Issue 5, Spring 2022
We can’t wait for you to dive into another dynamic issue of Floodwall, the student-run, campus literary magazine at the University of North Dakota. We know that this academic year has been filled with many unexpected and unanticipated challenges. Even as we’ve been preparing this spring’s issue, the winter snows have melted, the Grand Forks community has been hit by several unexpected “spring” blizzards, and the Red River has passed into major flood stage. For the Grand Forks community and our own UND family, this late-spring surge of weather has been a haunting reminder of the 1997 flood, when the Red River crested at well over 50 feet. The flood reached upwards of three miles inland—resulting in the evacuation of East Grand Forks, Minnesota, and most of the population of Grand Forks.
Floodwall takes its name from the wall and earthworks erected near the Red River after the 1997 flood, in order protect the community from future natural disasters. After several fraught years of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and this late-in-the-semester threat of floods, all of us on the Floodwall team remain grateful to the writers, artists, photographers, and creators in our campus community who offer us shelter through their creative work. In these times, more than ever, our community needs art and creative expression to bring us together, to understand the ties that bind us, and to build something—side by side—that will inspire and shelter future members of our #UNDProud community.
And the work in this spring’s issue of Floodwall does just that, while also lifting a mirror up to the world around us. A maniacal director imagines a harrowing reality TV show that mashes up corporate sponsorships and America’s carceral state. A dialogue with a crow offers inspiration and hope. Chocolate oranges in tinfoil recall a moment of childhood joy, of unexpected luxury. A pianist calms the ravenous hearts of the undead. The classic rom-com You’ve Got Mail and our favorite coffee orders receive fresh scrutiny—with a sharp-eyed appeal to always be yourself.
These are only a few of the pieces in this spring’s issue. We’re also thrilled to acknowledge the recipients of this year’s UND creative writing scholarships—the John Little Fiction Scholarship, the Thomas McGrath Award in Poetry, and the Gladys Boen Scholarship—and to include some of the recipients’ work in this issue. And, while you’re here, be sure to check out this issue’s masthead for a list of all the student readers, editors, and volunteers who made this issue possible.
Now, there’s only more thing to say: step behind the ’wall, and enjoy the journey into this spring’s fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Trust us—you’ll love what’s in store.
Download the complete issue of Floodwall as a PDF: Floodwall volume 2, issue 5 PDF.