There are nine poets whose work is included in this folio, and collectively, they represent a wide range of life perspectives and styles, and each also with their own well-defined poetics informing their crafts: Diannely Antigua, Kayleb Rae Candrilli, Kristin Chang, Sean DesVignes, Victoria Newton Ford, Marwa Helal, Nkosi Nkululeko, Noel Quiñones and Lauren Yates. In asking for their contribution to this project, I gave these phenomenal poets complete freedom in regards to content, insisting only on the opportunity to feature their honest and carefully rendered work. In reading their pieces, and their own statements about their conviction to create, you will come to know each of them better as poets and as human beings, and I will hold my tongue here somewhat as to allow for that feeling of discovery to transpire organically. All I wish to ask is that you take the time to savor what they’ve created, to respect and acknowledge the vulnerable pieces of themselves they’ve shared in hopes that it encourages that same level of consideration and concern as your eyes turn away from the page (or screen, rather) and back toward the world outside. In days like these, we could all use such tenderness. We could all stand to know we can be seen.
Cortney Lamar Charleston
Cortney Lamar Charleston is the author of Telepathologies, selected by D.A. Powell for the 2016 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. A recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, The Conversation Literary Festival and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, his poems have appeared in POETRY, New England Review, Gulf Coast, TriQuarterly, River Styx and elsewhere. Discover more here.