An Editors’ Note

As we began to shape this second issue from our layovers in Johannesburg, Brooklyn, and Bangkok, the concept of translation continued to drift in and out of our correspondence with each other and with the writers and artists whose work appears in these pages. Maybe we harbor some kind of trust in the idea of translation, however abstract? Maybe it is the natural, inclusive, and expansive process that we admire?

Or maybe it’s the transformations themselves, the mutations from one language into the next and back? Maybe we are ever-taken by those moments of re-creation which gently reverse–without demand or law–our sense that the world should express itself in our terms?

Who knows. But if you are familiar with Tongue, you know that we resist the religion of having answers; we revel, instead, in poems and art at ease with a kind of ambivalent vulnerability. Here, we celebrate the Creoles that emerge from within the exquisite betweens: those brackish locales where Ciaran Berry’s spooky actions meet Gemma Gorga’s illuminated stone-homes on the heaths where Bianca Stone’s hiccups-turned-Antigones wander through Malena Mörling’s aviaries where Luisa A. Igloria’s gentle Mexican Free-tailed bats bat around in Grigori Dashevsky’s Homeric skies on the updrafts of Valzhyna Mort’s sneer, and where we all meet Chirikuré Chirikuré’s shape-shifting English turned Shona songs, there in the floral crooks of Radio Sebastian’s AM frequencies.

Like translation, Tongue is no static thing—and like a Lakota winter count, this issue serves as a record of places visited in our reading, our conversations, our shared seeking. Read more.