.:| ISSUE TWENTY SEVEN |:.
LETISIA CRUZ &
We live in a free country, and by this we mean our right to free speech is protected under the 1st amendment. This does not mean that violations of the 1st amendment don't happen or that attacks on personal freedoms are unheard of. The 1st Amendment does not stop us from self-censoring, nor does it stop us from attempting to censor others. In fact, public shaming campaigns are widespread.
If we limit artistic expression to include only works that we approve of on a personal level, and we allow nothing that we find offensive see the light of day, what will we be left with? The answer, of course, is nothing. No poem, story, sculpture, photograph, painting, or issue of Petite Hound Press, for that matter, would ever see the light of day.
We are all unique, and our biases, prejudices, and preferences are equally unique. Each of us encounters forms of artistic expression that we personally dislike, perhaps even detest. But does this justify an attack? Does this justify denouncing the work to the point that we require its complete removal and eradication from a site?
We recently shared a post by Paper Darts, a literary magazine we greatly admire. The post asked for support after a story they published fell victim to a trolling attack. We received public and private comments both in favor of and against our decision to stand behind Paper Darts. Our Facebook page is a place for open discussion, and we welcome open dialogue. All comments were appreciated. We'd like to point out, however, that the subject matter of the story, abortion—the thing that all of the comments we received were focused on – although undoubtedly important, had nothing to do with our decision to share Paper Darts' post.
This is our message: all art matters, and every form of creative expression deserves the same freedoms. We certainly encourage open dialogue and the sharing of opinions; however, trolling attacks that aim to silence a creative voice will never be something that we at Petite Hound Press can stand behind.
Welcome to ISSUE 27 of Petite Hound Press aptly titled “Learning to Pray.” We won’t delve into religious freedoms (we’ll save that for another issue), but we do believe that free discourse is, in the words of poet J.J. Steinfield, “an exquisite language” that’s taken us far “too long to master.”
Visit us on social media and feel free to linger, share, comment, and otherwise express your opinion. We may not agree with you, but we don't have to agree with each other to respect one another. After all, don’t we all live within the same fishbowl, this beautiful planet that we call home?
Canadian fiction writer, poet, and playwright J. J. Steinfeld lives on Prince Edward Island, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published fifteen books, including Disturbing Identities (Stories, Ekstasis Editions), Should the Word Hell Be Capitalized? (Stories, Gaspereau Press), Would You Hide Me? (Stories, Gaspereau Press), An Affection for Precipices (Poetry, Serengeti Press), Misshapenness (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions), A Glass Shard and Memory (Stories, Recliner Books), and Identity Dreams and Memory Sounds (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions).
Tammy Ruggles is a legally blind photographer, artist, and writer who lives in Northern Kentucky. She enjoys spending time with family, friends, and the arts.