If we think of rhythm as the relationship between contrasting elements, then there is a wonderful rhythmic conversation playing throughout all the poems in this issue. Why do we say things that can break glass? Matthew Gallant asks in his poem Inscription, just as Richard Garcia’s piece offers us the destruction of light into painful shards. Meanwhile the form of Tanuja Mehrotra’s Torch Song, which threads so many snippets with the repeating lines of a ghazal, seems to speak to Alysia Harris’ poem, Crow’s Sugar—the winner of this year’s Stephen Dunn Prize—whose form offers us the dynamic tension between alternation and alteration. And it’s hard not to hear each of these poems as both another nod to impermanence, as Greg Kosmicki writes in his fine poem One Time, and a fair shake against it. It was a pleasure and privilege to read all the poems submitted to this year’s contest, and we hope you enjoy the conversation between the poems selected for this summer’s issue.
Ben Berman and Jamaal May