Kaitlyn Andrews-Rice, Editor-in-Chief
Does art matter? What is art's true purpose? To change minds? To entertain? Someting in between? These are the lofty questions I've been asking myself in the face of ever distressing news.
Some people will say that art matters now more than ever. It's a nice sentiment, though I always fight the urge to ask: Did art not matter when the going was good?
Lately the internet has become increasingly agitated, and for good reason. The news is bad and our institutions are not going to save us. People are angry and the urge to yell is animalistic. But what happens if we let tweeting take the place of action?
The same question could be applied to art. Being a writer shouldn't absolve us of the responsibility to hold truth to power through action. In an ideal world, writing would change hearts and minds, but we don't live in a ideal world. Not now. Maybe not ever.
As Cortney Lamar Charleston writes in this month's featured poem:
Damn right I’m irritable; it’s been a bad day, week, month, year, history.
I really struggle to know if poetry has saved any lives other than those
who already desperately wanted to live, so maybe we could stand to
speak with less assuredness about our power while power kills people
outside these walls we’ll never hear names for.
At Split Lip, we believe in art yet we often question its effectiveness. We want to be entertained yet we want to be challenged. It's this give and take that keeps us going. Art isn't a fixed thing. It's moving. It's flexing and evolving with the times. Art should be poked and prodded, and it should certainly be made to examine its motives.
With work from Marvin Shackelford, Scott Fenton, Cortney Lamar Charleston, Rebecca Kokitus, plus art by Claudia Griesbach-Martucci, reviews from Kathryn McMahon and Stephanie Trott, and interviews by Aditya Desai and Chris Wolford, our October issue asks more than it answers. And for now maybe that is OK.