Introduction

Like the first taste of sweetness, a kiss from the beloved, or the strong buzz from aged single malt, readers of poetry are always trying to get back to that first time, as Emily Dickinson describes it, the top of our heads were taken off by a poem. In our editorial process, we read many poems that emanated syntactical shockwaves, tore us up with a turn of phrase, or simply stopped us in our tracks with their sheer innovation. The ones you see here are emblematic of that experience. From the strange conversation on a hog hunt to the quiet of an orchard to the philosophical exploration of how we say what we say, these poems made us consider the boundaries of the page, the ways image can anchor, and the stillness of a simply rendered truth. Jeff Whitney’s poem, “Note to Charles Wright” will be printed by the Quoin Collective for its execution of these qualities. Our editors hope you find the same exhilaration in these poems that we did.