We’ve missed you. We’ve been consumed with job transitions, degree requirements, relationships (in tough & good ways, but all landing on positive), & the general busyness of full lives. It’s with pleasure we get to return to Nightjar, to offer you this slightly belated but beautiful issue. While we’ve been immersed in our personal worlds, poetry hasn’t taken a breather, & the gorgeous pieces this issue highlights demonstrate that. The world will always go on being terrible & wonderful, & the poets will always go on documenting that delicately.
The poems in this issue contain our winner & finalists from our first ever contest, judged by the amazing Jericho Brown. We’re so grateful for all the submissions, & can still barely believe how many quality pieces we had to choose from. We hope you know how talented you all are! There are, too, gorgeous poems plucked from the slush pile.
While this issue, as always, was not guided by a theme, the poems seem to sink into an awareness of the wildness both inside & outside of us. “Life may not get/ easier or harder or different than we/ imagined, but the weight feels right/ for the deeds we drag behind us,” John Sibley Williams instructs. “Weather shifts,/ heaves its weight against the hedgerow./ The farm rises and falls like a chest,” Jessica Poli warns. “Love is a response/ to unbearable pain./ Love makes us bear it,” Molly Bess Rector breathes.
The poems we have to offer you now are full of vast heaviness, but they also find the beauty, the moments of perspective that make it all worthwhile. These poems appreciate the huge, complicated universe that houses us. They recognize our smallness & do not fight or regret it.
We hope you love these works like we do. We hope they bring you some pause or perspective and that you come back to them, like we have, again and again.