Welcome to Issue # 23 of Plume.
So: the “new” look of Plume seems to have met with your approval, and we are pleased. While not quite complete, our renovations — we hope — make for a less cluttered look and easier navigation — especially of the Archives. Although has been one of the â€¦more minimalist sites among the legions of online poetry venues, the current iteration is even more “stripped down”: cleaner fonts, more even spacing (if a little scrolling is required) — all designed — as is everything in Plume — with the purpose in mind of, well, maximizing the reading experience: restricting the content to twelve poems per issue; eschewing advertising, contests, themes, etc.; allowing each poem some white space: room to breathe.
This month’s cover art is from Jay Muhlin, whose work has appeared in various editorial publications worldwide. In 2008 Muhlin published his first long-term book project entitled Half Life: A Portrait of Lauren. The book documents the life and suicide of a close friend and the artist’s relationship to her. Jay was a visiting faculty member at Bennington College in 2011, and currently teaches a darkroom-based class at the College of New Jersey. Muhlin is an artist member of Vox Populi, and his studio is in Philadelphia, PA.
This month’s Featured Selection is from Mark Irwin: his translation of an extract from Alain Borer: Hyle: The fundamental question of poetry, with an introduction from Mark. It is fascinating work, which Mark sets in context beautifully in his brief introduction. It’s something of a departure for us, one I hope you will find of interest. We are toying with the idea of running a long review or essay in this spot as well, so, if this in your wheelhouse, by all means, send.
Soon to follow in this Featured Selection are collaboration between Denise Duhamel and Maureen Seaton, and ten new works with an introduction from Rachel Hadas. Recall, too, that we remain open to your suggestions: if you have an extended-form project — review, graphic poems, collaboration, video, etc. — that you believe would suit the format, please do send to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, then, a final note, and a sad one. David Cudar, our new book recommendations czar, has suffered a loss in his family and will not be able to share with us his now-monthly epistle regarding the books he’s reading — and which have found a spot on some of your mental must-buy notes — to this month’s newsletter. Fortunately, he promises he will return next month. In the interim, a spot of serendipity: Ron Slate, a grand poet whose work has appear and will soon appear again in our pages, and an all-around reviewer/reader/website creator-manager, has asked a number (seventeen) of poets and writers to list their summer reading selections (no more than six); these selections will be run in installments, but already the first are up from Carl Phillips, Jessica Blau, Mark Athitakis, Sally Ball Lisa Russ Spaar, Jane Delury, David Biespiel, Craig Moodie, Fiona Maazel, Floyd Skloot, Daisy Fried, and Will Boast. As new responses arrive, Ron will add them to the post. My own recommendations will appear soon. (Why?) Watch your Twitter and Facebook feeds for alerts as the list grows. You can find the list(s) here
Last — truly, last — you can follow us on Twitter @plumepoetry. Not quite certain what I’ll be tweeting — things I’m reading, I suspect, new discoveries, news of events, and the like. Rest assured, there will be no links to favorite noodle shops or hilarious photographs of cats twisted into scuba gear or business attire.
For this issue’s roster of poets and new work received — again — that Editor’s Note.
Many thanks, as always — and I do hope you enjoy the new issue, which you can find here.