Long time, no see. In case you were wondering where Good Folk has been, know that lots of exciting things are brewing in the background that have been occupying our time— things such as a new Good Folk website, an expansion of our team, a podcast (!), workshops, more ways to support our publication, and a few other exciting things we will keep secret for now.
It’s been a year since I launched this publication with the idea to bring together a community of creatives working outside of binaries— whether that be location, identity, or genre. I’ve had one foot in the traditional publishing world and one foot in the South for a long time, and there is no frustration quite like that of watching the amazing storytellers of our region get overlooked, be forced to jump through an obscene number of hoops, or have to leave in order for their stories to be told. I am tired of seeing this place misrepresented by mass media, tired of the popularity of things like Hillbilly Elegy or Where the Crawdads Sing, tired of feeling like I cannot just be a writer, cannot just be an American, cannot just be a person invested in the place I am from, but instead must become a spokesperson, a representative, always explaining why I left, why I came back, why I care. Some days I wish I could be from somewhere, anywhere else, that my work didn’t have to feel so tied to this place. I wish I could absorb myself into a city and forget about it all. But it is impossible. I suspect many readers of this newsletter feel the same.
I cannot tell you what it means to hear from you about what this project means to you. Of the ways it forces you to think critically about empathy and home and hope and the urban and the rural. I have been envisioning this project for years and still, in so many ways, I am not sure I have succeeded in creating it. There is so much more I would like to do and so little time to do it. But I do know for sure that Good Folk is not going anywhere except for up, and I am honored and excited and terrified to have you join me along the way.
All this is to say that we will continue to be MIA for a little bit while we revamp, restructure, and gear up for Good Folk phase two. I, for one, cannot wait to see you all again soon when we get there.
In the meantime, I invite you to think about limbo. I used to think that creative limbo was a type of failure; now I think it is a necessary part of the process. My best writing has often come after periods of rest. I do not sit well with limbo; I have always filled my life with as many things as possible. If there is no quiet there is no time to think, good and bad. There is nothing new to uncover. To me, what is new is often as terrifying as the opposite. I am doing my very best these days to change that. To sit with loneliness, frustration, silence, limbo and not run away. To see instead what might be waiting on the other side.
And to that, I ask— what, in the silence, is waiting for you on the other side?
See you when we get there.
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