As we’ve been coming up to this, our debut reading, I’ve been asked how a magazine about loss celebrates, when in our first four issues, we’ve published pieces about dead loved ones, dying cities, abandoned places—and we’ve seen how serious loss can be.
Well, we can celebrate because we’re here, still, four issues in. And we celebrate because loss can coexist with joy. When we lose, we always gain. We gain new perspectives, new possibilities—we’re freed from the constraints of the thing we lost. And regardless, when we lose, we are affirmed. We’re still here talking about it, remembering it. We find ourselves.
We publish a blend of experienced and emerging writers at lostmag.com. Tonight, you’ll be hearing from a few of them. Tom Bissell will lead off with excerpts from his essay in our first issue, “Veterans,” about Tom and his father visiting Vietnam, where loss is still layered within the experience of war there. Andy Phillips will then read his essay from issue No. 3, about how he nobly lost his library privileges. Dawn Raffel will read her short story from issue No. 3, “The Alternate Palace,” which voices the thoughts a woman has as she’s losing her husband. And Grant McCrea will read his essay from issue No. 2 about losing $18,000 playing poker.
So get a drink, sit back, and enjoy listening to some of what’s had us thinking these past four months.
[at The Half King, 3/20/2006]