June: And once again we find ourselves saying good-bye to a poet passed from this world: Franz Wright. And who better to write of him than his long-time friend, David Young? The latter’s essay has the ring of everything true in it, and embraces the man in full measure: heart-breaking and beautiful. Once more, you will find it in our much-read Newsletter. If you haven’t already, I strongly urge you to subscribe to that short monthly report if for no other reason that than essay is there. Unsubscribe if you like immediately thereafter – again, it’s a matter of a mouse-click.
Also this, again something new in Plume’s series of Featured Selections: no poems this time (well, one, and its later-born twin), but rather a mesmerizing essay on the act of revision by Carol Moldaw. The essay takes as its starting point a poem, “Dew Point,” which appeared in a now rather long-ago issue of Plume. The revised version of that marvelous poem appears beneath, and the essay consists of the author’s meditations on their origins, among other things. Fascinating. Enlightening. I imagine some will see themselves – their process — in her words, others will be surprised. Here’s an excerpt, which I feel certain will leave you to wanting more:
“Virtually every poem I write goes through innumerable drafts. Drafting changes can be as small but significant as replacing “the” with “a”; they can be a matter of excising words, phrases, lines—or of adding new ones; stanzas might shift places or morph shape; lines might shrink or expand. A poem might shed most of itself and rise renewed, to take off in a new direction. Drafting, revisions, blind turns and dead ends don’t usually faze me; neither does putting an unfinished poem aside for a time and taking it up again, if my conviction’s renewed. I have a pretty high tolerance for the length and convolution of the process, as long as I sense that a poem is progressing. Progressing, toward . . . what exactly is it progressing toward? Not something ever predetermined or predictable, but something that ‘feels right’ when it appears, as it develops; that ‘coheres,’ albeit in surprising, mysterious, even arcane, ways. Does a poem progress toward an ideal self, a self the process—paradoxically–both uncovers and creates?”
As promised last Note, a number of intriguing Featured Selections will come to fruition in the upcoming months. Among their subjects are — and this is by no means a complete list – we have been busy! – are Native poets, curated by Allison Hedge Coke and including
Cedar Sigo, Leanne Howe, Trevino Brings Plenty, Crisosto Apache
and Sara Marie Ortiz; David Clewell; Kelle Groom; a look at British Poets Under 40 and another on Contemporary Australian Poets; new translations of work by Robert Walser and Hermann Hesse, and a long poem, “Sibylline” by Marc Vincenz.
Remember, if you would like to be considered for a Featured Selection in Plume, or simply have an idea for one, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And, this, a final time: The Plume Anthology of Poetry V 3 is available for purchase now, at Madhat Press a bargain at $21.95, I think, given the very high quality of the work, the poets, its eclectic range, and sheer size – 323 pages. A number of instructors of Creative Writing are planning to use the book as a text in the fall – perhaps that might be worth a thought? (Soon available at other venues, as well – Amazon, B & N, etc.) Some very nice people have said some very nice things about our little endeavor. Below, just a few of the comments Plume V 3 has received:
“Plume’s apparent lack of a narrow editorial policy (except a fondness for interesting poems) makes for lots of strange bedfellows, but when was the last time that was a bad idea?” ~Billy Collins
“Of all the things that might claim one’s attention, and they are in the multitudes! Plume is well worth making time for since it isn’t just another magazine. Its difference? Wonderful work, on the edge, room for play and dash, new forms, a great discerning editor in Danny
Lawless!” ~ Tess Gallagher
“Plume is one of the most exciting, eclectic gatherings of writers on the web. Editor Daniel Lawless has a knack for putting together voices that create surprising neighborhoods of words, related in complex ways that only gradually reveal themselves. It’s one of very few webzines that I always read.” ~ Chase Twichell
“Plume is rapidly becoming one of the best places in America to read poetry, online and in print, thanks to the untiring efforts of Danny Lawless. It’s where to find dazzling work by new and established writers, and, thanks to the new technology, it is available instantly to readers by the millions. Plume proves once more that poetry is essential to our lives, and that ‘Men die every day for want of what is found in it.’” ~ Grace Schulman
“Plume continues to publish amazing poets in beautiful formats—both online and in-print. The magazine has an exciting vision, embracing a broad gamut of poetries, including collaborations. The work has a consistently intriguing quality about the joys and unsettling aspects of being alive.” ~ Denise Duhamel
Our covert art this issue is from Allen Forrest. Mr. Forrest has created cover art and illustrations for a number of literary publications, including New Plains Review, Pilgrimage Press, The MacGuffin, Blotterature, and Gargoyle Magazine, and his paintings have been commissioned and are on display in the Bellevue College Foundation’s permanent art collection
Finally, New Work Received this month includes pieces from Olivia McCarron, Kate Daniels, Joe Weil, Ricardo Pau-Llosa, Linda Pastan, Bruce Cohen, Ana Gorria (trans Yvette Siegert), Keith Althaus, Salgado Maranhao (trans Alexis Levitan), Brendan Galvin, and Major Jackson.
As always, I do hope you enjoy the issue!