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Cover by Juliana Arias-Ruiz
For the Fall 2016 issue of The Maynard the editors had the chance to read over 1000 pages of poetry from over 200 poets, and then put together this collection for your eyes and ears.
Four of The Maynard’s editors worked together to produce this issue. Each poem was read by eight eyes, giving the poets what they merit: close, careful reading and rereading of their work by as many editors as possible. During the selection process, our varying reading practices, aesthetic backgrounds and influences, and poetic sensibilities were in conversation… and sometimes in conflict. We helped each other reread pieces, leading to new appreciation; there were also moments of beautiful obstinacy, ending in compromise. We started out in our own corners, diving into the submissions pile individually. Then came the marathon editors’ meeting to come up with a short list—57 poets. From there we had to choose the very best to arrive at 22-24 voices. The learning curve quickly became a lemniscate, evidence of the quality of poems we read, the difficult choices that were made, and the energy and attention devoted to our final selection. The high number of submissions from women was encouraging. So was the quality; most of our editorial tugs-of-war were over women’s work. We want to hear more from underrepresented voices—women writers, writers of color, and LGBTQ writers.
Our four-person dialogue has created a space for 24 voices of edgy and sometimes odd work that engages us on many levels of language. Laughter is both community-building and transgressive, so when a poem makes us laugh we take note—like Meghan Bell’s “Sigmund Freud, Action Figure.” Other poems test our understanding of experience, offering alternative perspectives on the everyday and glimpses of strange realities—like Adrienne Gruber’s “Mr. Robowtham,” Michael Russell’s “Andromeda,” and Adam Day’s two poems. Others play with form, marrying it with the conceptual in original and exciting ways—like Jordan Abel’s and Rachelle Pinnow’s poems. For the cover of this issue, we’re trying something new: a rotation of five pieces from Colombian artist Juliana Arias-Ruiz.
Immerse yourself, dear reader, “with a looked up, rosed head moved at a near right angle” in the syntactical funhouse of Louise Bak’s “Immaning,” a poem so attentive to words, we can’t help but give in to its language. Leaf Kotasek’s trio of poems send us into mystery, where longing—maybe belonging—is wrought and cautioned with sharp word choice. Follow Shawn Robinson as he opens the trivial to allegory, amusing us, inviting us to wonder and see what is there or what could be. Listen to Perchik’s meditative voice. Here, the flow of language oscillates between self and selflessness, between closing and opening. Kathleen M. Heideman’s “Certain Things You Should Know About Rusty” exposes the challenges of knowing another, but it’s also reflexive. The conditions for “knowing” are turned toward us, as readers, and become our responsibility. Each of these poems, in other words, is great reading.
But don’t just take our word for it. Read, listen, and reread the work of the fine poets in this issue.
Nicholas Hauck, Mark Hoadley, Jami Macarty, & Ram Randhawa
Editors, Fall 2016 issue