During the submission period for Issue 10, we received a bittersweet story about a lesbian reconnecting with one of her first girl crushes, before she knew she liked girls, before she had the courage to do anything about it. “There is No Ocean” by Shannon Smith, to us, was an excellent metaphor for Midwestern transplants who leave, discover a broad, more diverse world and return changed—yet are unable to relate to the life they left behind.
Sadly, after accepting this wonderful fiction, Shannon passed away suddenly. We didn’t have the opportunity to know her as well as her friends, her family and all the people she touched, but we’re honored to share one of her final pieces of work in our magazine, and hope that it’s an enduring slice of her life that others can remember her by.
Shannon had a dual MA/MLIS in English and Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an undergraduate degree from Columbia University. She lived and worked in Boston, but constantly considered moving back to the Midwest.
If you’re also inclined, gifts may be made to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Shannon’s memory to support cancer research and patient care.