One of my absolute favorite monthly publications, Poetry Magazine never ceases to engage me in the thresholds of change in our literary community. The September 2022 issue, with guest editor Esther Berlin, addresses concerns we have all witnessed and/or been part of transforming. “Dear Reader,” opens: “Honor, celebration, and memory come to mind when I think about the idea of monuments. The process of harnessing collective moments into a physical manifestation, something representational of the essence that surges a person’s core—that’s a monument. All the feels—rage, suffering, release, distrust, comfort, melancholy, ambivalence, ache, compassion, mercy, the urgency to remedy—contribute to constituting and dismantling monuments.” And, addressing both the internal workings at the Poetry Foundation, itself in a process of rebuilding, and those in our surrounding communities, Berlin continues, “This special issue brings attention to the idea of monuments in order to map and reframe contrived or mythical systems of power, to extend narratives through repositioning focal points.” And closes, “In my last issue as guest editor, I invite you to celebrate with me poetry as monuments, as unifying offerings, the revising of history of so many existing monuments, erased and rubbed out, and now redrawn. The unsaid no longer ruminating, no longer a hungry ghost, no longer a missed call.”
Contributors to this issue include Martín Tonalmeyotl, Kierstin Bridger, Lucas Jorgensen, Mansi Dahal, Rena Priest, Janelle Tan, Vance Couperus, Henk Rossouw, Crisosto Apache, Keith S. Wilson, Amber McCrary, Kenzie Allen, Lesley Wheeler, Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach, Krystyna Dąbrowska, Serena Rodriguez, Daniela Ema Aguinsky, Spring Ulmer, Joan Naviyuk Kane, Bes Bajraktarević, Tyler Mitchell, Ajibola Tolase, Christopher Shipman, Joan Wickersham, A. Van Jordan, and Walter Ancarrow.