Reading the contributions to this issue of Free State Review, I found myself once again pondering the question of whether it is more satisfying to publish the work of an acknowledged master of his craft like Chales Harper Webb or to discover a young poet with a high ceiling of potentional like Kyle Solomon.
Webb is the author of several poetry collections and the recipient of the prestigious Whiting Award. Solomon, whose work I first came upon in his college’s literary journal, has published only one poem other than the “July 16th: Dr. No,” which appears here.
As for the question I pondered, my conclusion is: a dead heat. Still the exercise was worthwhile, as it redoubled my resolve to bring to FSR readers more of both th Webbs and the Solomons, ensuring that they will have the continuing delight of savoring what the old lions are up to, as well as the thrill of catching the next generation of masters on their way up.
The prose in the current issue is particularly strong, from Abigail Greenbaums’s “Tell Me You’re All Right” to Donna Baier Stein’s “Mile High Menapause” and Chelsey Clammer’s “Remembering “Jalacia.”
Finally, Jenny Keith has been declared the winner of the first John Elsberg Poetry Prize. Contest judge Sue Ellen Thompson had this to say about “I’ve Been Hit,” Keith’s winning entry: “Plainspoken diction exists side-by-side with densely-packed craft-laden phrases; humor keeps its head just below the surface. It’s a poem that never stops m
Enjoy your bushel of crabs, Jenny, which should be that much more delicious on top of Sue Ellen’s words.