As a former poetry contributor to Inertia (issue 8), I am pleased to have been entrusted with the task of guest editing the current issue. I’m most pleased to have had the opportunity to bring the voices of these talented writers together in one place. From India, Prague and Canada, to a correctional facility in Illinois and from the east to the west coasts of the United States and several regions in between, the writers in this issue are an eclectic bunch.
The poetry of Darryl Gullens, DT Matz, and Lee Weaver came to fruition in an Illinois prison poetry workshop led by poet Amy Kitchell-Leighty. These poets’ voices add to the overall dialogue that seems to be taking place among the writers of this issue, namely the effects of oppression and violence as well as cultural and personal dislocation on the individual and society as a whole. The issue of communication, or lack thereof, runs like a thread through all the work.
Finally, I’d like to say a few words about the photography of artist Michel Ostaszewski, born in Poland and living currently in Montreal. When I saw Ostaszewski’s photographs, I recognized right away how well they would fit with the work of the writers in this issue and contribute to the dialogue. The photograph “Iris” seems to deconstruct the eye and in so doing allows it to bloom like a sea anemone. I appreciate the irony of the title in the sense that the viewer’s eye is drawn not so much to the Iris but to the pupil, that black vortex in the center, and how the locus of vision is transformed at this proximity into a void. I’m especially fond of the cover photo “Calm” which evokes the named feeling but seems to engender a sense of vertigo as the viewer is placed in this soaring space, neck back, nearly blinded by light from all sides and without perspective of the solid floor beneath. Or perhaps the calm is achieved through a loss of bearings, the abandonment of sure footedness. In any case, I’m immensely pleased to have this visual complement to the written work. I hope you enjoy the richness of this issue as much as I have enjoyed curating it.
- Sarah Sousa