To be a Kansas poet, or a poet writing anywhere in the Midwest, is often a strange disposition between the urban and the natural. We enjoy the company of others, but certainly appreciate our wide-open spaces. Our seasons are as unpredictable as our politics; I can never assume the outcome on any given day. We are enjoying a real fall this year, one full of color and fire, jacket-weather.
Our Wichita poetry community is growing. I recently had the privilege of participating in Epistrophy, a lovely collaborative event we hope to continue for years to come. Poets would read their poems twice, the first time so the musicians could ‘hear’ the words. On the second recitation, musicians accompanied the reading. This synergistic connection between the improvisation musicians and the poets created an energy I’ve rarely felt. But it also emphasized that poets don’t exist in isolation. We’re in constant exchange with the world around us, and this relationship permeates and feeds our creative output.
The poems included in this issue resonate with that oft ephemeral exchange, reworking event and memory, wrestling with sound and meaning. It’s a feast we hope you enjoy.
April Pameticky: The mother of two shares time between her high school English classroom and the burgeoning creative community of artists and writers in Kansas. She facilitated the Wichita Broadside Project 2017 and currently serves as editor of River City Poetry, an online poetry journal. She also co-edits Voices of Kansas, a regional anthology of work from school-aged children across the state. Her own work can be seen in journals like Malpais Review, KONZA, and Chiron Review. Her chapbooks, Sand River and Other Places I’ve Been (Finishing Line Press) and Anatomy of a Sea Star, (Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press) are available upon request. For a more complete list, go here.