The contention that art is a luxury is flat out wrong. Literature, music, the visual arts are conduits for communicating emotions from love and happiness to sadness and remorse. Art explores these feelings, guiding us to a better understanding of ourselves and the world; as such it is nothing less than an extension of the soul. Communication is a basic human instinct and art is communication elevated to its highest level.

Practitioners of the art of prose and poetry eerge from virtually all segments of society. The current iiissue of Free State Review is a case in point. Our contributors hail from California to New York, from Florida to Michigan. On the following pages, we proudly feature, among others, works by a Census Bureau project manager, a mural painter, an elementary school teacher, a classical singer, a psychologist, a regional orchestra violist, a children;s book author/artist, and the editor for an advocacy organization.

Speaking of pride, there can be no higher satisfacion for the editors of a fledgling publication than national recognition. Congratulations are in order for Sandra Ramirez, author of “Stray,” which appeared in only the second issue of FSR, and has been selected as a notable work in Best American Essays of 2014. Her biographical sketch for our journal notes that she was brought up in Santa Monica, California, where her family lived next to a Shell Oil station, that “she rode skateboards and waves, shot hoops and pool, and once skipped a high school class to drive to San Francisco because it was a niceday to do so.” I metion his as a rejoinder to those who would dare write off art as an elitist affectation.

There is not a doubt in my mind that Ms. Ramirez’s essay is a harbinger of the acclaim Free State Review will garner as the years slip by. Her award redoubles our committment to attract the quality of contributions FSR is bringing and will continue to bring to our readers who understand that art is not a luxury but a necessity.

H.N. Burdett
Editor in Chief