Why poetry we sometimes ask ourselves (as if there’s really a choice). Why do we make what we make, why do we love what we love? The answers change over time, in our experience, but they never stop coming—there’s never a lack of reasons for the art. In this issue, we thought we would seek to illuminate both beautiful poems and several different philosophies behind devotion to poetry. Instead of an interview, we asked several poets the simple question why do you love poetry? See if Marianne Chan’s claim “it is, by far, the sexiest genre” speaks to you, or if Sakinah Hofler’s testimony that “A good poem makes me see the world anew. A good poem answers questions my subconscious didn’t even know it was asking” inspires you, or maybe if Carly Jo Miller’s adoration resonates, as she writes “…once I look up from reading, I feel a bit more connected to the world, to others, as if we’re all trying to find the strange music this world has to offer”—and we could go on, but we’ll let you read the rest of the answers, written beautifully enough to be poems themselves.
Then there is the main offering, of course: this issue’s poems. They span a wide range of feelings and experiences, as if to demonstrate just how spacious poetry can be. “In church I was told I was only/ good for sinking,” Raye Hendrix writes in a haunting piece that breaks desire open. “Again a June/ of fruit flies and dried blood, of peeling myself away/ like a red arrow,” Gale Marie Thompson writes in a poem that wanders through self-definition, hypnotizing the reader. “Hypochondria is the least powerful of the Greek gods,” Emily Paige Wilson’s poem about ancient deities—but really, about us ordinary mortals—opens. These poems walk through churches and therapists’ offices and lakes, through motherhood and 1950s beauty standards and death of a loved one. These poems are all over the map, and we see that as part of their beauty as a collection. Combined with the airy artwork by Amanda Hedrick, our hope is that this issue will remind you why you love poetry, and maybe take your love in a new direction.