Saturday, October 17, 2009

New Valparaiso Poetry Review

Happy 10th Anniversary to Valparaiso Poetry Review! And kudos to its founder and editor, Ed Byrne. VPR has long been one of my favorite online journals; in fact, it was one of the first online ones I ever submitted to. And back then submissions were sent by snail mail. This special issue is absolutely fabulous. I'm so pleased to be part of it.

The issue begins with an essay by Byrne in which he thanks his readers and contributors and also explores the evolution of online journals. Speaking of his original intention, he says, "I felt a responsibility to produce an online literary journal that would attain a certain amount of respect and would contribute to the overall stature of electronic magazines . . ." That's exactly what he's done. Mission accomplished.

Byrne also says, "Moreover, when I glance at the 'acknowledgments' pages of new books of poetry or volumes of literary commentary, I find myself noting how many titles of online journals, including Valparaiso Poetry Review, are represented side by side with those titles of traditional print periodicals, all of which seem to have adopted at least some degree of online presence as well in recent years." I recall that until recently such Acknowledgments pages often distinguished between which journals were print and which were online. I no longer see that. And I'll add that my next book will contain 5 poems that first appeared in VPR.

Charles Wright is the featured poet in this issue. Here's the entire lineup of poets: Sherman Alexie, Mary Biddinger, Jared Carter, Katharine Coles, Alfred Corn, Kwame Dawes, Susan Donnelly, Cornelius Eady, Claudia Emerson, Patricia Fargnoli, Annie Finch, Daisy Fried, Reginald Gibbons, H. Palmer Hall, T.R. Hummer, Allison Joseph, David Kirby, Dorianne Laux, Frannie Lindsay, Diane Lockward, Sebastian Matthews, Eric Nelson, Joel Peckham, Greg Rappleye, Margot Schilpp, Jeffrey Skinner, Floyd Skloot, Martha Silano, Dave Smith, Alison Stine, Virgil Suarez, Elizabeth Swados, Daniel Tobin, Catherine Tufariello, Brian Turner. There are also five book reviews.

I have two poems in this issue, Hunger in the Garden and The Temptation of Mirage. The first one is a kind of form poem. (I challenge you to figure out the form). Check out the entire issue. You will find much to enjoy and admire there.

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