Watching tornadoes and snowstorms make their way across the continent this week has reminded me, again, of just how little we are able to control. And that the familiar theme that I suspect many of us learned in school of “man versus nature” is pure hubris: in the way that only foolish pride would see the world through a lens of the conflict “elbow versus body” or “tree versus soil” or, even, “fish versus cloud.” Which is to say, there is so little we are able to control when the natural world is externalized, when we fail to recognize and respect the part we play as part of it.
There is a dying back in our winter issue, as befits the season. Alison Davis’s poem “The Poet Revists Herself in Spring” opens the issue and reminds us that “The poet is always here, taking notes,” and “constellating her tender-tongued / self into every season.” But the loss we find in winter serves a cycle of renewal, one that crosses both generational lines and the lines within an evolving self that retains the past while recognizing loss, as the opening line of Daniel Bailey’s prose piece “Clara Barton and Me” asserts: “It turns out at 70 I’m still a first-grader.” There are things, we hear in one of Zoe Dickinson’s poems, that we must let “wilt on the compost heap / to make room for parsley.” The world, it seems, can be something very much like Patrick Ganey’s description of Khlong Toie Market: a “labyrinth of life death and sustenance.”
Issue Twenty-Seven includes poetry and prose from Daniel Bailey, Becky Boling, Beth Copeland, Alison Davis, Zoe Dickinson, Patrick Ganey, Gabby Gilliam, Jack Granath, D. E. Green, Paul Ilechko, Michael McCormick, Steve McCown, Karla Linn Merrifield, Andi Myles, James B. Nicola, Patrick T. Reardon, Julie A. Ryan, Louise Robertson, Jane Rosenberg LaForge, L. G. Rymond, Greg Sendi, Kevin Winchester, and Marly Youmans. The issue also includes images by W Goodwin, whose “Bear Creek Cottonwood, Denver Suburbs” is this season’s cover image.
Digital and print versions of our winter issue are available through Mag Cloud. Digital versions of the issue are free, and perfect-bound copies of the issue will cost twelve dollars. You can order print copies and read the issue online at this link.