Dear Reader,

Like us, perhaps you are looking for different perspectives: the world is big, though our lives can feel insular and small, and sometimes we need the reminder. This is what literature does at its best—communicates that there’s more beauty and sadness and joy to be held than just our own, and this is why we chose David Attenborough for Issue 3’s official-unofficial theme.

We didn’t know how people would respond when we put out a call for Attenborough-inspired work, but it’s an absolute pleasure to announce that our contributors did not disappoint:

Yael van der Wouden’s fictional advice column “Dear David” is tender,  and it made us laugh. Laughter should never be taken for granted, and we can’t thank Yael enough for writing and sharing this piece with the world.

Michael B. Tager’s poem collection “I Am David Attenborough and These Are My Nature Poems” marries hip-hop and Attenborough’s perspective on nature. Hip-hop and David Attenborough would seem an unlikely pair, but aren’t both life-affirming? Check out his other poems from this series in Hobart. You won’t regret it.

Kathryn McMahon’s story “Inviting in the Universe” is about a woman struggling with loneliness, how the world can sometimes feel too small and empty, and her decision to expand it. We’re so thrilled to be the home of such an honest piece.

Hannah VanderHart’s poem “Dowry of a Nature Explorer” has striking imagery and is both an ode to Attenborough and the hopes a mother has for her son, while the last Attenborough-inspired piece is Dina Strasser’s poem “Kindertransport.”  We are beyond excited to be the home to Dina’s first published poem.

Though not every piece in this issue is inspired by Attenborough, all have drawn each member of the Longleaf team outside of ourselves, and this is more than we could have hoped for. So, to everyone who submitted and contributed: thank you, thank you, thank you. Reading all of your stunning work for this issue has been an absolute joy and privilege for us.

We also hope Issue 3 makes the world more delightful for all of our readers too, and thank you for continuing to support our little journal.

Lastly, a big shout out to Corey Kolb for creating the artwork featured on the cover. His collages are digitally cut from vintage National Geographic magazines, and you will find them throughout the issue. We’re grateful for all of the time and talent he put into making this issue beautiful.

The Editors