A few weeks ago, the Edison Literary Review released its twentieth, and final, edition. Twenty years is a great run for an independent poetry journal without university or other sponsors, although there was some initial support from the Edison Arts Society. Of course, I wish the journal would continue.
Founded by Gina Larkin, with the able assistance of John Larkin and Tony Gruenewald, the journal provided a forum for a variety of local and not so local poets. From the beginning, Gina’s engaging personality and tenacity also generated submissions from many well-known poets including James Richardson, Stephen Dunn, Diane Lockward, Patrick Rosal, Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Jeanne Marie Beaumont Jack Wiler and others, some at the early stages of their careers. Gina and John and Tony didn’t make any money with the journal, nor did they plan to make any. The journal was a labor of love by three people for whom poetry is essential as it is essential to so many of us. I am so grateful to them.
I’ll close with this poem by the late and enormously talented poet, Jack Wiler. The poem first appeared in the first edition of the Edison Literary Review and appears in Jack’s collection, Fun Being Me (CavanKerry Press).
Praying for Rest
I was dead
But doctors saved me,
Lifted me up and put me back in the world.
Now I hardly sleep.
I watch TV. CNN, MSNBC, NBC, the news, the war, the weather,
the TV. It’s always on.
I’m always up, taking medicine,
taking great gulps of life.
It hasn’t rained is what I hear on the TV.
It’s an arctic air mass stalled.
It’s eighty unburied bodies in Georgia.
Wake them up.
Raise them in their gory shrouds,
stitch up their gaping mouths and show them TV.
Show them the rain.
Ask if it hurts.
Ask if the lawn filled with crocuses
in February is risen or doomed.
Ask them to pray for rain, for me.