Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summertime and the Reading is Wonderful at Ithaca Lit

I had the pleasure of being the Guest Editor for the Summer 2012 issue of Ithaca Lit, a very nice online journal founded by Editor Michele Lesko and co-edited by Sherry O'Keefe. This issue marks the end of the journal's first year, so a big round of applause! I had poems in the first issue, Autumn 2011, and the guest editorship came about as a result of that. The journal comes out four times a year, each scheduled to occur on the solstice.

One of my jobs was to suggest a poet to be the issue's Featured Poet. I suggested Bruce Guernsey and Michele agreed that he'd be perfect for the spot, especially since his new book, From Rain: Poems 1970-2010, had just come out. Bruce is the former editor of The Spoon River Poetry Review as well as an accomplished poet with five full-length collections and seven chapbooks. He's also been featured four times on Ted Kooser's "American Life in Poetry" and has a fifth feature coming up. After reading his new collection, I sent him the interview questions which he then responded to. His responses are wonderful. Be sure to read this Interview. I had a hard time but a good time selecting just five of Bruce's poems to feature. I think you'll enjoy the range, craft, and variety of these Poems. (You can purchase From Rain at Amazon.)

My other role was to invite a handful of poets to submit work to the journal. Hard to narrow down to just a handful, but I'm happy to say that work was accepted by all seven of the poets I invited. In addition, there is work by five other poets. One aspect of this journal that I like is that each issue is limited to a dozen poets, making the journal one you can get through in one sitting but also one you'll want to return to. You'll remember these Poems.

Yet another admirable feature of the journal is its attention to art. Every single page has a piece of art as its header. As you can see from the two images I've included here, the theme for this issue is Chairs. How appropriate for summer! But there's more. There's a featured artist, Michel Delgado. You'll find an Interview with Michel conducted by the editor and, best of all, a Gallery of his work.

There's also an interview with Seamus Heaney, a music feature, and several prose pieces. Please visit Ithaca Lit and be sure to bookmark it. You'll want to go back.


  1. diane,

    you brought so much goodness to our latest issue! the entire issue comes together with a summer freshness. especially enjoyed your interview with bruce guernsey and feel inspired once again to write my own poetry and to read more of his work and the work of the other writers in this issue.


  2. Sherry--I think that one of the best compliments a poet can receive is to know that his work inspired someone else's. I'm so pleased that Bruce's poems have relit your fire.

  3. I'm late to seeing this Diane, so please accept my apologies! Thank you so much for your incredible choices, which made this issue so rich. Bruce Guernsey's poetry & interview Are top-notch. All of the poets you chose have contributed poems that inspire. I know I've been reading them again & again. It turned out to be a fabulous issue. Thank you for being a big part of Ithaca Lit's first year.

  4. My apologies for coming to this so late Diane!

    It is due to your collaboration with us that this first year ended with a summer issue filled with incredible poetry. These poems inspire and communicate with readers in just the way we'd set out to do. Bruce Guernsey's work reverberates with its depth. He is also a poet whose deft handling of craft enlightens other poets. I continue to enjoy rereading this issue.

    Thank you for being a big part of this first year's success!

  5. Michele, it was a pleasure. I'm also enjoying and revisiting the poems as I had not read them prior to their publication.


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