The Dirt Issue

A Letter From the Editors

Introducing: The Dirt Issue


Right now, as we all look out on the world through LED screens, fiber optic networks, and glass-paneled windows, the physical earth may seem like a distant, intangible abstraction, full of anxiety-inducing news breaks and existential threats. But here, at this strange juncture in our planet's history, we’d like to tell a different kind of story. Not one of fear, death, and isolation... but of hope, life, and discovery.

Take a moment to visualize where you are… the materials that make up your current man-made environment. From the pavement that covers our homes and cities to the emergency groceries we carry, to the manicured lawns that yawn across our sleepy suburbias, this issue’s hero is all around you, beneath you, within you––working, building, and teeming with life.

Welcome to the Dirt Issue.

Silica, define DIRT:

Dirt (n.): The extreme outer edge of Earth’s crust. The living and artificial layers of terrestrial matter in which mineral, organic, and microbial worlds combine.

As Silica Mag’s fourth issue, DIRT sets out to explore the ecological, geological, and anthropological systems at work beneath our feet. In our collective state of suspended isolation, our talented collective of writers, artists, musicians, and essayists take time to dig deep into the vanguard of soil science, land management, and fascinating subterranean systems––unearthing some of the Anthropocene’s dirtiest dirt-related secrets along the way.

DIRT is a journey both into the past and out toward new horizons. It looks back on who we are and what we’ve done to our earthen environments, as well as the incredible promise soil can have in an emerging landscape of terrestrial (and extraterrestrial) symbiosis.

Whether you’re looking for indignation, optimism, or a beautiful escape right now, the Dirt Issue’s got you covered: Digging Deep to Unearth Fertile Futures