What do Mark Conway, Frannie Lindsay, Jared Carter, Beth Simon, Jeff Knorr, Sarah Brownsberger, E.G. Burrows , Helen Ruggieri, Richard O'Connell, Heidi Czerwiec, Thomas Reynolds, Elizabeth Kirschner, Jason Huskey, Jeanine DeRusha, Nick Bruno, Carol Hamilton, Scott Welvaert, Jordan Sanderson, Rane Arroyo, Taylor Graham, J.D. Schraffenberger and Lynn Strongin have in common? They all appear in the current issue of VALPARAISO POETRY REVIEW. Editor Edward Byrne has once again assembled a group of poets who know how to "fine-etch" a poem (So what am I doing in such illustrious company you may ask?). Witness featured poet: Mark Conway's, "HAVING GONE TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH" -
The Romans had a way
of talking to the dead: bring them
----- a bowl of blood.
But the blood
must be warm, which means
it must be yours.
Holding the long-
desired face between numb
hands that can’t feel shit
is difficult for some to take—others
find the whole scene over-
done. May I ask
what you would do,
given the chance?
Or Jared Carter's, "PROPHET TOWNSHIP":
The coffin would be kept in the parlor
for three days and nights. The watchers
took turns. After the funeral, neighbors
helped carry the box up to the attic
or set it out in one of the back rooms
so it would stay cold but not freeze.
Before the men tacked down the lid,
they filled it up the rest of the way
with rock salt. This was a custom
learned from their grandparents—
how to make it through till spring,
how to handle hardship on their own.
Or Perhaps Richard O'Connell's, "VOLADORES":
Spiral on spiral they undulate down
In aerial daring in the desert at dawn
Until the sun sets with the deified dead,
Celebrating the delirious death of all fear:
Sky diving, free falling, space walking delight,
The umbilical lethal dive into life.
Add to this fine collection of poetry, book reviews by -- D.A. Jeremy Telman, Barbara Crooker, Roger Sedarat, Mike White, Lynn Strongin and Edward Byrne and essays entitled "Elizabeth Bishop's Poetic Voice: Reconciling Influences" by Laura Ebberson & "Marianne Boruch and the Art of Surprise" by Claire Keyes and you have an issue well worth the price of admission.