Thank you for joining us . . .
When we decided to start a journal devoted to one-line poems, it stemmed largely from the need to provide a consistent home for one-line haiku. There seemed to be an underrepresented gap between haiku that were merely tercets written on one line and over-complicated poems. We desired a venue for reading collections of eloquent poems that utilize the single-line format as an integral part of their movement and meaning. So we created one.
But why stop there? Such a venue could explore one-line poems in their diversity, including one-line haiga and shahai, one-line sequences, and one-line concrete poems. We wanted to expand the idea of sequences and encourage poets to decide what structure best suits their poems. So as not to limit the journal to haiku, we included one-line tanka, and we were thrilled to see a couple of these in this issue. We added single lyrical lines that embody the same sort of general aesthetic as haikai poems, as we find people from the general poetry community can enhance the conversation.
When we opened for submissions, we couldn’t predict what would cross the transom for the first issue of a journal devoted to the single line. We were absolutely delighted as day after day, submissions poured in, reaching a total of 905 high-quality poems in only 3 weeks! Additionally, the poems we received were from an extensive range of poets, from those fairly new to the genre(s) to some of the most well-established, and from all over the world. This not only made our selection process most difficult, it also validated our feelings about the insufficient publishing space for poems of this nature.
We don’t know what readers expected this journal to look like. We couldn’t be certain of it ourselves. Perhaps you thought the poems would be “experimental” or what people refer to as “gendai.” While haiku, tanka, and other micropoems on a single line are a bit different than their multi-linear counterparts, they arise from the same DNA and can be equally beautiful: modest or soulful, whispering or loud, slow-blooming or deep-diving.
What will we learn, collectively, about one-line poems and how they differ from enjambed poems? How are they the same? We hope as we share your poems through the journal, we will together gain a greater appreciation for the function and complexity of the line in English Language haikai and tanka poetry.
We hope you’ve been surprised. Perhaps learned something new. We hope you’ve fallen in love with a poem or a rhythm, and most of all, we hope you’ll be back for the next issue to read more.
-Kat and Robin, Editors