Welcome to the
5th anniversary double issue of The Melic Review.
Now for the
requisite Oscar speech.
I want to thank:
for inviting me to co-found the magazine, later bequeathing it to
me with no strings attached;
Editor, our inveterate proofreader, Kathleen McGovern Chaffin, winner
of our first and only poetry contest before she and I met, fell in
love, and married (living passionately ever after as mad poets);
Fiction Editor, for her gift in discerning, within the limits of short
fiction, maximum emotional impact, her insistence on high standards,
and her patient encouragement of authors;
Past Guest Editors,
including Sharon Kourous, Kathleen Chaffin, Kathleen Henderson, Sherry
Saye, Laird Barron, and all who served as Assistant Editors in the
and present, especially our Webmistress Emeritus (who asked that her
name not be mentioned); then, in order of service, Jamie Wasserman,
Mark Stacks, Jim Zola and Mark Melton, our current designer;
and Stacksgraph for technical support (they haven’t billed us in years)
and to all who have donated money to our cause;
Poetry Board Monitors, past and present: I apologize for not having
a record of everyone who served, but here are a few names: Teresa
White, Shann Palmer, Chris O’Carroll, Laurie Byro, Maggie, Andrew
Sundaresan, Christopher T. George, Jim Corner, Ken Ashworth and Julie
our boards, excluding those otherwise mentioned, who have generously
contributed to our ongoing discourse: John Pawlik, Russ Bowden, Michael
Peverett and countless others;
Poetry Contest Representatives, past and present, including Gina
Bryson, Ken Ashworth, Jewel and David Ayers (since we joined the IBPC
it is safe to say we have distinguished ourselves as an online workshop,
though T. S. Eliot opined “There is no competition”);
Lastly and most
importantly, the authors who favored us by submitting, whether accepted
for publication or not, and the readers who gave them a hearing.
dab, dab—flashbulbs, applause! (Like my gown? It’s a Versace.)
I forgot to credit, please e-mail me with a reminder so I can thank
News: After five years online, Jim Zola has consented to become our
first official Poetry Editor. Congrats, Jim!
has chosen a summer replacement as Fiction Editor, Mary McGrail, who
also has a story in this issue.
We have found
a new general Webmaster to revamp the site between now and Melic
XXII, due out September 1 (submissions close August 10).
A word about
Melic XX/XXI, “Disconnected”:
ago we gave up dictating themes for our magazine, trying instead to
discern a theme from each quarterly harvest. My essay on Eliot explores
his disconnection from himself. As for the Cramden essays, many think
Dweebler should be disconnected altogether (although he remains our
most popular contributor), so we tried to balance his outrageous bloviations
with the saner reflections of his older brother, Mycroft. To think
of my English cousins as brothers is another disconnect for me.
fiction explores the disconnection of widowhood, motherhood, daughterhood,
adolescent coming of age, and a disconnected relationship between
two men, largely and literally because of chicken shit!
newly christened Poetry Editor, Jim Zola, penned a separate note about
disconnection in poetry, some poems I’d like to mention (among other
worthy examples) include featured poet Alfred Corn’s “Who Said That”
and “Long Distance Call to a Friend Who Lived with AIDS as Long as
He Could” (the latter as much a connection as a disconnection), Ruth
Padel’s “Soho Leopard,” Roy C. Diebold’s “My Biology,” and S. Sucur’s
“She Stalks in Manufactured Darkness.”
As for the 19
poems selected to represent “The Best of Melic Poetry” from
our first 19 issues, I picked from issues I to XII and
Jim Zola from XIII to XIX. Myself, I tried to choose
new favorites instead of repeating past Pushcart nominees.
Sharon Kourous garnered the singular honor of having two poems independently
chosen by Jim and me. The one piece representing our “Light Verse”
feature (“At the Workshop”) is mine, included because of its enduring
popularity (we never first-publish poetry by Staff except light verse,
for which, like essays, we get few submissions).
After five years,
what makes it worth it? Connection: Friends I’ve made throughout
the globe, artists and readers who share a passion for literaturesome
whom I’ve met, many I hope to meet, but who, collectively, have made
me feel a global citizen, no longer a voice crying in the wilderness.
Happy 5th Birthday,
C.E. Chaffin, Editor