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When it comes to considering my favourite type of environment, I don’t particularly enjoy ones that are abundant, robust or arable. Nothing good comes from being satisfied in the location in which you reside; literature is not a badger set for green leaves or happiness: there is no joy in this journal and rightly so. The best habitat to unfurl your ink-quill anchor is a desolate one, an ecosystem where there is no running water, natural light or brunch. It is in a Harsh Environment where we flourish, growing sunflower roots out of our eyeballs, swaying with armadillo shells; promenading on the husks of defunct cockroaches. I am beyond delighted that this is the theme of the inaugural issue of University of Sheffield’s MA and PhD Creative Writing Journal Cicatrice, plucked ever so democratically one fateful cheese evening in May. We have graveyards, ill-fated liaisons, turkey slaughter, moons, Embers that Remain, devil cats, and Victorian asylum advertising to name but a few. A poetry, prose and creative non fiction collection of magnificent hostility to help contemplate the despondent nature of a homestead, grown arid by time. 


Thanks to Àgnes Lehóczky and Adam Piette for agreeing to the conception of Cicatrice and all their support in bringing it to publication. Thank you to our illustrator Ollie Hayes who designed our beautiful cover page and logo. A special thanks to Joshua Sandeman for showing me how to build our website, despite saying he was going to arrive at 3pm and didn’t. And the biggest thank you to all our writers, including all the members of Ohio State, whom without their contributions this would be a sad, empty page.  


Rebecca Sandeman


P.S. Thank you Sam Kendall, for always taking out the kitchen bin when it gets too full. 

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