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Spring 2017 Poetry Editors’ Note

Save/for dreaming, writes Marcia Brown, we know how to shut things out, and that sentiment is echoed in the haunting final image of Iain Hailey Pollock’s poem, California Penal Code 484 & 488, of a bike with a new lock, with double loop of new chain.

When we speak about valuing diversity, here at Solstice, what we’re really talking about is staying open to as many voices and experiences as possible. It would not be easy imagining all/ these lives intersecting, writes D.G. Geis in his poem Counting Crows, and yet that seems to be the very purpose of our journal – to encourage such intersections.

Sometimes it comes from conversation between poems rooted in various places – we have poems, here, from Ashland, Kentucky to Memphis, Tennessee; Ukraine to the Great Rift Valley.  And we have poems that explore the experience of being uprooted. We are the house and the tree,/ in somebody else’s story writes Ewa Chrusciel in her poem, Migrant’s Dream Under Water.

Sometimes the intersection is between content and form. Allison Rollins’ Elegy for a Broken Part might very well focus on brokenness, but its form offers us a sense of balance as her couplets repeat themselves in reverse order.  Dorothy McKibben might be the gatekeeper in John Canaday’s powerful poem, but she speaks in terza rima – a form of intertwined rhymes.

And sometimes the crossroads involve the past and the present. In the translations by Sola Bjarnadóttir-O’Connell from the Icelandic, Gerður Kristný’s quiet but vivid imagery almost recall paintings in a museum and Ingunn Snaedal’s sometimes sparse words almost appear to be anchored in the modern world of tweets and text messages.

These intersecting poems in our Spring Issue encourage us to stay open, ask us to shift from feeling closed to feeling close, remind us that Silence speaks, as Lee Sharkey writes, where a tongue may not.

Ben Berman and Dzvinia Orlowsky

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