The fall issue of Beloit Poetry Journal includes two beautiful entries (both available full text online) in remembrance and honor of Marion Kingston Stocking (June 4, 1922-May 12, 2009), former editor and guardian angel of the publication.
The first piece, which is available in full-text on the BPJ website, is “Letter to Herself at Twenty-Eight: Diary Excerpts, New Year’s Eve, 1940.” Marion recounts how “the world is in a pretty awful mess…America is arming at top speed. A draft has been ordered, & every week more men are poured into the Army. I hope you are living in a world at peace, with no race our country prejudice.” Her words carry an amazing sense of hope for her world and encouragement for her place in it: “You were born to stand on hilltops with the wind blowing stars through your hair. Never forget it.” It is all incredibly heartfelt, thoughtful, and just downright sweet.
The second piece is a collective editor’s note from John Rosenwald and Lee Sharkey – and perhaps a few others who had a hand in it as well. It’s a beautifully renedered history of Marion’s work with BPJ, the influences she and her husband David had on the publication and the people who were a part of it, and the influence and traditions of hers that still remain with BPJ. Thank you John and Lee for this.
Many others contributed tributes to Marion, a sampling for which BPJ has created a page here.