Letter from the Publisher: Spring 2021

by Karen Floyd



Hamnet, by Maggie O’Farrell
Winner of the 2020 Womens’ Prize for Fiction


by Karen Flloyd, Publisher of Elysian Magazine


Last month in my bi-weekly Pure Barre class, a young female lawyer and I took up a conversation. We are typically stationed side by side on the front bar of our socially distanced studio. I always arrive early, so I have the space between the two strongest in the class, the instructor and Marghretta. This prime spot allows me to emulate their precise exercise movements and rhythm counts, much needed to offset my ineptness. On this particular day, Marghretta asked me if I had read the book Hamnet, which she was reading; and which she kindly lent me the following week.

Our lives always become richer when we listen to the quiet messages from others’ acts of kindness. The timeliness of Hamnet, self-described as “A Novel of the Plague” is undeniable. Agnes, the fictional wife of Shakespeare, loses her only son to “the pestilence,” aka the bubonic plague, and yet she perseveres; she overcomes. Remarkably, in the storyline is the strength of her/our humanity, her sheer willpower, and Hamnet’s affirmation of life over death.

In every interview and throughout these pages, there is an undercurrent of how the pandemic has influenced and impacted lives, causing a recalibration of sorts. The need to be wellness “centered” is critical because, in the final analysis, we (individually) are “the source from which everything flows.”

The resounding theme of the novel Hamnet, inspiring interviews and wellness-focused content is simple: Life is short, live it well.

Inspiring women. (Anecdotal stories)

As we further our mission to inspire and connect women globally, ELYSIAN’s interviews provide an even deeper and more extensive exploration into the lives of two exceptional women. Inspiring Women Carol Alt and Dara Torres share remarkable similarities and also stark differences in their life’s journeys.

Both “ascended” with no road map to follow, broke through the unknown, and achieved what others dare to dream. They share the title “first”; Carol Alt—the first supermodel and Dara Torres—the first five-time Olympian and 12-time medalist, winning three silver medals at age 42. At the forefront of both Inspiring Women’s interviews was a notion of harnessing God’s given talent and joining that with willpower and determination. While both women graced the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, their paths to the cover could not be more different. Abundant life lessons are shared by these amazing women in their New York and Florida interviews.

As in each issue of ELYSIAN, the perspectives of accomplished women are juxtaposed with a “Change Creator” who is embarking upon her journey, like that of Liquivida’s CFO and co-founder, Shayna Tejada.

Graceful living. (Deliberate, spirited and bold)

In keeping with the idea of living well and the constant theme of change, ELYSIAN’s Karen Fragala Smith introduces two new featurettes: My U-Turn—dedicated to women’s lives’ focus shift and/or evolving second careers and The Gospel According to—words from wise women selected for each quarterly issue. My U-Turn’s inaugural column spotlights Katie Sheehan, the founder of Loft & Daughter. Inspired by the simplicities, natural elements and colors of India, a woman reroutes her life and her business. The words of Carmen D’Alessio are captured in The Gospel According to… offering a new twist for our readers to enjoy.
Finally, the iconic lives of Tina Turner and Sophia Loren exemplify graceful living and serve as a reminder of “a life well-lived.”

Philanthropy (Impact giving, creating a legacy)

In the spring season of growth and rebirth, we encourage purposeful giving. ELYSIAN IMPACT’s vision, to eradicate violence against women and children, undergirds our support of local Domestic Violence and Children Advocacy centers. In this Wellness Issue, we also bring attention to Taraji Henson and the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, whose focus is on mental wellness among the underserved African American communities.

In closing

We dedicate this Wellness Issue to all women’s quest for wellness. Dara Torres (physical), Tina Turner (mental), and Martha Wiedemann (spiritual), we salute you… and the many who follow.


With much love,

Karen Floyd

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