Scoundrel Time

One Year In: How Will It End?


Special to Scoundrel Time:

Twenty-two writers imagine how the current administration will end.


A Note From the Editor

One year ago today, we launched Scoundrel Time in response to the devastating U.S. presidential election and clear threats posed to democracy and freedom. Our goal was, and still is, to provide a place for artists to respond to the world situation. The past year has been difficult, troubling, frightening, anxiety-provoking, and dangerous, and yet there have been bright spots that leave room for optimism and hope. We believe art will always play a crucial role in helping us process, reflect, respond, engage, appreciate, commiserate, hope, dream, and cope, while encouraging empathy and helping us hold onto our humanity in an environment that tries to drag us away from it, attempts to lure us to look the other way, to deny what’s happening, and to forget who we are. We won’t. You won’t. We try our best to pay attention, as artists, as people. Sometimes we succeed; sometimes we fail. We keep trying.

In honor of our 1st anniversary, we reached out to a group of writers and asked them to respond to the question of how they imagine “all this” will end. The range of reactions reflects the range of sensibilities among the writers as well as the range of possibilities. Fictional scenarios seem to take some precedence over straight-up fact-based predictions, though we’ve got both. In fiction, writers responded with both realistic scenarios and fantastic ones, humorous as well as dark.

We are grateful to all the writers who took the time to contribute their work for this endeavor. All of their work can be found on the page called “How It Ends.” Each post is also linked in the list of contributors below:

Erica Baum

Karen Bender

Tony Eprile

W. Ralph Eubanks

Carolyn Ferrell

Dionne Ford

Paul Goldberg

Kristen Iskandrian

Hillary Jordan

Daniel Menaker

Melody Moezzi

Mary Morris

Alissa Quart

Elizabeth Rosner

Maria Saba

Rion Amilcar Scott

Karen Shepard

Jim Shepard

Robert Anthony Siegel

Joan Silber

Peter Trachtenberg

Paula Whyman

We could not have made it this far, a full year, without the many artists and writers—more than 100 of them—who contributed their outstanding work and (I’m sorry to say) for no money. Our endless gratitude to you and admiration for your fine work.

We are a staff of volunteers, producing this journal out of our commitment to meaningful engagement as artists in these difficult, challenging days. The first year of this adventure would not have been possible without these passionate, brilliant, and energetic people I am lucky to work with: fiction editor Karen Bender; poetry editor Daisy Fried; contributing editors Dave Singleton and Robert Anthony Siegel; actions editor Ellen Louise Ray; our editorial associates who wear many hats – Christine Mallon, Heather Hughes, Elisabeth Booze, and Ellie Paolini; social media associate Tessa Cheek; and web expert Francesca Phillippy. It was a major undertaking to launch this journal last January. We started planning shortly after the election in November 2016. I’m grateful to publisher Mikhail Iossel for his help in getting the journal off the ground; to web designer Will Amato for working many hours to build our website; to Rachel Léon for her outreach efforts; to Karen Bender and to Mark Svenvold, poetry editor emeritus, for establishing such a high bar from the very start for the quality of the work we present. And I’m grateful most of all to you, our readers, who tell us again and again how much the work we publish means to you. As one reader noted, “…art does really keep so many of us emotionally alive when the temptation is to shut down.”

Thank you for reading.