I am honored to let everyone know that at the end of March, 2017 I was selected as the third Poet Laureate of the Town of Brookline, MA. It is a three year term and I am succeeding two previous Poets Laureate – Judith Steinbergh and Jan Schreiber – who have done much to promote poetry in the schools, the senior center and the Brookline in general. They have set a high standard which I will do my best to match.
This edition sets a record for poets published – 51! Each issue gets more submissions and the choices become more difficult from which to choose. Although I rejected many poems, most of them were good enough to be selected elsewhere. Another record is the poets: forty-one appearing in Muddy River Poetry Review for the first time. Samantha Titus is making her first published appearance and as has been my tradition, is the last poet in this issue. Breaking with tradition another poet being published for the first time is Stuart Krantz who leads off this issue with a poem that particularly grabbed me.
On the other hand, veteran poets Robert K. Johnson and Taylor Graham both of whom I have always enjoyed, are back for their third go-round in MRPR. Both have received recognition and awards for their outstanding poetry.
The Special Feature for this Spring 2017 issue is Len Krisak. A renowned translator, he has published his translation of Rilke’s New Poems, as well as the poems of Catullus and many poets who wrote in Greek, Russian, French and other languages. In addition to having taught writing courses, he is the recipient of the Robert Penn Warren, Richard Wilbur, and Robert Frost Prizes, and is a four-time champion on Jeopardy. His talent is displayed here with four of his own poems and a translation of Valery.
The Features in this issue are Steve Klepetar and Tim Suermondt. Both poets have previously appeared in Muddy River Poetry Review.
Steve is a fine poet who has received national and international recognition in his writing and teaching careers. There are four recent collections which you will find in his bio. He recently returned from Australia and I am willing to bet will soon have another collection of poems.
Tim has published in a number of top magazines as you will see in his bio. He has published eight volumes and three chapbooks of poetry and does reviews for two top websites. He is married to poet Pui Ying Wong who also appears in this issue
It is important to note that I have returned poems to a number of poets, not because their poetry is inferior, but because the guidelines I posted on the website and in Duotrope were not followed. If you are a poet planning to submit, I urge you to read those guidelines carefully, especially the reading periods and how to submit. You have a better chance of being accepted
Finally, I have had well-known, experienced and first time published poets and many in between. Selections are made on the poems submitted, not on credits or awards. Bios are welcome as information for readers who like to know more about the poet they are reading.
So again I invite you to relax in a comfortable chair and take in the poets who present their considerable talents for your contemplation and enjoyment. Some have been previously published in this magazine and others are new to our Muddy River Poetry Review family.
Zvi A. Sesling