Letter from the Editor
This issue should have come out a year ago–and is not recognizable as the issue it might have been, but I’m so grateful for those contributors who patiently waited while we swapped what became our Issue #15 with this Issue, #16. How or why this came about is less important than the result that we now have but it is worth noting that at least 4-6 contributors in this issue are superheroes in my book. Another distinction is that this issue will have more contributor criticism of contributors’ poems than any other issue of Triggerfish. I owe a debt of gratitude to all of you who contributed so lavishly and often surprised me with your patience, generosity and friendship. #16 is a beautiful and varied display of poetry, art and criticism and has turned out to be one of the most successful, probably because it was so long in coming together, especially regarding the sheer variety of voices and styles, the quantity and quality of the contributor criticism, and the artwork.
I’m particularly pleased that Romona Youngquist allowed us to feature her paintings and agree to be interviewed. Not only is the work special because of the artistic talent, richness and beauty on display, but her landscapes are paintings representing places in and around Yamhill County, Oregon, which is where I live. I have been a fan of Romona’s work since moving to the area nearly 20 years ago. She is always pushing herself and her painting further. You can find more about her and her work here: http://romonayoungquist.com/. Spending so much time with her work in putting this issue together has given me a new appreciation for viewing the landscape I drive through everyday and take for granted most of the time. I won’t pretend I see it as she sees it, but when I look at the paintings, I get glimpses. I think of myself as one attentive to the beauty around me–but she makes me aware of how much I miss. If you’ve ever seen photographs of Arles and compared them to the paintings of Van Gogh, you know what I’m talking about–there’s this extra, transcendent quality art carries that goes beyond mere representation.
One last important thing–I want to announce the Penny University Press release of a big new book of poems by Simon Perchik, D Poems, for electronic download. This book shows off Perchik’s technique of using a Time/Life book on documentary photography as the initial inspiration, ekphrastically, in which he riffed off the 183 photographs contained within the book and used them as launching points of inspiration. He studied each photo, wrote notes describing the photos, and then using books of mythology he favors and mining for archetypes, he transfigures the action or description contained within the photographs into something entirely other, experientially and linguistically. He says he eschews narrative, wishing the poems to become experiences for the reader and not tied down by his own, yet I find narratives always seem to crop up within the poems. I know of no other poet as prolific and under-appreciated, or one who uses this kind of technique to create art. Steve Parker, from our editorial board, is working on an interview with Simon which we hope to publish in the next issue. He has been a frequent contributor to Triggerfish, and you can find him talking about his technique here: Simon Perchik.