Dear Readers and Poets,
First off, let me apologize for any slights that might be perceived by my comments and photo selections. None were intended. This was a very difficult process, picking photos to go along with poems. And let me say, the poems within this collection are all truly inspirational. If I had a year to work on it, I might have been able to find a closer match to each poem.
Truth is, I hesitate every time I write in my bio note that I am a photographer and a poet. Just because one writes, doesn’t make them a writer. I have always loved the music of language. I wrote my first poem in fifth grade in the voice of the Thanksgiving turkey. And I have always had an eye for the poetic image, almost literally. When I was 7 years old, I started imagining that my eyes were cameras and that each time I blinked I was taking a photograph. In High School, I set-up a darkroom in my basement.
But these days, I don’t even have a camera. All my photos are taken with my phone. And I watch with a jealous eye at friends who are academic poets and publishing book after book.
Simple pleasures keep me going. And the passion that drives the artist still burns inside me. I am grateful for the opportunity Sandy gave me to give this project a try. And I admire each and every one of the poems she selected for this issue.
Bio: Jim Zola has worked in a warehouse, as a security guard, in a bookstore, as a teacher for Deaf children, as a toy designer for Fisher Price, and currently as a children’s librarian. Published in many journals through the years, his publications include a chapbook — The One Hundred Bones of Weather (Blue Pitcher Press) — and a full-length poetry collection — What Glorious Possibilities (Aldrich Press). He currently lives in Greensboro, NC.