The Summer Issue | 2023


Since 2015, B O D Y has been one of the journals where my poems and translations feel most at home. The work I’m proudest of, I send first to its editors knowing that they will never accept what isn’t ready, will not ever let me stumble, oblivious, out the front door with my fly down. I also know that, should they choose to publish my work, it will be given a daring, intentional, beautiful home. So, when I was asked to guest edit this Summer Issue of B O D Y, I glad-heartedly accepted the invitation.

What a privilege it has been to read the nearly five hundred submissions entrusted to me, and what a painful process to whittle them down to the few spots available. What I finally chose were the poems and stories I found myself hungriest for and that cohered into a shape that, though made of pieces, feels somehow whole.

When you read this work, I hope you’ll be, as I am, moved by how lost we each find ourselves, whether in dark forests or bright cities, as we navigate individual landscapes of grief and want and the confounding joy of living. May you delight in the journeys plotted here, forward and back, sometimes tracing the circles we pace in our inescapable and baffling humanity. In each of these voices, may you recognize your own voice, the strange human voice we share and cannot shake.

— Francesca Bell

Click here to read the issue

As usual, B O D Y will be rolling out our Summer Issue over the month of July, so please check back daily for great new writing selected by our guest editor Francesca Bell. Learn more about Francesca Bell here.