Dear Editor,

I cannot thank you enough for the work that you do. In a time when poetry’s relevance is repeatedly questioned, you have proven that you are up to the task of providing the answer. The poems of Joel Brouwer and Peter Spagnuolo in your October issue do just that. They excel in addressing contemporary issues without sacrificing well-crafted writing for glib topicality. While the specifics of the bp oil spill and looting during the Iraq War may fade from the collective memory over time, the poems’ treatment of the complicated matrices of emotion will endure.

As the Syrian-born poet Adonis said in a recent New York Times article: “Poetry cannot change society . . . Poetry can only change the notion of relationships between things. Culture cannot change without a change in institutions.” Whether it is with regard to rela-tionships, our planet, or the horrors of recent wars: thank you for being a force for change.

Originally Published: January 3rd, 2011
Appeared in Poetry Magazine This Appears In