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VOL. 20

Dear Readers,


Welcome to volume twenty of Lumina Journal. To think that this publication has existed for the majority of most of our Editor’s lifetimes is astonishing. Cycling through each year holds beauty, but a twentieth anniversary is a striking thing. 


Throughout the creation of volume 20, we had the pleasure of speaking with the founding editor of Lumina, Alexandra Burack. In looking ahead to future iterations of this publication, it was crucial to look back and learn about its past. At its inception in 2001, Alexandra and a small group of students were met with little support from then-administrators. Passionately, they worked to make this journal a reality. In turn, they were glossed over as founding members. Following a hiatus during the global pandemic, Lumina was reinstated in the fall of 2022 by a group of hard-working students committed to reviving this endeavor. Stepping into our roles during the revival, we were largely unaware of Lumina's history, and what little we did know was littered with inaccuracies. When Alexandra reached out to us at the beginning of volume 20’s cycle, we were thrilled to hear the story of the dedicated students who created Lumina so many years ago.We want to extend our gratitude to Alexandra for her continued support, as well as to members of this journal—past and present—for their endless hard work. It is heartwarming to see the Lumina team today be equally invested as the team that created it. 


In rebuilding this journal, we sought to make it a locus of community in our program as much as in our network of contributors. We are honored to see so many people come together to celebrate another volume, virtually or at our first in-person launch in many years. Our priority has been to ensure sustainability in Lumina as we prepare to pass it onto future teams. There is a wonderful longevity to the values of our journal that we are eager to observe grow, even long after we cede our positions upon graduation. 


This year, we have uncovered new reaches as a team in connecting with our community online, across the globe. Due to the efforts of each member, we’ve surpassed the submission counts of past years and been able to accommodate voices on an international scale, published pieces that challenge genre conventions, and seen our Speculative Fiction and Visual Arts genres flourish. 


We would like to extend extensive thanks to our Managing Editor Shadows; Lumina is in caring and capable hands, and we are eager to support your paths forward. To our PR Coordinator, Social Media Manager, Copy Editors, Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Speculative Fiction, and Visual Arts genres and their readers—this volume wouldn’t be possible without your tremendous dedication, enthusiasm, and effort. We cherish our shared afternoons in Slonim, your ever-amusing and surprising warm-up question responses, the long hours of copy editing chat messaging, and the joy of hearing you discuss pieces you truly love and believe in. With this issue, we are not only celebrating a present milestone, but a rich history and a promising future. Everyone that has comprised Lumina has loved this journal enough to create, sustain, and project it into the future. We are grateful that love will continue for years to come. 


With gratitude,


Co-Managing Editors

Amanda Pendley and Catalina Irigoyen

Cover design by Olivia Webb



Tori Ingram

Next door neighbor’s a big ole bitch. I put snakes in her lawn, salt on her bluebonnets, curse on her creaky porch step. She’s still got the guts to sit out there and read. Ooooh, I read for hours, ooooh, I match my dress to my headwrap...


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