Introduction

Maureen Alsop’s winter landscape, wrought delicately in the poem, “Sanctimony,” invites you into this issue’s collection of poetry: “You are a fine one after all—you among the beginnings/ are my beginning.” We travel far in these poems—from the desert saguaro, through a Russian daydream, a tulip festival, and the sculptor, Joe Senungetuk’s, hands: “luring us back—the depths,” Peggy Shumaker writes, “our first home.” Our editorial conversations travelled long distances as well, considering innovative forms, such as Natalie Peeterse’s, “Worksheet,” or the blend of the sacred and the irreverent in Ben Nadler’s, “Master of Return.” Mark Haunschild’s, “Poem That Contains an Emotional Truth” was chosen and made into a letterpress broadside by the Quoin Collective for its elegant balance of structure and image—a poem that opens up each time it is read. Our editors hope you will return again and again to these provocative works.