Health and vigor, undeniably, to pull a phrase from your response to a letter to the editor by Belle Randall in the May 2005 issue. Thanks to you and your staff for continued improvements in the magazine: the covers are striking, and the letters and forums continue to be a welcome addition. I’ve been reading Poetry for more than thirty years, and I’ve always believed its editors to have a wide taste base, which is not to say the magazine’s editors lack a discernible aesthetic (Randall’s complaint). I’d suggest that Poetry has always acknowledged the possibility of diverse but significant aesthetics within this large country and beyond its borders to all poetry written in, or translated into, English. When I was a younger reader, I went to the magazine to find out what kinds of poems were being applauded by the oldest poetry journal in our country. If I discovered a powerful poem by someone new to me, I looked at the contributors’ notes to find out where else I could locate other work by that writer. And then I followed this lead to the library or the bookstore. I still do.
Mountain View, Arkansas