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Welcome to the Winter Solstice 2020 issue of Eternal Haunted Summer. The theme for the current issue is ekphrasis. To quote the Poetry Foundation, “an ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art.” Or, more broadly, any piece of writing inspired by a work of art, including paintings, photographs, and sculptures.

You will find all of these in the Winter Solstice issue. Poems inspired by classic paintings and modern photographs, pin-up art and garden sculptures, cave paintings and bronze icons. An essay based on an illustration from a children’s book of mythology. Short fiction inspired by still-lifes and tiny stone statues, religious icons and strange mythological paintings.

Art — whatever its form — is deeply subjective. One person’s experience of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” or a statue of Hera or a drawing of a snail may not match that of another. The poems and short stories and essay here invite you, the reader, to experience a work of art through the eyes of another, at least for a moment; to become part of the conversation between artist and author, between the creators of the past and the creators of the present. And it is a lively conversation, filled with passion, anger, heartache, joy, and more than a little humor. 

So take a moment. Sit down, be still. Recognize, celebrate, and embrace the beauty that humanity has brought into the world.