My family tree is full of drunks. A great-great grandfather got run over and killed by a horse-drawn beer truck. Another great-grandfather died of cirrhosis of the liver before he turned 40. My grandma made all of her best friends through AA. Most of my mom’s siblings are in recovery, and she says the only thing that saved her from the same fate was that she decided to become a Mormon in her thirties. And if the happy tingle I feel when I take my first sip of Diet Coke each day is any indication, I probably inherited the gene as well.
I know other families who don’t talk about illegitimate children, others who try to keep up appearances despite debilitating financial troubles, and others who sorrow over the difficulties their children face.
Everyone’s family has stuff going on– stuff we’d probably rather not talk about. But I know that I always feel incredibly privileged and grateful when someone cracks the door to the inner, broken chamber of their private lives and gives me a glimpse.
The essay and poem do just that. Mette Ivie Harrison’s essay, “How Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth” explores working with a preteen daughter through depression and suicidal thoughts. While many Mormons are fascinated by their polygamist ancestors, Aubrey Flinn considers her polygamist cousins in her poem “How My Aunt Left Polygamy.”
We are also delighted to be featuring the art of Paige Crosland Anderson in the journal and on the blog for the next few months. Her works seems especially apropos with this issue, since it also centers around the theme of family relationships. You can read an interview with her, as well as her artist statement.
I’m a firm believer that we become more empathetic, more human through sharing our stories, and sharing these family stories feels like a special kind of gift. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.
Shelah Mastny Miner
Coming soon: archived content from the Spring/Summer 2012 issue
February 2014, no issue
April 2013 — Special Issue: 2013 Contest Winners
March 2013 — Special Issue: Mormonism and Disability
Featured Artist: Annie Henrie
Segullah Volume 9 Spring/Summer 2012
“Justice and Mercy”
Featured Artist: Amanda M. Smith
Featured artist: Cindy Ferguson
“Inside and Outside Marriage”
Featured artist: Maralise Petersen
Featured artist: Rebecca Wetzel Wagstaff
“Gifts of the Spirit”
Featured artist: Leslie Graff
Featured artist: Lee Bennion
“Palette of Light”
Featured artist: Sharon Furner
“Roots and Branches”
Featured artist: Mandi Mauldin Felici
Featured artist: Jacqui Larsen
Featured artist: Jamie Wayman
“Cleave Unto Charity”
Featured artist: Rose Datoc Dall
“Women Proclaiming the Gospel”
“Corridors of Change”
Featured artist: Claire Ferguson
“The Measure of Creation”
Cover art by Victoria Holt