What a great opportunity and privilege to ‘work backstage’ at VoiceCatcher. Three poetry editors, we began our work in late, chilly February, excited as each submission arrived. April is here. Now, blossoms are opening, and our work is done. As we read closely, considered, and chose these poems, we were supported and surrounded by the integrity and respect involved in VoiceCatcher’s “blind reading” process. Integrity and respect—beautiful words to contemplate in a time of upheaval. May the writing of poems, and the reading of poems thrive in our community.
Only after these poems were accepted, we learned whose work we were publishing, and, in some cases, corresponded with the poet. One poet, “covert” for many decades, has a poem in this issue. A young woman’s poem will find a place in this journal, following her teen years, writing secretly. These poets will be published for the first time, next to poems by poets whose work has been sought out, listened to, and read for years. In VoiceCatcher Spring 2017, you will read poems of sorrow, of burdens, elegies to mothers, siblings, to lovers. One voice demands to be recognized, dealt with, seen. Another sings a paean to the erotic.
To all who submitted, who allowed us to read your poems, we thank you. To the Managing Editors, thank you for your guidance, patience, and wisdom. To you, our audience: thank you! As you read our selections, we hope you will be moved, awestruck, joyful—as we are—reading and rereading this surprising, passionate work. Here’s to the poets, honest and daring. Here’s to the breathtaking line break, the image, the rhythm—here’s to the craft of the poem.