I am sending out this little flag of poems to the people who have said they want to hear, to see. I have gathered them from the 4 corners, culled from them a multiplicity of voices—grieving or celebrating, loving or dying—the human experience on every page. I know it is only a finger in the dike, a stop-gap before the flood of catastrophic events again subsumes our attention. But if the sages are correct, if putting our attention on what we want to “increase” is the key, then it is well that we look to poetry. And if it is our calling to write the words onto the page, then that is an even better keener focus of our attention; perhaps we can stay the floods another moment or two.
So let’s step out of catastrophe and into poetry as respite, beginning with a few statistics.
First, in regards to the epistolary prompt, there are seventeen poems written to someone. There are four water poems. six poems concerned with illness, four with death. There is a snake poem, a rat poem, a squirrel poem, a sax poem. Also poems to or about dads, moms, grandmothers, and babies. An orange swimsuit, an engine, a couple of dreams, and two poems about editing or darning words.
There are ten poets from Oregon, five from California, four from Texas, three from Iowa, two from Seattle, WA. Vermont, Idaho, North Carolina, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Massachusetts are the other states represented in these pages. Also, Vancouver Island, Bangalore, India, and Lahore, Pakistan. Fifteen identified as male, sixteen identified as female. Emerging poets and accomplished.
Robert Eastwood’s “A Note to the Young Woman who took the Dead Squirrel off the Street” wins the prize for best title.
I’ll leave you to gather your own statistics and perhaps to find your favorite poem of the day as we turn towards the dark on this Fall Equinox,
Yours in poetry,