ISSUE II

THE INSTITUTIONALIZED REVIEW

Readers, writers, friends,

 

 

 

It feels incredible to be producing our second issue—and to publish such remarkable work once again. Much like our first issue, the pieces contained in this batch are vulnerable, raw, and unwavering in their bravery.

If you weren't with us for our first issue, here are the original words on our mission: 

I started The Institutionalized Review in the hopes of creating a space where writing and art on institutional life—from those who lived through the unique experiences that accompany institutionalization—could be validated and honored. The initial mission of this magazine was to provide a literary platform for creatives who have experienced institutionalization + hospitalization; to return a sense of empowerment to those touched and altered by institutions, writers who may not have felt safe or able to place their creative work elsewhere.

The project's goalpost soon evolved to encompass writing and artwork that identifies with varying modes of institution—not solely those who have lived through psychiatric hospitalization, but also rehab, abusive troubled teen industry programs + facilities, oppressive structures of government, cults, conversion therapy, and other systems of confinement and dehumanization that are often misunderstood, misrepresented, and stereotyped in prose, poetry, and art. The writers of these subjects hold their truths and their narratives in their bodies, minds, and souls. The work that emerges from the excavation of these experiences takes an incredible amount of courage, resilience, and compassion to produce.

We stand by these statements and are deeply honored to get to provide a platform for these experiences to reach the light. The unique voices featured in our second issue tackle various modes of institutionalization, including psychiatric hospitalization, imprisonment, eating disorder treatment, rehab, adolescent inpatient hospitalization, psychiatric abuse, and more. These works capture the essence of psychological and physical entrapment, navigating survival and hope within institutions, and what it means to live within and in the aftermath of these otherworldly spaces. As with our prior issue, we are proud to be platforming writers and artists from all across the globe, featuring creatives from Nigeria, the UK, India, Canada, the United States, and elsewhere.

Since our publication deals in heavy topics, we have included content warnings along with the majority of our written pieces. Please take care while reading (or choosing not to read), and prioritize your emotional wellness. We love you as readers, but we love you more as people.

All in all, the empathy and compassion contained in this work is enormous. We have such admiration for the strength of the voices behind these stories. We are so grateful to you all, writers and readers, for producing and engaging with this courageous work.

Stay brave. Stay brilliant. Stay wonderful.

Warm regards and happy reading,

Piper Gourley, EIC

Endless and enormous thanks to our incredible associate editors: Andrea Day (Poetry), Ximena Delgado and Truth Thomas-Alexander (Prose), and Noé Nelli (Art).