to life. Clicking through this issue, you will read about ocean danger and a tree that feeds on sin, see photography and a comic strip, as well as pieces that seem to evade categorization.

Transient is another word often used in regard to South Florida. As our founding editorial team prepares to graduate from the MFA at FAU, we are honored to present another group of writers and artists who surprised us, inspired us, and unsettled our assumptions of what is possible. We are indebted to the colleagues, patrons, and contributors who have breathed life into Swamp Ape Review, who have helped us make it more than mythical.

Natalie Rowland
Managing Editor, SAR