Life Expectancy

05. Summer Solstice

This midsummer we spark back into life, as the shortest darkness of the year ends to reveal a trove of literary delights. HamLit’s fifth issue illuminates ways we gain and lose control of our destinies, together and apart, exposing inevitable ends and divisive beginnings.

Life Expectancy asks us to explore the mosaic of our shared mortality. What brings daily vitality; what extinguishes it? The authors featured in this stark and expansive collection pull life’s fragile balance into words, sentences, and thought experiments to help us reconsider our own outlooks. On living. On dying. On what we expect.

The editors offer gratitude to our ten writers who, together, bring this issue into existence. It is a wonderful experience to share poetry with you for the first time–to extend our submission reach into Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia, BC–and we delight in anticipating your enjoyment.

The following short stories and poems find the future, slip into the ancient, and tamper with today, examining timeless edges. The face of death. Capitalism as a cup of coffee. One secure sorceress. A leaving promise to return. Our forgotten god. One-key wisdom. A sick goodbye. The very last story. Ways we remake home. Life after hope.

Thank you to all who have flown close to the sun with us these last three years, and to those newly joining the journey, welcome.

Hold your flames high while we explore worlds together.

With continued gratitude to Brandon Bryson and Derek Bryson, our former co-founding editor and graphic designer; the PNW would not have Issue 05, or HamLit, without your incredible talents.