Simplicity is not an end in art, but we usually arrive at simplicity as we approach the true sense of things. – Constantin Brancusi
I am a lucky man, blessed to be writing to you from one of the most beautiful places in the world, Tuscany. So I understand if I find little sympathy for my inability to land a consistent wifi signal. So this issue’s note will be breve, molto breve.
This issue means so much to me for many reasons; for the wonderful selection of poetry, art, and photography. But I’m particularly fond of this issue for three reasons:
First, we officially announce the first Charles Simic Prize for Poetry to honor our friend and mentor. For details, please go to our submission page.
Second, we have an in-depth interview with the poet, teacher, mentor, friend, James “Jim” Crenner, followed by a retrospective of his work from the early 60s to just a few days ago.
Sometime in the Fall of 1971, Jim introduced me and a roomful of new students to lyric
poetry by reciting:
O Western wind, when wilt thou blow,
That the small rain down can rain?
Christ, that my love were in my arms
And I in my bed again!
I was nearly hooked. Then he set the hook by doing a spot-on impression of Robert Bly
singing and dancing to the Campbell’s Soup jingle.
I wish you all could publish at least one issue of a journal just to give thanks and honor
your teachers and mentors. I can now tell you from experience, it’s a wonderful feeling. I
know you’ll enjoy Michael Hettich’s interview and Jim's poems.
And third, I hope you enjoy the stunning photograph on the cover of this issue. I’m lucky enough to call the photographer, Autumn Schulz, my wife. Autumn was traveling in Rishikesh,India earlier this year and caught this lovely, mysterious moment while following a curious man up the many flights of stairs in a temple. Someone asked Autumn what was around the corner. She answered, “enlightenment” only somewhat joking.
So, here it is, a pageant, a carnival, an opera, and a grazie mille of an issue. Please let me know what you think of it: firstname.lastname@example.org. I truly would like to hear from you.
And thanks to the entire hard-working staff down at Hole In The Headquarters - Bill Burtis, Nancy Jean Hill, Marilyn A. Johnson, Jere DeWaters, Michael Hettich, Marie Harris, Peter Johnson, and Tom Bruton.
We’ll be back with this hole thing again August 1.
I can't help it. Here's my postcard to you from Tuscany.
Wish you were here! Ciao ciao!