Welcome to our final installment of our first year of the online quarterly of the Community of Writers. In this issue, we celebrate our history of community, and engage its vigorous, diverse and transformative new manifestations in essays, poetry and fiction chosen to encourage and inspire. Longtime staffer Elizabeth Rosner meditates, generously and insightfully, on the enduring individual and community imperative to describe, explain, transform, complain, criticize, celebrate and, most of all, collaborate. Elizabeth was meant to deliver this gorgeous essay as a talk in an anniversary event postponed due to the pandemic. Novelist and activist Jervey Tervalon, founder of LitFest Pasadena, tells the story of its origins and explores the political economy of creating community as an answer to cultural hegemony, racism, and Hollywood’s disappointing lack of imagination. Jonathan Cohen’s meditation on grief and loss considers the possibilities of incompleteness, with a vividness and empathy that offers so much beauty and, yes, completion. Poet and scholar Therí A. Pickens shares three beautiful poems of self-instruction, analysis and memory: “Linger at the lost spaces of not and undoing.” Finally, Caroline Kim, whose collection The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories won the 2020 Drue Heinz Literature Prize, gives us a short story of spooky or only everyday political and cultural alienation.
Please stay safe, and by all means share our journal.
We are delighted to announce the publication of Written Here: The Community of Writers Poetry Review 2019. This annual anthology is made up of poems first written during the 2019 Poetry Workshop, and is available now! Proceeds benefit the Poetry Workshop’s Scholarship Fund.
Each June at the Community of Writers, poets gather in the Sierras to write and share their new work. Participants and teaching staff poets alike write a poem each day and then bring their new draft to workshop the next morning. Written Here: The Community of Writers Poetry Review 2019 is an impressive collection of all of the extraordinary poetry to come out of the 2019 Poetry Workshop. Once again, volunteer editors, alumni from the same annual workshop, sort through all of the participant submissions and select the poems that appear in the Review. The 2019 Poetry staff featured Forrest Gander, Brenda Hillman, David Tomas Martinez, Jane Miller, Sharon Olds, and Gregory Pardlo, with special guest Robert Hass. This edition of Written Here was edited by Veronica Corpuz, Jeanne Morel, Jon Riccio, Jennifer Sperry Steinorth, and Leah Xue. Many thanks to Cody Gates and Maureen Forys at Happenstance Type-O-Rama for the beautiful book design and production.
Poets included in the issue:
Threa Almontaser • Laura Atkinson • Kyce Bello • Ambriel Floyd Bostic • Robin Burrows • Brian Carey Chung • Nate Clute • Veronica Corpuz • Beth Ford • Kirk Glaser • Katy Gurin • Ken Haas • J.J. Hernandez • Ethan Heusser • Brenda Hillman • John Hines • Leslieann Hobayan • Lauren Howard • Danny Kraft • Deborah Krainin • Lester Graves Lennon • Helena Li • Sarah Maclay • Holaday Mason • Jane Miller • Matthew Moniz • Jeanne Morel • Julie Murphy • Sharon Olds • Emilie Osborn • Jessica Reed • Jon Riccio • Yiskah Rosenfeld • Gini Savage • Diane Schenker • Richard Sime • Arthur Solway • Benjamin Voigt • Lisa Wenzel • Roberta Werdinger • Amelia L. Williams • Mary Winegarden
Give the gift of poetry this holiday season!
The book is available through a print-on-demand site for $16.
We are delighted to tell you that the long-awaited Why to These Rocks: The 50th Anniversary Poetry Anthology will be published by Heyday Books in March, 2021. Stay tuned for more details in the months ahead.