A wonderful interview with Vandana Khanna about her stunning chapbook The Goddess Monologues here .
Congratulations to Anders Carlson-Wee for being awarded a 2016 McKNIGHT ARTIST FELLOWSHIP in Creative Writing!
Check out his work here — mercy songs
Both books will be available for pre-order soon!
Weiss contends that "in its illumination, in all senses of the word, of the details beyond politics’ grasp, Philip Metres’ A Concordance of Leaves uniquely honors Williams’ conception of poetry’s purpose."
Diode 8.3 is now live and can be read here diodepoetry.com. Some of you have been with us since the first issue, some have joined along the way, for others, this may be your first encounter with diode. No matter how long you’ve journeyed with us, our gratitude remains the same. So many things could call you away, yet you are here, and we are grateful. At the close of 2015 we are looking to 2016, and we’re excited about what’s ahead. In 2007, editor Jeff Lodge created the diode site, we’re now in the process of re-designing. Our intent is to preserve the clean and elegant look that Jeff created, while offering a greater variety of media and content, along with an enhanced overall experience. We’ll also be adding Law Alsobrook, graphic designer and poet, to the masthead, and we’re looking forward to the energy and creativity that he’ll bring to diode. Finally, whatever this season means to you, we wish you joy. As I was writing this preface, this phrase from the first line of Robin Chapman’s poem “Sky Writer” from the current issue, kept swirling around my head. As a New Year’s wish Robin captures best what I want to say to you dear reader, “Choose a page wide as horizon….” I echo this when I say, chose a page, a life, a dream, a hope--fill in the blank with whatever means something to you--and make that thing as wide as the horizon, then write it, love it, fight for it, and open your arms, your life, your mind wide enough to embrace the whole of it.
Re-vitalization is in the air at Diode Editions. Diode Editions has a new logo, a new website, and a new addition to its masthead: Law Alsobrook, who designed the new logo, and is now serving as Co-Editor and Art Director. Diode Editions also has a renewed commitment to adding to its small, but remarkable, catalog. We’ve just launched our first chapbook contest in 3 years. We’re also releasing a second edition of A Concordance of Leaves, a stunning chapbook by Philip Metres. A Concordance of Leaves won the 2014 George Ellenbogen Poetry Award from the Arab American National Museum, and the first edition is almost sold out. We’re thrilled that a second edition is on the way.
The brief paragraph above is a précis of a much longer story hinted at above in the sentence “We’ve just launched our first chapbook contest in almost 3 years.” The difficult part of the story is embedded in “almost 3 years,” the joyous in “we’ve.” Two and half years ago my life was touched by deep loss, and Diode Editions was side-lined while I came to terms with that loss. From loss came an opportunity for deep introspection and repair; from repair came a new love and partnership—the “we” of Law and I. In the past Diode Editions was a solitary labor of love. It’s still a labor of love, but it is now also an opportunity to work and create with someone I love, and there is no deeper joy than this. So, infused with elation, Diode Editions is back, and we’re looking forward to once again crafting beautiful books, and to supporting our authors, to give you, dear reader, poetry that touches, repairs, gives joy, speaks to love, loss, pain and joy; in short, to give you poetry that matters.
Patty Paine & Law Alsobrook
A few months ago, I got an email that chastised me for only listing two people on the diode masthead. It was “rude” and “egotistical” the sender said, to not acknowledge “all the people” who worked for diode. I responded that I listed two people on the masthead because that is the exact number of people who work on diode. I edit and promote diode, and Jeff Lodge, who designed the look of the journal, puts each issue online. At first, I was annoyed by the email, but then I was flattered. Somehow, I had created the impression that diode was a small industry teeming with people scurrying around doing important diode work. It was then I realized that editing a journal like diode, and now its book publishing off-shoot Diode Editions, both home-grown, labor-of-love endeavors, is very much about creating illusions. So many sleights of hand are involved, from pulling time from sleeves, plucking quarters from behind ears (and beneath sofa cushions) and perhaps the greatest trick of all, a reverse magic, if you will, of not letting your own poems vanish into thin air.
So why do it? I edit diode because I get a great deal of joy from promoting the work of others. Finding poems I love, and having the privilege of connecting those poems with readers brings a more pure satisfaction than publishing my own work. Don’t get me wrong—I am a writer, and I want to be read—but when I see my own work I see the missteps, the wrong word in the third line, the awkward break at line 12, the too-tidy ending. Or the reverse, I see a poem I was able to write by who knows what divine creative intervention, and I am certain I will never be able to replicate such alchemy again. Either way, unlike publishing the work of others, the experience is fraught with my own insecurities, my inner critic never quite stepping aside.
I edit diode because I love writers. Even at AWP when I think I’ll scream if I see one more pair of skinny jeans, I love the whole quirky, obsessed, lot of us. I love that when I was in college at age 30, and I walked into my first poetry workshop I instantly thought “Oh, well this is where they’ve been.” My tribe. I had finally found them. I love how on Facebook when someone posts an-anti-Obama-pro-gun-why–liberals-are-hell-bent-on-destroying-all-that-is-good-and-sacred rant, I know I can count on the writers to reassure me that all is not anger and angst and division. And though this is incredibly sweeping, and incredibly biased, I know that writers care against all odds, against the riptide of popular culture, about creating beauty, about speaking for those without voice, about truth, and about the power, sanctity and responsibility of the written word. These are the people I want to know, and diode, as humble an endeavor as it is, allows me this honor.
And finally, I edit diode because editing is a way of serving. It allows me to serve the community that has enriched my life. It is the debt I pay to the stories that taught me that the abuse I endured as a child was not my fault and put me on a path that led me away from that abuse; to the poems I grieved through when my mother died; the stories that opened the world to me and imbued me with a hunger to see it; the essays that taught me how to love and live—in short, to the writers who have astonished and delighted, and continue each day to make life richer and more meaningful. My debt is enormous, and I edit diode so in some small way our debt to writers remains enormous.