Editors' Notes-- Poems of Place & Displacement
We want to thank all the poets who took time to submit poems for the Place & Displacement issue of
Switched-on Gutenberg! After long deliberation we chose poems that we felt most closely fit
the theme and/or were crafted with the theme in mind.
Given the opportunity, twelve different editors would surely sequence these twenty-eight poems
of place/displacement a dozen different ways. Like the paradox of this issue's theme, each of
those twelve editor's arrangements would be both exact, with certain, arguable coordinates, and
imprecise, with nebulous, confused topographics. Upon reading these poems as a collection
five distinct sections seemed to emerge.
Some poems like “Deer Isle Winter” by Norma Voorhees Sheard spoke directly of specific places. Other poems
took their inspiration from places portrayed in art, such as Carol Frith’s “Softly from the Brick” or art,
literature, and the evening news, as in Steve Hellyard Swartz’s “She spoke of.” Still other poems captured
us with their wry humor like “On the Midwest Poet” by Casey Fuller or their otherworldliness like
Mike White’s “Tentacled Motherfucker.”
A small group of poems in this issue speak in somber tones to places and times remembered, such as Dave Setter’s
poem, “The Wakeful,” and Melissa M. Lewis’ “Water Street”. And, lastly, three poems and an essay
express the yearning and discontentment we feel when places we know change, as in “Where I
Come From,” by Gerard Wozek and “The Other America” by our own Jana Harris.
Although these pieces, at least typographically, are placed in a certain
and definite order, feel free to land wherever you wish. While you’re here, we invite you to peruse the Place and Displacement
issue (click “Next”), to take a look at past issues (see “Archives”), and to think about submitting a
poem (starting December 1, 2007) for our next issue (see “Guidelines”).
Again, thank you for your curiosity, your attention, but, most of all, for sharing your inner and
outer lives with the editors and, ultimately, with the readers of Switched-on Gutenberg.
--Linda Malnack, Roberta Feins, and Janée Baugher, Co-editors