During the Poetry Barn’s ribbon cutting ceremony last October, I wondered how the words that dispersed into that evening’s sunset could be represented in a publication, how the many voices could be curated in a way to represent the Poetry Barn’s array of talent.
Poetry Barn's director Lissa Kiernan and I had been in discussion for a long time about the idea of starting a journal. We were enthusiastic yet trepidatious about the project as the community had so much powerful work to offer and we knew we could not represent it all. We desired to create a safe space that would at once be inclusive but also representative of the most polished poems generated through the Poetry Barn. How to proceed?
After the ceremony, my nerves were diminished, as it became clear to me that the talent on display demanded a body of published poems. Lissa and I began the work toward creating the Poetry Distillery, envisioning a process of collaborating with Poetry Barn authors toward distilling poems to fruition as an extension of the workshop process.
Our hope is that the journal can be both a source of inspiration for readers, and a place for authors to create poems that are "aged to perfection," rather than rushed to publication. To that end, we are delighted to announce our inaugural collection of poems. We hope you enjoy them and consider submitting one of your own!
Ryan Clinesmith, Editor, The Poetry Distillery