First, as with any collaborative editorial effort, I want to thank everyone who worked on this issue, including our wonderful editorial assistants, and our founding editor Jodee Stanley. I can say that Jodee and I have wanted to have an issue of Ninth Letter that focused on Midwestern Writers for a long time, and I feel fortunate to have been editor for it. One of the things I’m proudest of is the tremendous diversity displayed in the issue by writers who identify as Midwesterners, whether it be diversity of background, diversity of experience, or diversity of race and gender. This issue flies in the face of traditional notions of what a Midwesterner is and what he/she writes about. The curatorial experience was all the more satisfying because I read so many voices that were unique, complicated, and yet still so intensely Midwestern, something I (after so many years) feel I’m now inexorably a part of. Reading these pieces changed my thinking about who and what the Midwestern writer is, and we hope it does the same for you.

—Matthew Minicucci