|volume 5 number 1
| Do continue to believe that with your feeling and your work you are taking part in the greatest; the more strongly you cultivate this belief, the more will reality and the world go forth from it.- Rainer Maria Rilke
Of all the arts today, poetry is the only one balanced on the precipice between greatness... and extinction.
I'm not making this declaration for the shock value. As an editor and poet, I have witnessed the censorship of poetry (including my own) in the name of "appropriate content," "readership values," and "commercial appeal." Every day, I see people reading text messages on their cellphones instead of books. Recently, a submission came my way where the "@" symbol replaced the word "at."
April 1st marks the beginning of National Poetry Month. The next 30 days in Los Angeles will be marked by a plethora of open mics, features, showcases, festivals, self-congratulatory pats on the back, etc.
My question is this: How much of this will actually be heard and remembered?
I started poeticdiversity not just to present a forum to bring together the incredible variety of poets and writers in the Los Angeles literary scene, but also to give a voice to those whose work, more often than not, is ignored by the masses. Most of the poets and writers published here in poeticdiversity are not Oprah Book Club Picks, J.K. Rowlings, Jewels or James Freys. They express themselves out of an absolute need to be heard above the censorious vacuum of a global dystopia.
Poetry has been marginalized. A month-long panacea cannot repair all the damage inflicted upon the oldest and most noble of avocations.
With that in mind, I have a request to make, as well as a promise to reiterate.
My request: As you begin to read the poems, the short stories, the interviews, the reviews, etc., please take a few moments to comprehend the magnitude of ideas, experiences and emotions expressed in this issue. And then, gifted with this new-found knowledge, the next time you're at an open mic, showcase, or poetry festival, to focus on one poet, and listen to what is being said. What you will come away with will astound you.
My promise is this: poeticdiversity will continue to do its best, in its own way, to stem the tide of entropy that threatens to extinguish poetry and literacy. Since we believe in quality, we will provide a forum for those who need a place to be read and heard, as well as remembered, for as long as we are able.
I want to thank guest editors Stephany Prodromides and Sister Taxi Hopscotch for selecting a good number of the poems that appear in this issue. I would also like to welcome the fabulous Carlye Archibeque, our new columns/reviews editor, and Theresa Antonia, our newest contributing editor.
In this issue:
Featured Poets: Lea Deschenes, Jamie Asae FitzGerald, Thomas Kramer, Kirsten Ogden, Traian Pop Traian, Elisha Porot, and Ryan Tranquilla.
Prose Feature: Liz Fortini.
Contributing Poets/Writers: Aderemi Adegbite, E. Amato, G.D. Anderson, Kristine Anderson, Aurora Antonovic, Carlye Archibeque, Michael Baker, Julia Bemiss, luis cuauhtemoc berriozabel, Bonnie Bolling, Lynn Bronstein (first runner up in the 2006 poeticdiversity prose contest), Graham Burchell, Dana Campbell, Lyn Cannaday, Steve Ceniceros, Karen E. Cole, David Concepcion, Christiane Conesa-Bostock, Eric Conroe, Joe Cyr, Steve De France, Martin Dickinson, Margarita Engle, Michael Estabrook, Jerry Garcia (with a kick-ass prose piece, check it out!), Timothy Green, Kenneth Gurney, John R. Guthrie, Tom Hamilton, Guy Hogan, Ali Hosseiny, Thea Iberell, Victor D. Infante, Kevin Lavey, Marie Lecrivain, Rick Lupert, Francis Masat, Mira N. Mataric, Terry McCarty, Paul McConnell, Raghab Nepal, Dave Nordling, Rita Odeh, Maurice Oliver, Brenda Petrakos, Marie Rennard, Francisca Ricinski-Marienfeld, Bryan Sanders, Annette Sugden, tolbert, and r.k. wallace.
Interview(s): Carlye Archibeque interviews Kate Gale, publisher of Red Hen Press, and Danielle Grilli interviews Shahe Mankerian, poet and teacher.
A Personal History of Rock 'N' Roll: The second in a four part series by G. Murray Thomas.
Reviews: Chris Abani's Hands Washing Water; Robyn Art's Vestigial Portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls; John Dorsey and S.A. Griffin's Virginerotica; Norman M. Klein's Freud in Coney Island and Other Tales; Alvarez Ricardez's Hot Mud Poems; and Paul Roessler's Eight Years.
Artist in Residence: Palos Verdes native and painter Jared Barbick.
Go ahead and revel in National Poetry Month... all year long!
See you in August.
||g murray thomas, charles claymore, carol smallwood, angel uriel perales, deborah l. warner, annette sugden
||maurico alejandro ramos
||puff, guinness, mr. poe (dearly departed), and vince