In the guise of a beggar, Odysseus returned to Ithaca.
I scream, you scream, we all scream in our own special way. Recall the moments in summer when all the screaming stopped because a tinny bell was heard coming from a truck meandering? Ice cream, bomb pops, strawberry shortcake on a stick. And now, some guys named Ben & Jerry or a gal & two guys called Three Twins sell grown-up treats that take us away from the screaming of this world, so the summer for us is about a cool treat and time taken to relax with good poetry.
In his interview with Madeleine Beckman, Stanley Kunitz said, Poetry requires some sense of discontent, insecurity, danger. It’s been said that poetry is the language of crisis. I think of it as an adversary enterprise with respect to the mainstream of our culture. This "adversary enterprise" is woven throughout the poems in IthacaLit as we contemplate empathy in our myriad experiences, and how the state of our nation relates to our connections with people of all nations.
We hope you'll feel just as refreshed as a kid with a cone while reading the summer issue.
Michele Lesko, Editor
"A Monumental Journey" is a Memorial to the Country’s Groundbreaking Black Lawyers by Kerry James Marshall
An important moment in the ongoing push for racial equality has been immortalized by artist Kerry James Marshall, who on Thursday unveiled a monument in Des Moines, Iowa, to the pioneering group of African American lawyers who founded the National Bar Association.
The sculpture’s form—recognizably African but eschewing stereotypically bright colors and patterns—represents the importance of communication between groups of people, and both the need for and the difficulty in achieving a balanced justice system.
“The legal system is supposed to be organized to bring justice, but it’s never a simple or straightforward matter. It’s always more dynamic and more complicated than it seems to be on its face,” said Marshall, who has inscribed the base of the sculpture with the names of the National Bar Association founders. Sarah Cascone for ArtNet News, July 12, 2018
In This Issue
Natalie Diaz, our Featured Poet, is a former professional athlete who attended Old Dominion University on a full athletic scholarship. In her collection, When My Brother was an Aztec, Diaz reflects on the effect of living in a nation that just about wiped out any trace of Native American language, history, and culture. She is Mojave, Pima, and Latina, and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. Diaz began the initiative to recover the Mojave language and worked as the Director of the Fort Mojave Language Recovery Program. She currently teaches at Arizona State University. Diaz said, in an interview with Judi Davis, "The larger message is that such efforts are not about 'saving' languages in an abstract sense, but rather about strengthening intergenerational relationships and community building." Tribal College Journal. May, 2013
Our Poets, the backbone of every issue, include Chaya Bhuvaneswar, Sidney Burris, Cat Dixon, Keith Dunlap, Cal Freeman, Jeannine Gailey, Kenneth Kesner, Donald Levering, Rita Mookerjee, Christine Potter, Evyan Roberts, and Reagan Upshaw.
Laury A. Egan reviews Karla Linn Merrifield's new book, Psyche's Scroll, published by The Poetry Box in June 2018. Merrifield is a seven-time Pushcart-Prize nominee and National Park Artist-in-Residence. She has nine books to her credit; Godwit: Poems of Canada (FootHills) received the 2009 Eiseman Award for Poetry, and she recently received the Dr. Sherwin Howard Award for the best poetry published in Weber - The Contemporary West in 2012. Visit her blog, Vagabond Poet.
Spokes of an Uneven Wheel by Colin Dods published by Main Street Rag Publishing came out in July 2018. One of his own lines comes to mind:“What persists / is glad amazement.” His work consistently delights with humor, inventiveness, a blessed dose of sarcasm and, yes, wisdom (despite his best intentions). We are all “born for that other thing,” and this is that other thing.
Sharon Mesmer, author, Greetings from My Girlie Leisure Place
Colin Dodds is the author of several novels, including WINDFALL and The Last Bad Job, which the late Norman Mailer touted as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and daughter. You can find more of his work at thecolindodds.com.