Welcome to Issue 12: Spring 2020

Here in Indianapolis, violets and dandelions are blooming in the grass, and the new leaves on the trees are neon green, waving in the chilly, spring wind.

Inside my apartment, it’s loud.

I’m typing on my little Chromebook, promising my sons that they will get to use it later, breaking up their fights, and trying not to get upset by the constant interruptions they cause. I’m also trying not to get upset by the fact that I desperately miss my office computer for creating web pages!

I have to acknowledge that I’ve been incredibly lucky that none of my friends or family have passed away from the COVID-19 virus, and that I am able to work from home, teaching online classes. My partner has not been as lucky and has not been working. Yet I am also reminded all the time that just a few years ago, I was still working in a supermarket as a floral department manager and adjuncting on the side. Even though I am in a far better situation now, it can still be a challenge, just as I know it is for everyone else.

I’m writing this on the last day of April, but I know that for the very first time in almost 3 years, I will miss my deadline to publish by the end of the month.

Something interesting that I’ve noticed is people talking about the elastic nature of time, and how being in quarantine has changed their perception of it.

For me, it seems like all the clocks have sped up. Whenever I glance at a clock, the day has disappeared.

April, the official month of poetry, has slipped by me, and I again I feel I should have done more writing myself. I am in awe at how many people say that they have had more time to work on projects or manuscripts. Between working at home and constantly being with the kids, I have far less time, although I really have been enjoying all of the extra family bonding. It’s certainly bittersweet, as well as frustrating and terrifying when we as a country have the leaders that we have in our highest positions of power.

All that being said, my staff and I have put together this issue with care, and as a last-gasp celebration of poetry month (even though this is coming out officially in May, damn it). However, I want to share with you all that as we were putting together the issue, two wonderful pieces of news about our contributors came to light:

1. torrin a. greathouse won the 2020 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry for her poetry collection Wound from the Mouth of a Wound, selected by Aimee Nezhukumatathil. Her book will be published by Milkweed Editions this December. torrin has two poems in this issue that will be included in the book!

2. Kellly Cressio-Moeller just received news that her first full length collection, Shade of Blue Trees, will be published by Two Sylvias Press. Kelly has a feature of her artwork in this issue.

Congratulations to torrin and Kelly!

I also want to note that two amazing poets, Jennifer Givhan and Sean Thomas Dougherty agreed to have poems published in this issue that were first posted by themselves on Facebook (separately, I just happened to see both of them do this recently). I read them, and immediately knew I wanted to publish the poems. Therefore, I have done away with the old submission guideline that we won’t publish something that you have written and posted on your social media previously. The more that I’ve thought about that, it just feels classist to restrict writers that way.

I hope you all enjoy this issue. Please be aware that we are going to be closing our submissions for the first time ever! We will not be taking any submissions of regular (text only) poetry from June-November. This is due to the huge outpouring of submissions that we have gotten lately, as well as the fact that our Fall 2020 Issue will be Visual Poetry only. We will continue to accept submissions of art and visual poetry.

Wishing you all good health and sanity,

Natalie Solmer
Founder and Editor In Chief
The Indianapolis Review

Me trying to capture the violets at my feet and neon green leaves (those are the groundcover, Lysimachia nummularia, Creeping Jenny)

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