Kia ora koutou,
We have launched Toitoi 19 this week and I am very excited for you to see it. It went to press just before lockdown began and we have been busy wrapping and packing journals remotely. Congratulations to everyone who has become a published writer or artist in this amazing journal – you should be so proud of yourselves.
Toitoi 19 publishes work that was created at the end of last year so it tells us a lot about what we were thinking and seeing and feeling then. The first poem in the journal is School Playground by George Kavanagh, with incredible art by Hany Kang. It is an example of a piece of writing written in November 2019 that takes on another layer of meaning as we go back to school in May 2020. Likewise, Arna Vincent’s landscape artwork on the cover was created to accompany Hollie Evans’s beautiful poem Selene. This breathtaking depiction of home and hope under a comforting moon seems more appropriate than ever now.
During challenging times like these, art offers us a special kind of truth about our experience. Recently, The New York Times asked artists to capture the view from their city windows during lockdown. Inspired by this project, Toitoi invited some of New Zealand’s amazing young artists to create a response of their own. We are publishing the first few of these incredible pictures online today in a series called From My Window. I think they are extraordinary and I hope you do too.
Sharing your experience and telling your own story is instinctive and offers us an opportunity to connect with each other. As we come out of lockdown, you will have a lot to reflect on. I wonder what your stories will be? The deadline for Toitoi 21 is on July 3 and I can’t wait to hear from you.