Over the past four years, Arlene Ang, Michael Spring, our editor-publisher John Amen, and I have learned to work together in order to produce an issue of Pedestal, featuring poems that are strong and beautiful to both behold and read. This new issue is, I think, particularly well-balanced, including poems which challenge and enlighten, poems which may offer beauty and fresh insights to the reader.

          How do the four of us work together so smoothly from wildly separated places? (Note: I have never met John, Michael, or Arlene in person.) We do it because we have developed a serious respect for one another, a trust in judgment. We have learned to make compromises out of strength, ones which reflect the intelligence of our process.

          Why does this interest me so much now? Why am I writing about the suppleness of our editorial process instead of referring to the poems we've selected for this issue? Because our world seems so dangerous these days. Because I wish political parties and nations could learn to work together with the kind of respect and intelligence that the four of us have learned to access.

          May 2016 be a better year for us all!
          Susan Terris

          The poems selected for this issue seem to give me answers of what “we” collectively know (or think we know) of gravity. I freefall through the meanings and am filled. It’s an ambiguous state, but profound insights are present. I’m honored to have been part of this editorial process with John, Arlene, and Susan. They each bring to the table a professional and poetic knowledge I’m continuing to benefit from. Although each of us had our preferences, we seemed to agree on the vast majority of these poems. This issue, as I often feel with our selections, is not just a gathering of poems, but rather some masterpiece sending light into the sky….

          Michael Spring

          This is the third Pedestal issue that Susan, John, Michael, and I have edited together. As always, exchanging ideas and poetic leanings with them has been an enriching experience. We have, I think, selected twenty poems that engage various styles and voices—some edgy and experimental, others contemplative and down-to-earth, others more of a mix of approaches and tones. I hope Pedestal readers love these poems as much as we do.

          Happy holidays,
          Arlene Ang

          It's always an adventure to work with Arlene, Michael, and Susan. We navigate discussions regarding content with respect, integrity, deep commitment to the arts, and a sense that something as obscure as poetry can indeed matter in a world that often seems to be crumbling. I always look forward to the process that the four of us create. I invariably learn something new from each of my co-editors and am repeatedly amazed at how energizing fluid collaboration can be. I’m happy to present the work of these nineteen poets and hope that you will enjoy reading their poems as much as we did.

          All my best,
          John Amen

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