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Southern Poetry Journal Editor Change

ParhamWithout much ado, James Smith has stepped into the role of Editor for the Southern Poetry Review. In issue 53.1, he writes of working with Editor Robert Parham [pictured]: “Over the past six to seven years, I have attended with pleasure to our daily work of the journal, the direct contact with poets, the layout of each issue. A steadying voice, Bob always stayed close to what we do. It is an honor now to hold the title of editor and to continue with the work (and play) of the poetry journal that Bob has long cherished.”

Poet David Kirby also offered “David Parham: An Appreciation” which appears alongside Smith’s comment. Kirby writes: “I read once that pioneer anthropologist Franz Boas told his students that evertything is material, even one’s own boredom, that we should never think we’ve seen something twice, because we haven’t. In that sense, Robert Parham is not only a poet and teacher, as all of Southern Poetry Review‘s editors have been, but something of an anthropologist as well, that is, an observer first and foremost and then an illuminator of the small things that shape our lives and thus turn out to be much bigger than we think. [ . . .] Here and elsewhere, Parham echoes something that Mark Strand said, which is that we are lucky simply to be here at all, and because we are, we’re obliged to pay attention, to respond to the world, to witness.”

Parham will contiue on as Editor Emeritus, and he is honored (and likewise honors the publication and its readers) with several of his poems in this issue.

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