Happy summer and welcome to Issue 3! We have been hard at work reviewing many beautiful submissions—over 350 since the release of Issue 2. We’ve been grateful to read poems from around the world and are proud to showcase 13 extraordinary poets in this issue.
Our job isn’t over yet, though; we are now busy diving into your contest submissions! In October, we’ll publish our first annual prize issue, featuring the winner and finalists of the 2014 Coniston Prize, judged by Mary Biddinger.
There is some magic in the way poems find their way to us. This time around, we notice that a social consciousness prevails in many of the poems collected in Issue 3. These are not poems that echo inside the mind of the poet, but poems written out to the world. Many of these speakers summon powers greater than themselves to process and communicate their experiences. Quite a few of these speakers, in turn, display extraordinary powers themselves; they are not afraid of the unknown, of death or whatever lies beyond our consciousness—they reach into that mystery and endeavor to connect with and through it.
As with Issues 1 and 2, many of the poets published here explore families and family dynamics. Fathers and daughters, grandfathers and grandsons, cousins, mothers, uncles, and brothers. These poets push past the safe places we can settle and into the intense complexities of human relationships. Through specificity of language and, in particular, the naming of unusual things, these poets make their distinct voices sing. There are many names, places and objects in this issue we didn’t even know existed!
Likewise, the artists we have selected to feature in Issue 3 dazzle us. Here, you’ll find artists working in a variety of media—watercolor, photography, oil painting, intaglio—each developing their own unique sense of purpose and style.
Please join us in acknowledging the bravery of our contributors. And please enjoy the exhilarating work that comprises this issue.
Rachel Marie Patterson and Dara-Lyn Shrager