Welcome to Issue # 20 of Plume.
A short month, fortunately, and a short letter to match it – one that I hope finds you well: past the chaos of their holidays and their joys and misfortunes and with a toe, a toe only, dipped into spring the last few warm-ish days: and quickly withdrawn.
Three items of interest occur:
1. In upcoming issues you will soon notice, among other changes — cosmetic and operational — to our “look,” a new feature. Many of you have expressed your satisfaction with the current format of twelve poems per issue: we like it, too. As one poet recently described it: just right – one can take it all in in “one big gulp.” Of course, this as most things Plume-related, was planned in only the most vague, half-cocked way. It seemed right to us, and so it was done. But, as we freshen our user interface with new fonts and button placement and the like, we thought we’d try this: an occasional feature something like an EP – those multi-track but not album-length vinyl releases from ye olde punk and punk-ish days (Buzzcocks, Husker DU, Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains, etc.) that have resurfaced of late. We’ll begin next month with selections from Sarah Arvio’s night thoughts – 70 dream poems & notes from an analysis – a book and author much and deservedly praised by Mark Strand, Yusef Komunyakaa, The New Yorker, The Washington Post Book World, and many others. Though the book is just out from Knopf, the poems are unpublished – as they are…of a piece. And, really, lovely, dark, and deep. We will print ten, with notes. If readers seem to like the feature, we’ll keep it; if not: no. As I say, we like our dozen-poem format and do not want to disturb whatever gods have given it their blessing.
2. Our cover art is once again from Guy Mendes‘ newest release, Signs and Wonders – this one titled “Bridge for Orpheus” – creepy-beautiful. In the next couple of months, William Carner and Chris Maynard, prize-winning photographers both, will take the reins (the latter posthumously).
3. As usual, we offer our thanks to those who have read in Plume-related events recently: Daniel Bosch, Christina Pugh, William Olsen, Stuart Dybek, and Robin Behn in Chicago; and Terese Svoboda, Nicole Cooley, and Tom Sleigh in New York. Judging by the pictures I’ve seen and mention of spirits consumed — and a pipe –of the musical variety— played alarmingly adeptly – things went quite well. Kudos, too, for all those who came out on those cold nights! Please note the sidebar: The Plume Reading Series kicks off with Billy Collins, 12 March, in Saint Petersburg, Florida.
So, I’ll leave …ah: the issues, current work and that received.
February’s offerings include new poems – diverse and profoundly beautiful, I think – from C. Dale Young, Cathleen Calbert, Charles Bernstein, Claire Malroux (translated by Marilyn Hacker), Ellen Bass, Floyd Skloot, Kathleen Ossip, Kelle Groom, Jonathan Galassi, Mark Irwin, Tony Hoagland, Jehanne Dubrow, and Yves Bonnefoy (translated by Hoyt Rogers).
New work received this month from: Scott Cairns, Vénus Khoury-Ghata (translated by Marilyn Hacker), Sarah Arvio, Carol Moldaw, Carrie Etter, William Trowbridge, Christina Pugh, Don Bogan, Page Starzinger, Rae Armantrout, Laurie Lamon.
As always, I do hope you enjoy the issue!