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Editorial

Welcome to the first edition of foam:e , a new web-based poetry journal that aims to appear bi-annually.

foam:e has grown out of the poetryespresso email discussion group, established in 2001 as an open forum for poets to discuss poetry and poetics (amongst other topics) with their peers in a friendly and supportive, that is to say 'creative', environment. It is styled on the early coffee houses of The Enlightenment that provided a space for creative thinkers and encouraged the open discussion of ideas.

Poetry speaks for itself.

And anyway its shape-shifting makes it difficult to say what it is or what it does - if it does anything at all. The joy of an editor is discovering the poems that work best, that lay out something simple - a sound, a visual structure or an observation - clean and uncluttered, sometimes working with the grain of words, sometimes against. Poems use words - words that contain the possibility of ideas, of conversation, of humiliation and difficulty, of memory.

The web has brought new opportunities for poetry to again be a visible force within society. The nature of this global communication medium, its immediacy and openness, has meant that a sense of community can be enjoyed by people in disparate places, societies and time zones.

Over the past three years poetryespresso has published a number of chapbooks as well as some co-publications with web journals. The moderator and founder of poetryespresso , Cassie Lewis, is an expatriate Australian poet living in the U.S.A.  

The decision to move into a web journal was taken in concert within the group and the name foam:e was nominated by Michael Farrell. We wanted to build on the success of the chapbooks and throw out an invitation to other poets. foam:e aims to showcase immediate, strong work being produced now and, thanks to the internet, to make it easily accessible.

This is the inaugural edition of what we hope will become a bi-annual edition of foam:e . The web is a fitting place for it - ever changing, without borders. The poets in this edition come from Australia, New Zealand, the U.S.A. and Ireland. This is a start.

Some of the poets represented in foam:e (Vol. 1 No. 1) have been part of the poetryespresso list - many have not. A request for submissions was sent out via poetryespresso and other "word of mouth" emails from poets. It is hoped that future editions will attract even more widespread interest - please see the submissions guidelines if you are interested in contributing.

The format for foam:e , agreed between myself, as inaugural editor, and Cassie Lewis, was for the journal to allow the poems to be themselves, to speak for themselves.  foam:e imagines itself as providing the private, interior (virtual) space of the open book.

These poems often require a reader to work - but lightly - to bring something of themselves to the reading for them to be fully executed. But that something also seems to change - shape-shifting with the poem, with the reading, with the reader. It seems akin to being, to not catching fish, to a day decorating the front room while listening to the cricket, the use of a knife. There are also many other things it does not appear to resemble, but appearances may be deceptive.

The editor of this edition is Angela Gardner who previously edited a poetryespresso chapbook in May 2002. I have benefited from occasional advice by other list members in the structure of this edition, however, the final decisions have been mine. Technical assistance on this issue was provided by Susie Gardner-Brown of Heilog Web Design. I would like to thank both Cassie and Susie for their invaluable work and Gwen Todd for her input early on in the project.

This edition has no discernable theme and yet the poems themselves seem to know what they are about, if we will just let them get on with it. It is a contemporary, fresh and immediate selection of recent work by currently practising poets. There are no bells and whistles or alternatively there are plenty of bells and whistles...

I'd like to thank all the poets involved for their patience during the creation of foam:e.

Here then, are some poems for you to read. Enjoy.

Angela Gardner  
Issue 1,March 2004

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