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RACHEL DL: I wish I was more of a nightmare

MYNA WALLIN: The Last Resort Hotel...

HLR: Custody Conversations

WANDERING BIKU: Alone & Lonely

DIMASILAW: All The Holy Things



MEL JAY: Clarity

RONALD TOBEY: Children's Hospital Boston Arrival/Departure

DYLAN WILLOUGHBY: Thoughts at El Matador...

WINSTON TL: My Healing Requires This Trigger

[sarah] CAVAR: to a specified fate)

NAOMI C. KENNY: And I, but a soul...


RICHARD LEISE: Perfectly Loud

MASON MARTINEZ: Prison Cells and Hospital Beds

JAINA CIPRIANO: Parental Paradigm



DARCY: Mind on Fire



THEODOROS CHIOTIS: centreofgravityinatringle...

Readers, writers, friends,

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 were blown away by the bold and insightful work that landed in our submission pile, and are proud to hold space for each author and artist included in this inaugural issue. We feature work that deals with psychiatric hospitalization, troubled teen industry facilities, systemic abuse, the culture of psychiatric care, eating disorder treatment, incarceration, post-diagnosis struggles, recovering from neglect and abuse within "treatment" settings, and much more. The magazine features the work of creatives worldwide, including (but not limited to) the United States, Nigeria, Canada, London, Zimbabwe, and the Phillipines.

Many of the pieces in this issue, by the nature of our mission, deal with heavy or potentially triggering topics. We have included content warnings along with many of our written pieces. If you may be vulnerable to any of the topics or themes mentioned in our content warnings, please prioritize your emotional needs, exercise self-care, and read (or choose not to read) with care. We love you as readers, but we love you more as people. Your wellbeing comes first.

We are deeply proud to hold space for such brave, vulnerable, and empathetic art. We thank you, writers and readers, for your engagement, compassion, and courage. 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).

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