I appreciate the bounty of submissions we have received for this issue, many of them diving into the melding of art and poetry–from Eleanor Berry‘s anvil-shaped stanzas, so specific in their imagery that we can’t help but walk into the painting by Jim Shull which she almost leaves behind to Debby Bacharach‘s surreal response to Keiko Hara‘s installation, Topophilia. Diana Pinkney conjures the interior landscapes of the figures in the paintings of Edward Hopper. David Felix shares his mastery of visual poetry. Linda Cheryl Bryant collaborates in a broadside with artist Zsanan in an ambitious blend of artistry, imagery, and technology. Please take notice, too, of the delicate painting/poems of Lorelle Otis (cover art and back page) who successfully combines digital art and lettering with her watercolor images. There are several more equally effective “hybrids” in which the word and image combine to create something greater, a third communication, if you will, which is my test for a successful ekphrastic poem–these I leave you to discover as you read.
There is a handful of other poems that stand out for me, personally: Joy McDowell‘s Aristotle’s Lantern (–did you know that is the name of a sea urchin’s mouth?). She is one of a handful of poets in this issue who leans into science as she writes. See also, Amelia Diaz Ettinger and Brigitte Goetze, for intance. Doug Stone‘s At the River’s Edge, M. Johnsen‘s Mother, and Linda Chery Bryant‘s Summer County Hospice share a common theme. Jerri Otto‘s Vixen, Darren Demaree‘s The Best Wounds…Now really, I’m listing every poet. Better you just take your time and scroll through each page at your own pace. I promise you will find treasures.
In addition to many submissions, many strong submissions, we found remarkable geographic diversity in our contributors. We heard from Denmark, South Africa, Australia, Bogota, Sicily, India, Canada, the Pacific Northwest, California, Ohio, Nashville, and Massachusetts, among others. We also received pieces from emerging as well as established artists and writers. Word is out; the williwaw of poetry is gusting through our global community and right onto the page.
Thank you for reading what we have gathered. And in keeping with the holiday spirit, on this, the longest night of the year, please share what you like with your friends.