Introduction to this issue
When choosing the theme of Poetry & Politics for this issue,
knowing that it would be published on the eve of a presidential
election with regard to which the nation’s populace is more
polarized than it’s been for nearly 150 years, we feared that
the topic, in light of the state of the union, might elicit a
flood of the expected—and we admit to our being
less than fans of the expected. However, we found
ourselves, instead, delighted to read a spate of submissions
full of promise and passion and spanning a broad spectrum of
topics and sentiments. An additional, gratifying surprise was
the unusually high percentage of work we received from literally
oceans away. From this torrent of poetry—after much discussion,
debate, and a scintilla of filibustering—we eventually chose the
twenty-one poems by seventeen poets that appear inside: poems
depicting "politics" in forms both familiar and strange, poems
we found delectably ambitious and expertly executed, poems that
found us from four continents.
Finally, we would like to thank everyone who submitted their
art to us for our consideration and enjoyment and offer our
special thanks to our contributors, all of whom are to be
admired for their talent, tact, and wisdom. We hope you find
these poems as enjoyable, moving, and intelligent as we have.
David Chester is a poet, actor, and lawyer in
Tallahassee, Florida, where he lives with his poet-wife, Ginny
Grimsley; his four-year-old, demagogue-daughter, Eliot; his
shaman-pug, Owen; and his provocateur-calicos, Abbey and Gracie.
David’s poetry has appeared in The Antioch Review, The
Quarterly, The Cape Rock, and elsewhere. He dedicates
this issue to the memory of his bodhisattva-cat, Sappho.
Phillip D. Ischy was born in a small town in Texas. He
recently received Honorable Mention for the 2004 John MacKay
Shaw Academy of American Poets Prize. Phillip is currently a
senior in the Creative Writing program at Florida State
University where he is president of the Society of Poetic
Elements and where he has edited a student chapbook under the
direction of poet and professor David Kirby.