I recently went on vacation and decided to make a pilgrimage to the Auguste Rodin Museum.
Rodin was one of the most famous sculptors in history. His work was celebrated and vilified by his countrymen and peers. His statues and marble busts were larger-than-life, formidable, majestic and tempered with sorrow. While strolling amidst all this incredible art, it struck me how much love and power Rodin poured into his work; so much that a century later he still inspires generations of other artists to leave behind their own legacy in the name of Art.
All artists leave a legacy, especially poets, who sculpt their ideas into the minds of others. This issue of poeticdiversity has the great, though humble privilege of featuring the work of Jack Alan Shafer, poet, storyteller, and best of all: a true friend.
To say Jack was a giant in the poetry scene is an understatement. Jack would walk into a room, introduce himself with a smile, reveal he was a 'stage whore,' wait for the laughter to subside, then begin to weave his magic. Jack always told his tales with such conviction, humility and a candor so powerful, few were left unmoved.
Jack passed away on April 5. I had no idea I would be publishing his work posthumously, which makes it all the more important to remember Jack's contributions to the poetry community and the incredible poetic legacy he left behind.
This is another great issue, not just because of Jack, but also because of all the poets whose work is in poeticdiversity. From Dave Nordling's earnest and elegant verse, the lyrical poetry of Jeni Bate, to the gripping words of Laura Nye, these and all the other contributors are continuing to add to the incredible diversity of the LA poetry scene.
I would also like to thank the poets in our Beyond LA section. The feature is Pasquale Capacosa, editor of Poems Niederngasse, an international, multi-lingual poetry ezine based in Switzerland. Our contributors are Rosemarie Dombrowski, Kenneth P. Gurney, Corey Mesler, and Joseph Wistren.
Don't forget to take a look at the incredible artwork of Donald Langosy, our artist in residence for this issue. His series, "Poet as Muse," is…well…pretty damned amazing! We've partnered up his paintings with some of the poetry, but for a more detailed look at the incredible scope of his work, go to http://ewlyn.hispeed.com/langosy/.
I'd like to extend a special thanks to Ron Dvorkin, who graciously contributed some of his son Douglas Dvorkin's poetry to this issue. Also "thank you" to Rick Lupert, editor of PoetrySuperHighway, for his witty and amazing interview in our editor-at-large column (I don't have any gold bars for you yet Rick, still working on it). And I finally want to thank Larry Jaffe of Poetix for putting together a tribute page for Jack Shafer. To view the tributes left for Jack, go to www.poetix.net to the TOC page.
Enjoy this issue, and never forget the legacy of those who've gone before us, or of those who are still here. Like Jack used to say, "We hear each other. We hold each other's hands. We are not alone."