It is somehow fitting that the new year begins in the dead of winter. The silence of the snowy landscape, the frozen lakes and the darkness all seem to reinforce a single depressing message: the world is dead. Give up. There is nothing more to hope for. For the last week, overnight lows here along the north shore of Lake Superior have reached -25°F, which, for those who use a temperature scale that makes sense, is awfully, miserably cold. Still, with the dawning of a new year, I am reminded that the world is not dead, that spring will come again and that life is a circle, endlessly repeating.

It is in the tradition of this time of year to take stock of what has come to pass in the previous year, and we at In The Fray do not feel the urge to stray from that tradition. It is with this in mind that we look back over the previous year and select some of our favorite pieces.