Tribute Issue Editorial
Dear Explorer of the Arts,
We bring you the Tribute Issue of Able Muse —, with its thrust devoted to the memory and celebration of the wonderful acclaimed Poet, Turner Cassity who passed away this year. We were honored and grateful to welcome Turner Cassity early this year at the Eratosphere Distinguished Guests Forum to judge the 2009 Sonnet Bake-Off. I am grateful to Suzanne Doyle who came in as the Guest Features Editor for the Tribute. She also contributes a personal, heartfelt and even humorous editorial introduction to the Tribute, Laying It On the Line for Turner Cassity (1929-2009). The Tribute section is an unqualified success thanks to Suzanne's efforts, along with contributions from Turner Cassity himself with previously unpublished poems (thanks to R. L. Barth, the Literary Executor who also owns the copyrights to the new poems); a poetry reading video from Turner Cassity (thanks to Kevin Durkin who produced it at his own cost); and our other Tribute contributors Timothy Steele, A.E. Stallings, Dick Davis, Memye Curtis Tucker, Helen Pinkerton Trimpi, William Conelly and Christophe Fricker.
As we neared this issue release date, we were surprised by the passing of another major poet in the formal community, Richard Moore. A poem, submitted by Michael Burch, months earlier, Kin, turned out, by some twist of fate, to be a good fit for an impromptu remembrance of Richard Moore in this Tribute issue. Thankfully however, a Richard Moore Tribute and Memorial has already been put together and is available at The Hypertexts from its editor, Michael Burch.
Besides the Tribute section, we bring you our customary gamut of art, poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Royena Rasnat, our Featured Artists exhibits vibrant and inspirational images from her motherland, Bangladesh. Our Featured Poet, Stephen Edgar contributes new, unpublished poems, and a unique conversation in lieu of the traditional interview with our Associate Poetry Editor, Tim Murphy. John Beaton, our Spotlight Poet, is also interviewed by Tim. There is more poetry from Amit Majmudar, Brian Culhane, Bruce Taylor, Lyn Lifshin, Kathy Davis and others. See the additional editorials below for this issue's fiction and nonfiction from Thaisa Frank, our Associate Fiction Editor, and Gregory Dowling, our Associate Nonfiction Editor.
Able Muse is now on a biannual publication schedule. However, we still accept and read submissions year-round. The surge in the number of submissions we're now receiving indicates that Able Muse's popularity remains on the upswing, and that several more of you are reading and submitting. We welcome your attention and are grateful for it!
I'm positive that our readers will gain new and endearing insights on Turner Cassity, the man, the poet, the critic from our elaborate and eclectic Tribute section. Along with our usual offering of art, poetry, fiction and non-fiction, this Tribute issue of Able Muse is one of the most memorable yet.
The very best,
The fiction in this issue is a combination of the kind of surrealism that makes you forget it could never happen and the kind of realism that makes you wonder if it could--in other words, a stellar collection. The five short pieces accomplished what flash fiction can do best--namely create tilted yet believable worlds. The two longer pieces honed closer to what we like to think of as “realism,” yet contained surprising relevance and are written with crisp minimalism.
Our short fiction is represented by Anne Fox (Morocco), Molly Malone (Seal), Marge Lurie (Promises), Richard Spuler (Nodding), and Nina Schuyler (At the Opera House, 2009). The authors of the two longer pieces are Kristen Edwards (Freeway) and Tom Earles (Stalking Nicole). This is Nina Schuyler second appearance with Able Muse.
For this issue we had an overwhelming number of submissions. We want to thank to all of you--as writers and as readers.
As the thrust of this issue is given over to the splendid task of celebrating Turner Cassity, other non-fiction contributions are relatively few this time. But I would urge everyone visiting these pages to seek them out. There is a wonderful essay by Clive Watkins on the English poet E. J. Scovell, who is not as well-known as she should be. I don’t think anyone could read this essay without immediately doing an on-line search for copies of her collected poems; and those who already know her works will have their appreciation considerably heightened. I know mine was.
Rory Waterman provides an essay on Philip Larkin and America. It’s a prickly subject and may well raise an eyebrow or two on both sides of the Atlantic (one of mine rose a centimetre or so, here in the Adriatic). However, it’s a side of the poet that needs exploring and he does it with scholarly thoroughness and great wit. And he uses his research to throw light on a key poem by Larkin.
Julie Stoner offers us two reviews of two new poetry books; her approach to the task is both original and illuminating. The form of each review is a wonderful tribute to the book under consideration; I guess that’s what you might expect when an ebullient poet like Julie Stoner encounters new works by Rhina Espaillat and Aaron Poochigian.
Chris Childers reviews the new edition of Snodgrass’s New and Selected Poems. The review might be more traditional in its format but is no less lively and perceptive. There’s something engaging about a scholarly essay which ends with the word “guts”.
What else is there to add? Read and enjoy.