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Don’t call it a comeback. Well, OK, call it a comeback if you like. It’s been two years since the last issue of The Pilgrim. What happened? It doesn’t matter. The point is: we never stopped. The Black Seed Writers Group - the engine-room of this magazine - has continued to meet every Tuesday morning, and the writers have continued writing: the quiet ones, the loud ones, the quiet-to-loud ones, the steadfast regulars and the cometary one-offs. 


The first issue of The Pilgrim, published in December 2011, featured the work of four writers. One of them was staying at Pine Street, two of them (a couple) were living in a tent at the end of the Orange Line, and the fourth was dividing his time between the Occupy Boston camp in Dewey Square and the doorway of a branch of Staples.


Twelve years later, our fifty-first issue has more than seventy writers between its covers, and the world outside - which is the same as the world inside - has grown darker, hotter, weirder and more fractured. “The four horsemen meet at a museum,” writes Devin Simon, “in front of a picture of them from a past life./ They only want revenge.” America needs The Pilgrim, and so do you.


Since our last issue we have lost nine writers: Tenzin, Tommy, Leigh, Josh Cahill, David Rogers, Steve Murray, Al Action, Patti Verzi and Chris “The Drifter” Haubrich. They are all remembered here.


James Parker


As a first-time co-editor of The Pilgrim I find myself struck by the mere heft of the thing. Maybe it's the weather today, the temperamental foggy mid-June moodiness, the birds chattering loudly about, I can only guess, the heaviness of the atmosphere, the waiting for rain, all that -- but I keep imagining The Pilgrim as a ship, huge and heavy and steadily heading toward the horizon. On it, the holy ghosts of the writers we lost climb ropes and keep watch for the writers who remain, who return, who have only set out writing for the first time. It's an odd metaphor for me to choose -- I'm no sailor -- but I do know that writing is an adventure that requires a lot of courage and a lot of heart. Two qualities that each of these writers have in massive quantities. 


In this issue, we mourn and we remember, we push against "the intentional blur" of the past, as the poet Troy A. Brown puts it, and we carry on, receiving the new visions and wisdom of new voices. In this issue we remember old friends and welcome many new writers, the poets Jesus Vargas, Jackie, Angie, and David S., to name only a few. It is a privilege to set out with these adventurers, these pilgrims, who teach us what it takes to search the wide ocean of the human soul and see.


Christie Towers

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