Editors' Notes

Fond du lac, Wisconsin artist, Jessica Green, created 'Maude' who says ""My art has been commended as being strongly vaginal which bothers some men."

This is it: the official countdown. With the publication of this issue, we have two VW issues left, Spring 2014 and Fall 2014. For the month of October, we’re reading poems around one last call for thematic work: “Midwest Remix”—see our submissions page online for details. We’re no longer reading for the print issue, as we have enough poems to fill the rest of our remaining pages. One of our goals is to finish this project with zero backlog. We will read book reviews through March 1. Books Received will be updated through August 31, 2014, online and in the last issue (Fall 2014), but any books sent after January 1 will most likely not get reviewed.

So as fall comes on in all its glory, we also face a transition. We’ve written at length through the past few years about our role as editors, our goals, our thoughts and how those ideas have changed as we’ve grown and changed with the magazine. You can find all that stuff online in our archives. We’ve talked at length with you at a multitude of events about our vision, our beliefs, and our excitement at the possibilities for poetry in public spaces, poetry of place, poetry around the kitchen table and in the office board room or the Capitol rotunda. As much as possible, we’ve tried to find poetry in each of those places, spread the word, and celebrate with you all.

We’ve put pressure on words like “excellence,” “publishing,” and even “poetry” itself. We’ve stretched ourselves as we’ve stretched the definitions of what we’re looking for. You know this. You’ve been along for the ride. You, more often than not, provided the ride.

While working on this issue, we’ve published two collections of poems by Cathryn Cofell and Moisés Villavicencio Barras as Cowfeather Press. An anthology of work by more than 100 authors, Echolocations, Poems Set in Madison, is also close to publication. We’ve worked on an essay or two and various projects and events in collaboration with other groups, including conversations at the South East Wisconsin and Wisconsin Book Festivals and the Wisconsin Historical Society, and partnerships with Poetry Jumps Off the Shelf, the Madison Common Council, the Dane County Water Commission, Forward Theater, Wormfarm Institute, First Wave at UW-Madison, and Madison Metro Bus. If you’re interested in upcoming events this Fall in a variety of Wisconsin locations, you can check the schedule online at versewisconsin.org/events.

By the time you read this issue, we’ll be almost through what turned out to be an incredibly busy season for us. We’re both looking forward to a winter of retreat and reflection. A little more writing time for ourselves. More time to ask “what’s next” and ponder the answers, in the coming season of dark and rest.

Thanks to volunteer intern Marina Oliver, and to Dana Alexander Kaleta and LynleyShimat Lys for volunteer proofreading help. Lingering errors are, of course, the responsibility of VW’s editors.