Fall 2020 Note from the Editor

August 15, 1997, I saw Ani DiFranco and Bob Dylan at the New Jersey Arts Center. Ani took the stage, looked over my way. There was this awkward pause. She leaned into the mic and said to me, You are a sight. I can’t help but gawk at you. Of course, Mark and I were back deep on the lawn and viewing her on the big screen. She was a tiny blip on the stage. I think in retrospect she might have been talking about the whole scene. She gathered herself; put on a hell of a show.

We had a shorter submission window this season. But some of you got the word out about us and the poems came in. The editorial team was amazing. Philip, Michele, Megan, T. Nicole and Annell, thank you for all the hours and notes. The takeaway is our largest issue to date. My fear is that you get overwhelmed by the view.

I think a couple things happened. We’re growing in the possibility of what we’re about and what we can be. And it’s boundless. And the poets are bringing it. Don’t sleep on this season. We didn’t just fill the theatre. We poured out onto the lawn. Built a second stage. This is our double-album, our Ani DiFranco, Living in Clip.

Thank you to everyone who sent us poems and talked about us, the readers who shared the good news. Thank you to the poets on this amazing billing and for giving us an issue I love. For my stateside peeps, Almond Joy goes in the candy bag, and please vote.

Please stay safe.

Welcome on this October morning to the first fall issue of The Night Heron Barks.


Click to read Richard Blanco’s poem, Imaginary Exile