Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry is an independent annual publication, affiliated with the Department of English at Caldwell University, Caldwell, NJ. The newest 2023 issue contains over ninety pages of new poetry and twenty-five book reviews. The featured poet is Robert Cording, highlighting a brief portfolio of his work. The issue also includes interviews with Rhina P. Espaillat and James Matthew Wilson, and essays on the life’s work of Marie Howe and Czeslaw Milosz. Cover art: “Awaken” by Ben Fernandez (Artist’s Statement included in issue). Print copies are available for single purchase or by subscription.
The Editor’s Statement in the newest issue of Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry begins, “An explicit goal of Presence is to publish contemporary poetry that continues the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and the Church’s long history of recognizing the value of art as a way of leading us to God through its truth, beauty and goodness.” The featured poet in this annual issue is Julia Alvarez, along with featured translations of Juana Rosa Pita’s work translated by Erin Goodman. Over five dozen poets are included in this issue as well as interviews with poet, psychologist, and publisher John Cusack Handler and poet, teacher Jill Peláez Baumgaertner, two dozen poetry book reviews, and a section called “Life’s Work” with essays that focus on Jane Hirshfield (by Vivian I. Bikulege) and Sally Read (by Pat Destito). Cover art: Transmutation, acrylic on ceramic by Beth Shadur. The next submission period for Presence is August 1 – October 1, 2022.
With the publication of this 2021 issue comes the fifth anniversary of Presence Journal. Enjoy art by Reginald Baylor and work by featured poet Joseph A. Brown, S.J. Ashaq Hussain Parray translates work by Rehman Rahi and Shahnaz Rasheed. Barbara Crooker, Dante Di Stefano, Linda Nemec Foster, and Mary Ladany celebrate the lives of others in the “In Memoriam” section.
The 2020 issue of Presence features poets Sean Thomas Dougherty and Angela Alaimo O’Donnell. Also in this issue: translated work by María Eugenia Vaz Ferreira, Laura Chalar, Julio Herrera y Reissig, Federico García Lorca, Lucía Estrada, Fina García Marruz, and more; poetry by Ann Applegarth, Collin Becker, Aaron Brown, Ann Cefola, Paola Corso, Susan Cowger, Janet McCann, Stephen Paling, Skip Renker, and others; and interviews with Christian Wiman and Paul Mariani. There is a lot more to discover in this issue, including an “in memoriam” section, book reviews, and a “life’s work” section.