Monday, November 07, 2011

Journal of the Day: Poetry Midwest

On November 7th we have the anniversary of the 1967 formation of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting by Lyndon B. Johnson, and the day Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were reportedly killed in 1908.

And in the year 2000, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration discovers one of the country's largest LSD labs inside a converted military missile silo in Wamego, Kansas.

Which brings us in a roundabout way to today's journal of the day, the Kansas-based Poetry Midwest, which announced on October 27th that it was taking a hiatus to regroup and figure out what they really wanted to do as a journal. Which is understandable. Sometimes we need to take stock and assess what it takes to really do better and live up to our potential.

Merlin Mann wrote an essay to that effect encouraging all of us to figure out not only to create, but to create better work and to really push ourselves. It was interesting food for thought.

My poem "The Daughters of Barabbas" appeared in Poetry Midwest in September, 2006 in issue #16 on page 21. It was a short speculative poem taking on the final fate of a Biblical figure, the rebel Barabbas.

Poetry Midwest was established in 1995 and was to be published 3 times a year, although in actual practice it was a little off and on, such as a gap between 1997 and 2001. But it came back. 

A little backstory for "The Daughters of Barabbas" is that certain schools of thought note that for a time, Jesus of Nazareth's life is unaccounted for until he returns in his thirties. Some speculate he may have traveled towards the East and spent some time learning about the world there. 

Written in the summer of 2006, this poem was an abstract speculation on what might have happened to Barabbas. He disappears from canonical records after he is released. if he ever existed at all, according to some scholars. My poem takes a radically different direction than Par Lagerkvist's 1950 Nobel Prize winning novel, but does explore what kind of faith this man might have found for himself in the end for all of his travels. "The Daughters of Barabbas" has not appeared in any other collections of mine so far.

Here's hoping that Poetry Midwest has a successful transfer between servers and makes a comeback when the time is right. 

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