June 2006



Passion Flower

24X24 acrylic and gold leaf on board
Liz Hawkes deNiord

Editor's Note

My name is Ernest Hilbert, and I welcome you to the June Issue of The Cortland Review, one of my favorite online magazines. I have enjoyed several editorial jobs in the past. I edited the Oxford Quarterly in the 1990's. I worked for a time at the notorious Long Shot Magazine, where I found myself ducking books and bottles at meetings so turbulent they have become the stuff of legend.

Uptown and a world away, I served as Poetry Editor for Random House's online magazine Bold Type, and later on edited a little magazine called Now Culture.

I currently serve as editor for the Contemporary Poetry Review, a rewarding if sometimes maddening position. I am quite pleased to draw on this modest experience in my role as guest editor of The Cortland Review.

I appeared in the review several years ago myself, and I have always found it a first-rate site for readers and listeners of modern poetry. Guy Shahar, Ginger Murchison, Jim Lewis, Amy McLennan, and the rest of the staff have done a splendid job with the magazine.

This month, I offer an amusing and engaging selection of poems from an assortment of exceptional poets. I believe that the issue deserves some measure of ballyhoo, so please allow me this small indulgence as I introduce the cast. 

We have the superb Sarah Arvio, the talented younger poet Joshua Mehigan, the magnificent Afaa Michael Weaver, the widely-admired Denis Nurkse, the notorious Jack Foley, the mad, bad, and dangerous to know Garrick Davis Poetry magazine�s renowned editor Christian Wiman, Pulitzer-Prize winner Franz Wright, esteemed Rachel Wetzsteon, the famous poet-critic Adam Kirsch, the suspicious and shadowy Daniel Nester, the always captivating and unquestionably brilliant Alicia Stallings, the legendary Alfred Corn, and our featured author, triple threat David Yezzi, who will read from a new poem along with an excerpt from a verse drama in progress. I hope you enjoy the interview I conducted with him in dressing room B of the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan.

Although it is easy to be glutted by new poetry these days, experience has taught me that poetry, like fine cuisine, is best enjoyed in small, exquisite doses, savored, truly appreciated. You might want to read straight through all the poets represented here, but I recommend another approach. Bookmark The Cortland Review in your browser, and return each day to read just one of the poets in the issue. A poem a day might not be the apple the doctor ordered, but it keeps the aesthetic sense keen. One can truly enjoy only so many delicacies in a sitting.

I had a lot of fun pulling this issue together, and so, depleted of superlatives, I raise a glass to you, and I hope you enjoy the issue. Happy reading.


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