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Dear Readers,

When hired as editor-in-chief at Incape Journal in December 2022, I felt inadequate, to say the least. Though I’d had a life-long love affair with literature and the opportunity to lead the journal thrilled me, I struggled to look past my hodgepodge resume. With an undergraduate degree in elementary education, a six-year gap between undergraduate and graduate study, and only four months of lit mag experience previous to my hire, I felt like a toddler clomping around in big-kid shoes. Who was I to claim the title “editor-in-chief”? 

On the shelf in my shared editors’ office is a collection of past Inscape issues, beginning with the first printed issue, Fall 1982, and ending with the last printed issue, Fall 2022. During my time as editor-in-chief, I have taken these copies off the shelf, held them in my hands, reflected on their words and soaked in their art. No matter the copy, my gaze always lingers on the lists of names: the staff, the contributors. Across four decades, hundreds of people have given their poems, essays, short stories, visual pieces, interviews, design capabilities, editing skills, leadership and more to the composition of this beautiful journal. Many were BYU students, some were industry professionals, and oodles of them were somewhere in between. 

My doubts dissolved into determination as awe burgeoned in my psyche. What a gift to follow in the footsteps of all these magnificent people! What an opportunity! What a delight! With a forty-year path already trod, all I had to do was follow their lead, give my best, and bring a hearty team along with me—a current list of staff and contributors. The answer to running a literary journal is community. With a swarm of creatives—past, present, and future—a journal hive thrives. 

Inscape’s current staff is fifty people strong, and this issue is our love letter to our enormous community, first, to our mother university, BYU, and second, to all of her arts children, including the previous staff members of Inscape. Every contributor in this issue is a BYU alum. It is thanks to them that our journal exists. 

May we remember that our art is strongest when we create together. I’m indebted to you, all of you.

—Mikayla Johnson, April 2024