Jim Zola


Note From The Poetry Editor


This is my final issue serving as the poetry editor for The Melic Review. As I clean my stuff from my cyber-office, rinsing out my NPR coffee mug, re-shelving the handbook on polite rejection phrases, I’ve had some time to reflect. When I started this job a year ago, I never figured I would last this long. I thought I would get fired, or quit long before my first anniversary. And truth is, I almost did (both).

Finishing a year as poetry editor at Melic was an accomplishment in itself. My initial objective when I took this position was to try and act as matchmaker between the worlds of print and online poetry. Not an easy task. I also wanted to keep the poetry selections diverse. In order to keep me honest in this second objective, I solicited the help of several other poets. For my first issue, I asked David Dodd Lee to help me behind the scenes. The next issue, I had Jiri Cech assisting in the selections. And for this current issue, Walter Bargen served as the guest assistant poetry editor.

Twenty-five years ago, when I lived in Columbia, Missouri, I spent my days between school and jobs working in warehouses. In order to avoid the midwestern summer heat, I hid for hours in various libraries where I read and wrote poetry, and where I discovered small press literary magazines. I remember in several of these littles, running across the name of one particular poet who lived less than ten miles away from me at the time. A few years later, when I met and became friends with Walter Bargen, I was amazed at the way he was able to live in the world, not academia, and be a successful poet. I am still amazed.

This issue is full of wonderful poets and diverse poems. We have a 1960 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Poetry and a 20-year-old college student. And everything in between.

CE will be selecting the poetry for the next issue. I’ll let him explain how that will work. And beyond ... I’m not certain. But I know I will always be able to come back, if not to this cyber-office, at least to this magazine and find the finest work being published in any worlds.

Adios amigos. Thanks to all.