I began preparation for Issue (3) with one starting point in mind: that it would be a much smaller issue than the previous two. That didn’t quite turn out to be the case, as this issue, nearing forty total contributors, is smaller only by a modest handful. It has been, like a good day of bird-watching, a marvel to see how much excellent writing has arrived in Annulet’s inbox for our review. I want to extend special thanks to Nick Greer, who contributed invaluable assistance with the finer points of online formatting, and I also thank the contibutors who engaged with such kindness and rigor in the editing process with me. And now, Annulet is back on its intended publication schedule, arriving with a partial solar eclipse.
Like other editors surely must have found before me, I’m coming to understand each issue as an index of literary weather, past and gathering. Issue (3) is no exception, as it puts forward poetry that frequently inhabits unusual particulars, but is accompanied by perhaps a permanent current of historical perspective, the horizon line of the present insisting upon itself. “We just walked in, / & cornered the Six Burghers of Calais,” notes Callie Garnett, moving through space through comment on art, in the first of two poems included here. Ashley Colley’s poems care for pet rabbits that somehow also move into a beyond, through their very rabbit-ness. Gabrielle Octavia Rucker’s “Butter Sunday” contains two distinct episodes, amplifying a mysterious jump in vision between stanzas. To my mind, such historical awareness permeates many of the poems included in Issue (3). Timmy Straw’s haunting five poems illuminate something as-yet articulated about the Reagan era’s dark light, what it was like to find oneself there and then, now in its echo. Jahan Khajavi’s saturated lines, in which figures from Cleopatra to Shirazi poet Jahan Malek Khatun, a contemporary of Hafez, cluster and cloister together detail’s sound and vision. We watch Scout Katherine Turkel’s speaker’s friend “notic[ing[ the total sky,” how “[t]rees fraction the clouds.” Sneha Subramanian Kanta’s “[fragment]”, after Sappho, alights into your reading mind like history’s hummingbird. The poetry of Issue (3) suggests to me that we are yet here, and as much as that may be true, we are increasingly seeing not here. JD Pluecker’s poem “Return / Unsettlement” itself inhabits thinking towards how that might be.
Further, Issue (3) delivers on our eponymous form with an offering of four annulets, ranging from Issam Zineh’s insightful spiritual interpretation of a Linda Gregg poem, Margaret Ronda’s comprehensive comparison between Emily Wilson’s “Nocturne” and artist Susan Derges’ “intricate scale-work,” Guillermo Rebollo Gil’s objection to Gregory Pardlo’s poetic depiction of pro wrestler Owen Hart’s tragic death, and Genta Nishku’s thinking with the historical channels of Irena Klepfisz’s “Bashert.” Each of these essays responds to the method-driven form of the short close-read very differently, and to equally immersive result. Matt Broaddus and Buck Downs have gamely supplied short, deft commentary to accompany their poems, which talk intriguingly alongside each poet’s idiom. If you’d like to know about about “wildly underrated” Argentinian experimental novelist Juan José Saer, Kelly Krumrie furnishes a fulsome introduction to his radiating perspective(s). Coleman Edward Dues provides a sinewy response to Marjorie Welish’s latest poetry collection, A Complex Sentence, in clever form. And like any journal issue worth its salt, there’s work that further harmonizes with the thoughts I’ve outlined here, and work that clashes with it, or doesn’t care at all (such pleasure in that, too). There is too much to catalog, so I won’t, but you’ll find an incredible amount of good writing to read now, through the summer, and whenever you return to Annulet for our particular caliber of thinking and writing. I’ve continued to revisit each piece and rapture in such weirdnessess, authenticities, intelligences.
As a reader, I always want to know what it’s like where you are, how you’re going to constitute that in form and language. Such knowing, I think, helps us all to keep knowing the world, even as we feel we may be apart from it, or as the air around us shifts.
In springtime’s wind and green,