From the Ether
On Saying What We Love and Loving What We Say
Sometimes when it’s my turn to sit down and write From the Ether, I am clear as to what I’ll address. At other times, such as this time, I’ve barely had a moment to reflect on what it is that informs a particular issue, be it the season, the political moment, some ribbon of theme running through the poems, or, as in the last issue, how the art we feature collaborates with the poetry you read.
I inevitably bring to my musings whatever it is that’s recently held my attention, and the end of the year appearance of proscriptive lists for writers that have popped up on Facebook and elsewhere are on my mind. These lists compiled by other editors often enumerate pet peeves about submissions, or the attributes of a successful writer, or the qualities that create a poem that an editor deems deserving—or not—to appear in their pages.
Here at DMQ Review we have a rather broadly worded submission guideline statement, and the editorial team, comprised of working poets, writes across a wide spectrum of poetry styles. Identifying our imperatives is difficult to pin down. Still, what we each value in poems does come together, sometimes surprisingly, every issue, forming a unique collaboration of contributing poets, artist, and curating poets.
And so I find myself turning to this issue’s contributors to consider what their poems might suggest about our own editorial preferences, at least as we read and reviewed during the autumn of 2014.
You will have your own reading of what is collected here, coming at the poems as you do as strangers meeting strangers. But what I recognize now reading through the words we have lived among for several months is that these contributors share more than a love of language. They have each found a way to use language to express, as poet Rebecca van Laer suggests, “something that stood,/really, for everything/worth knowing.” In this, the Fall 2014 issue of DMQ Review as in others, a poem’s ability to discover something essential lies at the heart of what appeals to our editorial sensibilities and what shows up on our pages.
Whether it is a favorite word, image, punctuation mark, memory, or imagined world that engages the poets, or, as with this issue’s featured poet, Marge Piercy, a list of favorite books significant to her writing career, we invite you to read along and discover poets saying what they love, saying perhaps something worth knowing. We love what they have to say.
Thanks to featured artist Audrey Heller whose images open another way of seeing something worth knowing (the “wee folk” are always welcome in our pages!).
Lastly, it’s the editorial team’s pleasure to announce our nominations for this year’s Pushcart Prize, several of which appear in this issue. You can find the others in our archives from the past year.
Arlene Ang: “The mirror reflects the arrival of bees.” Fall 2014
John Davis: “Colons.” Fall 2014
Simone Muench, Dean Rader: “The beautiful American word, Sure.” Fall 2014
Wendy Neale: “It was still a good crop this year.” Fall 2014
Jeff Streeby: “Farmington, August.” Summer 2014
T.J. Sandella: “On the Elevator I Ask a Coworker, How’s it Going.” Fall 2014
Congratulations all. And thanks to all of our many contributors for saying what we love.
From the ether,
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