Making Grace in Darkness
Launching on May 7, Grace in Darkness celebrates the work of 25 women writers in the metro DC area. The anthology is the eighth in a series created by Gargoyle editor Richard Peabody in 2004 and passed on AU’s own Melissa Scholes Young in 2017.
The anthology features a preface by beloved DMV author Mary Kay Zuravleff. The contributing authors include: Carmelinda Blagg, Tyrese Coleman, Lisa Couturier, Patricia Fuentes Burns, Ariel Goldenthal, Wendy Besel Hahn, Jessica Claire Haney, our own MFA program’s Chelsea Leigh Horne, Andrea Jarrell, Lynn Kanter, Kate Lemery, Caron Garcia Martinez, Molly McGinnis, Whitney McKnight, Jen Michalski, Leslie Hsu Oh, Patricia Park, Miranda K. Pennington, Lorine Kritzer Pergament, Laura Scalzo, Venus Thrash, Sarah Trembath, Naomi Zeigler, and Kay Drew.
Scholes Young’s Literary Editing and Publishing class gave me a glimpse of the work behind an anthology: from the editing sequence to the cover design and printing process. Here’s what I learned: this book is a labor of love for all of those involved. It is long hours poring over copy, working in the dark to bring this book to light. It is the work of twenty-five gifted writers, whose voices rekindled our enthusiasm when the road to publication seemed long. It is the editorial work of Nita Congress and Scholes Young, whose warmth and dedication sparkle between the lines. Ultimately, it is the combination of Peabody’s decades of work to make space for the voices of women writers, and Scholes Young’s work to hold that space open, for what she calls “the sacred pause.” That sacred pause as you open an anthology of DC writers and the sky opens up, as Zuravleff writes, to reveal “welcome constellations.”
If that isn’t grace, I don’t know what is.
Grace in Darkness is produced in partnership with Politics and Prose and American University Press. Copies will be available for purchase at the following launch events. After May 7, the anthology will be available at Politics and Prose (online and in-store).
Join us for the launch party, this Monday, May 7 at AU and for next Thursday’s Politics and Prose at the Wharf event featuring editor Melissa Scholes Young in conversation with Patricia Park, Lynn Kanter, Miranda K. Pennington, Jen Michalski, and Tyrese Coleman. On Wednesday, May 23, contributors will be reading from their work at One More Page Bookstore.
Yohanca Delgado is editor-in-chief at Café MFA and a second-year candidate in American University’s Creative Writing MFA program.