As I write these notes, the tragedy of Orlando has just occurred. It's hard to say anything that will be a comfort or help in the healing or conceive of any way to reduce the chances of such destructive hatred ever happening again. Adorno said that after Auschwitz to write a poem is barbaric. This is a complex statement and doesn't mean that we shouldn't continue to write poetry or art, but rather that we live in spite of barbarism, that we must continue anyway.
I hope that Bywords can be a site where all feel welcome to read and contribute poetry, to make art, as an act of defiance against those who destroy and kill. And to members of Ottawa's queer community, please know that your words are welcome here. My heart goes out to the friends and families of the victims of the Orlando massacre and to members of the LGBTQ family at large. Please continue to dance.
The poems in this issue offer a variety of themes. There are tones of irony, but also music in these poems. We especially need the music. Let's listen closely to each other, to the music, and to those in pain who need our love and support.
Thanks to our selection committee this month:
Robert Martin Evans
Carol A. Stephen
Bywords will have our usual table at the upcoming Ottawa Small Press Book Fair on Saturday, June 18 at the Jack Purcell Community Centre from noon to five pm. Please come by, purchase a few chapbooks from our John Newlove Award series and talk to us. We'd love to see you.
If you have comments, suggestions, questions or need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen, please e-mail me at email@example.com.
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