When asked what sort of poetry I like or what poets I enjoy reading, I confess that I often find myself fumbling for an answer. The art is so rich and I’ve found so much gold that almost any response seems inadequate, incomplete, if not ungenerous or insincere. And yet to edit Poetry East is to live with this question every day, as I have for some thirty-three years, finding poems and poets that speak for me, as if each volume of the journal were the answer to life’s essential and existential questions. And once again, this volume proves true to form: these extraordinary poems and wise essays of “Origins” collectively articulate my belief that poetry is—must be—passionate, urgent, necessary, and deeply human. What sort of poetry moves me, enlightens me, lifts me up? Read on and you will find out; and you will find that you, too, are lifted up, as if some question you had been meaning to ask had now been answered.

—Richard Jones

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