Welcome to the third issue of foam:e. Themes emerge as the collection of work that becomes foam:e grows. They can be suggested by the random juxtaposition of works such as reading the mapping of sounds by Glenn Bach, followed by the three poems from David Prater based on the paintings of Gerhard Richter and the song ‘Candle’ by Sonic Youth. You choose the order, and find your own themes – there is variety and energy enough in these pages to do that. For those new to this journal navigation has been improved to make it easier to move between the current and back issues.
While reading Jill Jones’s recent book, Broken/Open, I came across the poem ‘AirPoetry’ [p.75], which has an exuberance informed by popular culture. It is a highly visual poem and immediately reminded me of a video I saw in Melbourne some years ago of deaf poets reading their poetry in sign language. It was so obviously poetry. It was essence, it was real and strangely, though abstractly, comprehensible just by looking at the movement. I was hampered, as are all who are without language, by being reduced to reading the subtitles for the nuances so that I had one eye/ear is on the form/sound while the other searched the subtitles for meaning. Hampered though I was, I enjoyed the reading immensely. It extended the range of ekphrasis so that I wondered just where the boundaries to poetry lie or if they are just a convention to make this practise more manageable?
Reviews of print publications give a wonderful opportunity for a close reading of some fantastic recent books. Great books from the publishers Brandl & Schlesinger and from Salt for instance who both do a great job publishing a wide range of poetry. In this edition, we have extended the scope of the reviews section. To do this foam:e now has a dedicated Reviews Editor in Louise Waller. As an introduction to Louise may I suggest a reading of her wonderful poem, ‘Whistling up birds at Blackheath’, published in this issue and which was highly commended in the Val Vallis – Arts Queensland Award for Poetry in 2004. Contributors will now find that we are opening the submissions earlier to coincide with the publication of each issue, though foam:e remains an annual.
Also new with this issue is an interview section that I hope will be an ongoing. In the first interview with Australian poet Cassie Lewis, who is currently living in the United States, we talk about her new chapbook Bridges from Walleah Press. I became fascinated by the project through an early look at the manuscript when I was asked to provide the cover art. From this sneak preview and discussions with Ralph Wesserman at Walleah Press I formed the questions that became the interview. I hope you enjoy the insight that Cassie provides for us of her work.
Enjoy the writing…
Dydd Dewi Sant 2006