Happy New Year! It’s early January as we put this newsletter to press, so I can still say that and mean it. Big thanks to everyone who made the marathon possible (see: page 7 and a few photos of the big day on 5 and 8).
So thrilled to be able to feature these poets and artists. They are some of the hardest working ones I know:
Philip Metres graces the cover and gives us two poems on pages 10 and 22. If you haven’t read Sand Opera, be a good citizen and order it NOW from Alice James Books. You’re welcome.
Read Charleen McClure’s poem on page 11 aloud. You might also want to cut it out and keep it in your wallet. Show it to people you care about.
If you don’t yet know about Justin Phillip Reed, please get to reading this daring and inventive poet in advance of his full length debut, INDECENCY. I first heard him read the poem on page 14 during the Conversation Literary Fest and was left stunned and stung by its sound and its truth. It’s necessary and I’m grateful to be able to share it with you all.
Roberto Montes, once again, tackles the complexity of this poet life in GRIEVANCES on page 12.
And as a response to the lack of intersectional resistance curation I see in the art world, I had to use this space to bring in the brilliant Leila Abdelrazaq. I highly recommend her graphic novels, Baddawi and The Opening.
While our reviewers enjoyed the holidays, John Rufo picked up the slack, nearly authoring an entire reviews section by themself! Thank you, John! We are lucky to have your voice and insights into these works. You don’t want to miss it, starting on page 23, including a record review of, Alice Notley: Live in Seattle by Jason Merritt.
And last but not least, Jayson P. Smith, a beacon in our community, caught up with us about their experience as an Emerge-Surface-Be Fellow, check it out on page 30. You also want to make sure to attend their phenomenal reading series: NOMAD.
Grateful to all the contributors and you, the reader.
Until soon, mh.