Letter from Poets of Alexandria
“There’s no such thing as a best-selling poet.” As oft as those words have been quoted or quipped it might be impossible to track down who first uttered the observation: poets simply do not have as large an audience as prose and fiction writers. And though the great Mary Oliver or the late Walt Whitman might lay claim to coveted ‘best seller status,’ it’s true that poetry does not have cultural traction or breadth of readership that most other forms of word craft enjoy. So why do we people keep writing poetry? And why would an editor start a poetry collection with a quote about its lack of readership?
Aspiring prose authors abound, and a quick survey of any social media platform can tell you that many of those authors are working and wishing to develop readership, hit the best seller lists, get a movie deal, and quit their day job. But poets….they are a different breed of writer. Poets don’t share stories of going from indie author to book deal to movie script. They rarely talk about the day they can quit their day job. And I haven’t once heard a poet lament that they don’t have their word count in for the day (I say that with no derision to all the authors who hustle to write every day!). What are they doing, these rogues of the writing world? And who are they?
The poets in this collection are parents, students, coders, teachers, published authors, undiscovered scribblers, carpenters, IT consultants, artists, and so much more. We have received outstanding poetry from people in nearly every walk of life and a wide range of ages and nationalities. Jack Kornfield, a teacher of meditation, recently said that ‘poetry is the music of language.’ Like music, poetry can come from anyone and be enjoyed by anyone.
I used to find poetry very stressful and would say that I didn’t like it. Being a left-brained logic driven thinker, I didn’t understand that there could be language free of grammar, punctuation and specific, defined meaning. In short, I didn’t know it could be musical. It has only been through working with several outstanding poets over the years I have come to appreciate the gift of freed language, the gift of poetry.
Jacqueline Harris has curated an outstanding volume of poetry here and I do hope you enjoy it. Even if you aren’t a ‘poetry-person,’ like I once was, perhaps you can find a quiet space to read a poem or two. Let it wash over you without asking “what does it mean?” The feelings, the sound and rhythm….those are meaning enough.
UPCOMING DATES FOR CURATING ALEXANDRIA
Ongoing- Interviews of authors; If you're an author who writes works based on classical mythology, lore or fairy tales, use the contact form to get in touch with us about a possible interview.
Gods in the Modern World (March)
Color printed, visual art, flash fiction and poetry (April)
Aurora Borealis (May)- submissions currently closed
Pride Edition (June)
Classical Mythology Fan Fiction (June)
Fairy Tales (Dec)