From the Ether
Variations on a Theme
Every now and then a series of submissions arrives at the DMQ Review over a relatively short period of time that seems to suggest a certain topical zeitgeist at work in the poetry writing community, something beyond expected seasonal influences. For instance, a plethora of poems about fish or geese or caterpillars invades our inbox. Or poems engaged with classical myth, or a preponderance of travel poems. It’s as if the DMQ has solicited for a theme issue without any of us knowing it. What’s with all the poems about worms? an editor will ask. And I can’t say, other than the worm has somehow proven emblematic to several independent poets submitting about the same time from locales all over the planet.
This can become a problem, and may supply the answer to those of you who have had a worm poem rejected only to find two other worm poems published in a subsequent issue. One can only read so many worm poems (forgive me, William Blake), and likely the other two were accepted before yours arrived, and then with some trepidation. While I don’t want to rashly put an official limit on how many poems of similar topic the DMQ Review might publish in an ordinary issue, one might be a safe guess.
Except in this issue, Autumn 2007. What’s with all the poems about water, I wondered sometime early October. Maybe a recent AP headline, “Many States Facing Water Shortages” is to blame. I’ll let you make your own speculation—seasonal, archetypal, environmental—supply your favorite theory. However, we at the DMQ have decided to go with the flow in this instance, and hope you too enjoy the current zeitgeist, whatever its just cause.
In the meantime, we’re pleased to continue our recently added feature, From the Archives, with Joel Vega’s “Fifth and Careful Season,” reprinted from our November 2004 issue. Take a look through the Archives yourself and discover your own favorites. Let us know.
And we’re very excited to offer a special pre-release peek at Poet’s Bookshelf II: Contemporary Poets on Books That Shaped Their Art, a second volume of a DMQ favorite forthcoming January 2008 from Barnwood Press. Editor Peter Davis brings together another wonderful group of writers. Davis writes, “I think I’m like most readers in that I discover good books mainly through one of two ways: either I get lucky and stumble across something I love, or I trust the word of someone—a friend, reviewer, teacher. When I began this book, I thought that it might help with both ways. I think it does.” We do too. We’re pleased to feature essays from three Poet’s Bookshelf II poets: Noah Eli Gordon, Marge Piercy, and Reginald Shepherd.
Next issue: The DMQ Review announces its 2007 Pushcart Prize nominations, a very good theme.
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