Well, the theme of this issue is – Imagination and Depersonalization. I was going to write an introductory essay around this chosen theme, but as I sat in my little writing room (computer in a closet), I had major second thoughts. Now, I can handle imagination. Without it most poems would just be a series of weather reports. But the depersonalization was what slowly became the proverbial roadblock for me. Not that I would mind writing about depersonalization, but it's just that I couldn’t see typing depersonalization more than I have already. Every time I do, my fingers get tied up in knots. Besides, the esteemed Dr. Chaffin wrote an essay for publication in this issue that should appease the essay gods for many issues to come.

So, no essay from me.

When I first started working on this issue, I was afraid that the challenge of following a super anniversary issue would be daunting. But I think this issue carries its own creative heft. There are 23 poets here. The poets and the poems selected represent an eclectic group.

This issue has several poets that should be very familiar to readers of Internet poetry publications – John Amen, Gary Blankenship, Arlene Ang, Taylor Graham, Martin Jack and Teresa White.

We also have several poets that perhaps have never published in an online journal, but are very comfortable in the print environment – Jim Daniels, Christopher Buckley, Eric Pankey and Claire Bateman have over 35 books under their belts (seems maybe that would make for discomfort while sitting). Then there is Julianna Baggott who is a well-respected novelist (I checked yesterday and our local big chain bookstore had all three of her books).

For you Internet poetry board savvy critters, we have three poems by poets who won monthly first place awards in the Inter Board Poetry Competition (IBPC). Ivan Waters, James Lineberger and Robert Bohm all had poems workshopped on the Melic Roundtable and then nominated for the IBPC.

And then for something completely different, this month we have a special guest. I have been a children’s librarian for the past 10 years and have worked in some capacity with children for even longer, so I am familiar with children’s poetry. I admire and respect many children’s poets. So when Kristine O’Connell George agreed to let The Melic Review publish several poems from her forthcoming poetry book, I was thrilled. If you get the chance, check out (and I mean literally, being a public librarian) her books, especially my favorites – Old Elm Speaks – and — Little Dog Poems.

Now the real fun in editing a poetry magazine is discovering new voices – new to me. This issue is chocked full of strong poetic voices that were once unfamiliar – Stephen Blair, Tim Bradford, Paula Cisewski, Austin Hummell, Katherine Riegel, Dana Roeser, Elizabeth Skurnick, Jake Vagus and Jim Willis. These poets might be newcomers to the (cyber) pages of Melic, but they are not, for the most part, beginners. Far from it.

Mr. Eliot might chastise me for spending so much time talking about the poets and not enough time talking about the poetry. I forgot to depersonalize. But I will let the proof be in the poems – go read them. Then let the poets know what you think. Post your comments on the Melic Natter Board — http://melicreview.com/forums/natter/. To hell with depersonalization. (That’s the last time I might ever have to type that word).

Before I forget, I want to give a big thank you to three individuals who helped me in some capacity with this issue's poetry selections – thanks to David Dodd Lee, Sherry Saye, and CE Chaffin.

—Jim Zola