“One, two, buckle my shoe.
Three, four, shut the door.
Five, six, pick up sticks.
Seven, eight, lay them straight .
Nine, ten, a big fat hen!”
-Excerpt from a Popular English-language Nursery Rhyme
Welcome, travel pups.
As a result of having made some major changes to the magazine, Issue Ten has been on my mind a lot this month. Several nights in a row recently, head nested firmly in my pillow, I replayed “Issue Ten, a big fat hen” over and over in my head. I thought it was stupid, until I made a half-sleep correlation that felt far more like a eureka moment than it probably was.
The nursery rhyme itself makes very little sense, but was created to offer children insight into the world of counting. The contents of Outside In might seem just as foreign to some readers, but within each piece, there are underlying lessons into the worlds of Pakistani blood drives, traditions involving Nigerian tombstones, the beauty of fullness/emptiness left by departed fathers, the importance of shadows, and more.
And if that isn’t a good enough connection, this issue is big and fat. We’re proud to announce that we’ve collected a global audience vast enough to warrant a much-expanded editorial staff. Miriam Vaswani is now managing Fiction, Kelly Ann Jacobson is presiding over Poetry, Vicki Valosik is handling Photostories, and Ope Olum’degun has taken over Microjourneys. Susanna Wickes, who will always and forever be an essential voice of Outside In, has taken a leave of absence in order to consume as many green tea pastries as possible, and to live the stories we share here. I am still greedily consuming all nonfiction submissions. If you’d like more information about our new team, click here.
Over the past year, I have been amazed, month after month, at the lessons I’ve learned by reading and viewing the submissions of our writers and photographers. I submit, with confidence, that this is our best issue yet. Click on Issue Ten on the left of your screen to get started. We hope you’ll leave comments so we can create a more open dialogue on the many kinds of lives we live.
With amazement at how far we’ve come, and how far we can go,
Brandi Dawn Henderson
Senior Editor | Nonfiction Editor