Identity – The ability to define not only ourselves, but the world around us is a powerful tool. We can use take confidence in who we are based on our cultural backgrounds, our interests and beliefs or our goals. It can also be used to strip away our humanity and organise us into faceless demographic groups for others to exploit or demonise. This issue sheds light on the individual stories relating to how each of the 22 authors and poets see themselves and their place in life, reminding us that behind every stereotype are millions of unique stories worthy of being shared or celebrated.

In this issue: flick through pages of stamps with Christina Tang-Bernas as she brings a sense of order to her compulsive collection in A Eulogy in Stamps, share the anguish of sibling rivalry with Die Booth in The Cutter, risk entangling with bears in search of the serenity of a trout stream with Michael Carter in Blood Knot and finally, reflect on the role that high-profile medical cases play on our opinions about life, death and the idignity of disease in Phil Berry's moving essay Stigmata.