Introduction to Poetry Issue 74

In this issue, there is a significant amount of surrealistic work (some with formalism). As a refresher from the Poetry Foundation. Surrealism is an “artistic philosophy that took hold in 1920s Paris and spread throughout the world in the decades that followed. André Breton outlined its aims in his Surrealist Manifesto (1924), affirming the supremacy of the “disinterested play of thought” and the “omnipotence of dreams” rather than reason and logic. Breton and his colleagues were inspired by Freudian psychoanalysis and its emphasis on the power of unconscious thought. Through “automatic writing” and hypnosis, artists could free their imaginations to reveal deeper truths.” For a useful discussion, see Poets.org’s Brief Guide to Surrealism, https://poets.org/text/brief-guide-surrealism. There are many more surrealist poets than are mentioned in Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Surrealist_poets), but they do mention Andrew Joron, an American poet, who won the Science Fiction & Fantasy Association’s Rhysling Award three times. But it is natural for surrealism to flow into science fiction. The 2016 scholarly essay “Surrealism and Science Fiction” by Arthur B. Evans (DePauw University) enlightens this notion (https://scholarship.depauw.edu/mlang_facpubs/76/).

Surrealism is not something new to this writing community and it often catches the eye of Rhysling nominators. In fact, two poets appearing in Abyss & Apex have contributed noteworthy surreal work in 2019. These poets are Alexandria Baisden (“The Scarecrow’s Lover,” Issue 72, https://www.abyssapexzine.com/2019/09/the-scarecrows-lover/) and your own poetry editor (“Reincarnation,” Issue 69, https://www.abyssapexzine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Reincarnation_Mannone.pdf). But even more surreal is my poem in American Diversity Report (“My Stories Are Hungry,” https://americandiversityreport.com/category/my-stories-are-hungry-poem-by-john-c-mannone/), which has also been nominated for the 2020 Rhysling Poetry Award.

Now, please enjoy these fine poems:

Tristan Beiter (Danville, PA), The Wood Became Birds
Kevin Denelsbeck (Melbourne, FL), Three Bad Dreams (hendecasyllabic sonnet medley)
Deborah Davitt (Houston, TX), In Pluto’s Embrace (decasyllabic abcedarian poem)
Dawn Vogel (Seatle, WA), To the Underworld (cascade poem)
Christina Sng (Singapore), Diamond Dust
Stephanie Smith (Clarks Summit, PA), Prisms
Misha Penton  (Houston, TX), Under the Boards (prose poem)
Marc Ruvolo (Portland, OR), Cargo Cult

John C. Mannone
Poetry Editor

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