Welcome to Issue Nine of the Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art.

This issue’s writers hail from California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wyoming; internationally from Albania, British Columbia (Canada), Crete (Greece), Mexico, and Minna, Niger State, Nigeria.

This outstanding issue includes poets Anya Achtenberg, Rachel Blum, John Brandi, Lynne Burnett, Stephen Dunn, Saddiq Dzukogi, Jennifer Foerster, CMarie Fuhrman, Khédija Gadhoum, Timothy Gager, Ani Gjika, Julia Gjika, Aaron Graham, Renée Gregorio, Phyllis Hotch, Rosa Jamali, Sarah Kafatou, Ariana Kramer, Mike Lewis-Beck, Juan Morales, Robert Okaji, Natalia Treviño, Ian Randall Wilson, and Erika Wurth.

In our Book Review & Essay section, you’ll find two essays written by William Barnes and Leslie Ullman.

In our Art section, Sasha Raphael vom Dorp honors Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art with his creative, Sound Bending Light series, photographs of sound encountering light as seen through the medium of water.

Each editor has recently published a book with 3: A Taos Press. According to the press, The Mistress, by Catherine Strisik , Rootwork, by Veronica Golos, and The Ledgerbook, by William Barnes (who recently joined TJOP as Essay & Book Review Editor), “illuminate history, both universal and private, reaching for the highest level of art, both in the poetry and book design. 3: A Taos Press remains true to the beauty of the word and the beauty of the work.” Issue Nine highlights these books and Library of Small Happiness by Leslie Ullman. (www.3taospress.com)

We begin Issue Nine with a poem from The Mistress by Catherine Strisik

Call Out My Name

When all the lovers of the world open
there are so many
hands—

even the sculptors exhale.

But first, let’s expand.
With shirts unbuttoned.
Oh wicked.
Oh hollow.
Oh, Jesus, and Mary.

The doves fly above and through
and around─

Let’s name lover,
with one breast bared.

*

When all the lovers of the world open
their hands─and there are so many

lovers─

If I felt sorry for ignorance─
If I felt ignorance ─
If I felt─

On this Sabbath white, unused hands offer
harness and flame.

Who never called my name
Call out my name
Call out my name with spirals

I utter

a weight
beside the river that cannot be moved
but I beg anyway

pull me

*

here in the valley
where I am
vocabulary imperfect
thunderstorm
my juggler god
beads of sweat
the gust−

*

When all the lovers of the world open their─

*

The desired destination being─
where lilies color every leaf beyond green beyond
green being the lover’s

openness in that moment─

*

in that

taken
in.

Seshat, whose image introduces the journal, is the Ancient Egyptian goddess of wisdom, knowledge, and writing. She was known by the epithet “Mistress of the House of Books” because she looked after the library of the gods and was the patron of all earthly libraries. She was also patron of all forms of writing.

Our mission is to discover poetry, art, and literary reviews/essays that raise the hair on our arms, therefore our consciousness; Poetry that excites with passion, syntax, and craft; Art that remains an image in one’s eye. As poets living in Taos, New Mexico, U.S., amid astounding horizontal beauty of mesas, vertical allure of mountains, we are searching too for splendor; intricate and singing. Our vision is wide and inviting to both experimental and formal poetry, photography, visual art, sculpture, reviews and essays.

During this month of May 2017, Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art is open submission with the THEME: SENSUAL ORGANS OF A LIVING EARTH.

All rights to Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, all issues, are reserved with Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written consent of Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, including, but not limited to, any network or other electronic means of transmission, or broadcast for distance learning. ©Individual copyrights remain with writers, artists, and photographers for their respective work.