Introductions to Pedestal 85

Selecting poems with four editors is an amazing process. Working as a team helps each of us look deeper into the intent of a poem, into its rhythm and impact. So, readers, I’m going to issue a similar challenge to you. Find the poem where a woman is buried in books or the one where a man describes war as a kind of ballet. Find flowers in Arctic ice or a blue heron “most human in its confusion.” Visit Thailand or see what Korea might taste like. Discover what a person says about their mother’s jewelry. Have you ever gone to Calvary, followed a hummingbird, or found a road map inside a woman’s body? Well, start now. Ready … set … go!      —Susan Terris

I’m very pleased with this selection of poems. John, Susan, and Arlene are gifted readers and poets. I’m honored to be working with them. It’s wonderful how many poems we all agreed on. But what makes this issue amazing is how each of our other choices was looked at more closely and how several of our individual favorites were nudged forward into selections, and how this process charged the issue with expansive energies.      —Michael Spring

Editing the December issue of Pedestal Magazine with John, Michael, and Susan always feels like Christmas has come early. Given our different backgrounds and interests, it’s fascinating to watch the issue fall into place, one vote at a time, while we share insights and discuss our choices. This process, in turn, never fails to yield an eclectic mix of human experience, styles, and voices from different parts of the world. I hope everyone enjoys these poems as much as we did.      —Arlene Ang

Every year I look forward to December for various reasons, one being that I’ll again have the pleasure of working with Susan, Michael, and Arlene. Our editorial process is enriched by our varying interests as well as our individual and collective commitments to reading beyond our preferences and recognizing that excellence occurs in myriad forms. This makes for issues replete with varying voices, themes, imagery, music, and perspectives. I hope that you enjoy the contents of Pedestal 85, which, I’ll add, happens to be the magazine’s 19-year anniversary!      —John Amen