April, officially National Poetry Month, is a frantic time. There’s so much to read and write and attend to, and along with that comes quite a bit of FOMO.
In addition to this, if you live in a four seasons climate like we do here in Indianapolis, the outside world is putting on the gaudiest, most outrageous show of the year. My young son asked me yesterday, Why are all the trees full of flowers? This colorful and warm environment is a balm after being in the dark, damp cold for so long, yet sometimes it can mess with our minds. Maybe the outside world feels like it’s mocking our inner one that might not be bursting with blue skies and pink petals. It seems ironic, but statistics have shown that people generally feel more depressed in springtime. Eliot certainly knew this when he wrote, “April is the cruellest month.”
While writing the welcome letter for our Winter Issue last time, I mentioned I was warming my feet by the space heater. Today, I walked through my neighborhood full of spring blooms, grazed my hand along the edge of a huge forsythia hedge full of gold flowers and just finished watching the Pacers, in their gold uniforms, upset the Cavaliers. Springtime can be gorgeous and disorienting and anxiety producing, but like it or not, it’s here.
And so are we! We’re releasing this magnificent issue, our fourth, out into the wild and in celebration of the last few days of NaPoMo. I’m so amazed that our little journal is publishing people from all around the world, as well as the U.S. and all over Indiana. We have poets published in this issue from the U.K., Italy, Australia, Oregon, North Carolina, and New Mexico, to name a few places. We also have work by several poets from Indianapolis and one poet residing in Warsaw—Warsaw, Indiana, that is. Steve Henn, I’m looking at you. Steve is one of those rare poets who writes humor really well; be sure to check out his contribution.
Speaking of Steve, don’t miss my interview with Steve Henn’s former student and mentee–poet, and Purdue professor, Kaveh Akbar! I wanted this interview to be more of a conversation; we discussed a wide range of things, and it was great fun for me. Kaveh has been such an important figure in my development as a poet and in my decision to launch The Indianapolis Review.
I also had the chance to interview the amazing poet Lauren Camp about her artwork, as well as her poetry (both are included in this issue). This was a very special section of the journal for me, and I’m so grateful for Lauren’s contribution.
I also have to mention the three poems that poet Hyejung Kook contributed to this issue. She terms one of these poems an “Invention” and you have to hear it to understand what she means. We included audio with this one. Hyejung explains, “The invention poems are intended for two readers. Each couplet resembles a musical measure, with the readers’ voices overlapping where the text lines up.” Truly fascinating!
I hope you are able to find some time to enjoy this issue and that the last days of April aren’t too cruel.
Editor In Chief
The Indianapolis Review