Issue 14

Love's Labor/Numerology

I will put Chaos into fourteen lines…
              –Edna St. Vincent Millay

14 years is a long time to be doing something. It’s a project. A saga. An adventure.


14 years ago, 9/11 hadn’t happened yet.
Bill Clinton was still President of the United States.

Star Wars looked like this: Not this:

There was no iPad, iTouch, iPhone, or even iPod.

Clearly, that was a long time ago.

14 years is also about how long it takes for a person to start to look, well, like a person. It starts with a baby. The baby starts to walk, the baby graduates from kindergarten. The baby plays pee wee baseball and sells girl scout cookies. The baby goes to middle school, then high school. Pretty soon the baby will be driving a car, going out on dates. Before you know it, the baby is off to college, out into the big wide world.

Lucky for us, this is where the analogy ends. Or rather, where the other half of the analogy returns. Because our baby is also (always) a newborn. It comes back every year, just like Adonis.

So here we are. Back after another year. Back with something new. Something to tell you.

We have audio again. We have video, too, for the first time in near-HD. We have ekphrasis!

The issue is headlined by Sarah J. Sloat, our Featured Poet, who returns to Avatar with a wonderful selection of poems that really illustrate the power and relevance of the genre today. Trains, hospitals, restaurants… people meeting and sometimes connecting and sometimes not… often not. Meanwhile, the poet is squarely in the middle making meaning of it all.

We also have a Special Selection of poems from Ned Balbo, inspired by Nora Sturges’ Marco Polo paintings. This is one of the most innovative sequences we’ve seen here, and we’ve included the original paintings side-by-side with the poems to give you the complete visual-poetic experience. We think you’ll like it.

Be sure to check out these two poets, as well as entries from our 48 other contributors. There’s a lot to look at.

Welcome to Issue 14. We’re proud of it. We love it. We hope you do too.

–The Eds:

Paula Grenside
David Ayers
Steve Harris
Howard Miller