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Welcome to the première issue of Able Muse. My vision in creating this journal has been to spotlight formal poetry via an online presentation that is as finely crafted as the poems, book reviews, essays, and artwork it features.

Despite the plethora of online journals covering a wide spectrum of literary interests, most of the poetry published on the web has been free-verse. Given formal poetry's recent rise in popularity in print journals, and the number of journals that exclusively publish formal poems, it is surprising that the online medium, with its explosive growth and aggressive rush to publish a bit of everything, has failed to represent the best and the brightest of the neo-formalist revival. So, this formalist set out to tip the balance a little the other way.

My goal has been to create a unique and distinctive journal quite unlike any other online, both in terms of the contents and the site design.

On the technical side, I only tested the site on Netscape 3.0 and greater and Internet Explorer (IE) 4.0 and greater. It looks best on IE. I have not yet been able to test on IE 3.0, hence this release does not support it. However, I intend to have a version for that browser and other JavaScript and tables-challenged browsers for the next issue, Able Muse Y2K.

My special thanks go to Beth Houston, our feature poet, not only for her prolific and proficient writing, but also for stepping up to the plate at the dying hours, when it seemed I would never finish this project, and volunteering to proofread everything. And you will not find a better proofreader anywhere — she not only flushed out typos, grammar errors and stylebook violations, but also, bugs in page layout and hyperlinks. If there is an extra space between words, she will find it!

To conclude, my wish is that this issue of Able Muse will be the beginning of a new online tradition that, for many years to come, will publish some of today's best formal poetry in the supportive company of pertinent reviews, essays, and distinctive art. This will happen with your support for Able Muse and its contributors. Here is one web site where you will always find a rich vein of talent.


Alex Pepple


Able Muse