Freedoms are dying. People are dying. Children are screaming. Dogs are lost. Horses are being shot. Cattle are drowning. Even the last remaining bees must be trucked to crop blossoms. And still we write. We write about horrors. We write about dreams that make us want to sleep forever so we can keep having them. We write about plums. We write about angels and saints and restless drives in the desert. We write about Jupiter and Auden and hope and Rembrandt and Jesus. We write about the strange phenomena like memory foam. We write about toxic spill sites. We write about folktales and funerals and fathers and sons. We write about love—the falling, the reading, the shudder in our veins. We write about grief.
We began to assemble the summer 2018 issue a few weeks after twelve high school students and a teacher had been gunned down in yet another school shooting. A few months later, celebrities began to kill themselves. In the coming days, the White House began tearing children from their parents in a campaign meant to terrorize immigrants by seeking criminal prosecutions for a misdemeanor—crossing the border—the equivalent of a parking violation. Baltimore writer Justin Sanders wryly observed, “Thank God our 2nd Amendment stopped a tyrannical government from putting people in camps.”
So it may seem ironic this issue includes a folio of poems by Catherine Faurot which purport to be about various garden bulbs. The poet is as skillful as she’s indirect, and the reader is deep into these viii letter from the editor mysteries before drawing any connection to the greater mayhem. The summer 2018 issue also includes a suite of poems by Matthew Graham, whose earlier books, New World Architecture and 1946 we published in 1985 and 1991. His forthcoming, The Geography of Home, represents our return to book publishing. All readers and contributors are invited to send us manuscripts in January and June. And still we write. Barrett Warner