A few months ago, Hrag Vartanian, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Hyperallergic, approached me about serving as Poetry Editor of the online arts magazine/blog. Today marks my editorial debut, & I couldn’t be more thrilled. The inaugural poem is by Joanna Fuhrman, entitled “Poem for My 39th Birthday.”

One of the great things about Hyperallergic is that it seems to be everywhere at once, with a stable of great freelance writers & peripatetic bloggers attending various exhibits & art happenings throughout the city, & more often, as it grows, around the globe. The writing does not shy from political or cultural discourse, in fact invites reader engagement – some of the best reading moments occur within the comments sections, where people actively sort out their opinions & criticism, & where writers can & do interact with their readers. Hyperallergic always feels like it’s bringing you the news of what JUST happened right NOW. It feels current & alive & takes full advantage of the format in which it operates.

In thanking Hrag again by email earlier today, I noted something I’ll share here, regarding art in praxis & the reason I took the job: “My hope is that the work I choose, in congress with the literary criticism of John Yau & Morten Høi Jensen, two writers whose opinions I often share & whose writing I admire, will broaden your readership & ultimately the community of artists cognizant of each other’s works.”

This last part is quite important to me: that artists seek out & maintain awareness of other forms of art – their practice, their histories, their criticisms. As various arts move within each other’s orbits, dialogues & tensions occur, ultimately growing community, not to mention creating more opportunity to share, borrow, & steal – the genetic dispersal responsible for art’s ability to adapt to ever-changing environments.

As I choose poems for the website, some will no doubt be works of ekphrasis, given the artistic nature of the magazine. But I will also choose poems representative of poetics as they’re being exercised today, concerned with language & experimentation & the theories of their own manufacturing & playful logic, so that readers possibly unfamiliar with what’s happening in poetry now can get a sense of it & possibly even develop a taste for it.

This is my hope. I’ll post links here as the poems go live on the site. In the meantime, enjoy Joanna’s poem. I absolutely adore the music that arrives in the ending.

Cheers, J

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