The newest American Letters & Commentary (Issue #22) includes a special feature dedicated to “the long poem/series.” In the introduction to the feature, Editors Catherine Kasper and David Ray Vance write: “In western literary culture, ‘The Long Poem’ is as ancient as the epic…For literary magazine editors, however, long poems or series can be problematic. Works that are interlinked and lengthy often run up against the financial realities of small press production. Even where money isn’t an issue and editors have plenty of pages to work with, they’re often reluctant to devote too much space to a single author. And so, long poems and series are largely eschewed in favor of work that can fit in the space of a page.” They go on to discuss Lynn Keller’s perspective about the perseverance and reinvention of the long poem as it continues today, and their decision to dedicate space to “longer” works in this issue.
The special feature includes a series of oil paintings (full color) by Caryn Friedlander, and long poems or poems in a series by Cecily Parks, Laura Goldsteins, Dan Kaplan, Megan Kaminski, Darin Ciccotelli, Jenny Gropp Hess, Sarah Mangold, James Meetze, Ailish Hopper, Pattabi Seshadri, Terence Huber, Jakob Stein, Nathan Hauke, Alexandra Mattraw, Joyelle Mcsweeney, Rebecca Givens Rolland, and Steve Barbaro.
[Cover art by Caryn Friedlander.]