Introduction by Michael Spring

Another incredible experience working with John, Arlene, and Susan. I like how they each bring new light to selecting poems. It astonishes me how many poems all four of us agree on, especially during the first round of deliberations. My favorite part of our process is when we debate the nominated poems that didn’t receive four votes, when we share our individual perspectives that might or might not sway another vote. It’s not uncommon for a poem that only received one vote to eventually capture all of our votes for publication. I like how this process forces us to read more deeply into poems we might’ve overlooked. The toughest part is making the final decisions because of the high volume of quality poems to choose from. I’m very pleased with the final choices. The poetry in this issue is diverse and profound.

—Michael Spring