From the Editor’s Desk
  Kate Bernadette Benedict

The Bumbershoot Annual

It’s back! And more comprehensive than ever, with verses giddy, silly, salty, sassy, and those more seriously funny.  Certain readers have told me they don’t see a clear distinction between serious poetry and light and this issue of the ’shoot supports that philosophy.  Even the Creature Feature (poems by or about animals) runs the gamut from the amusing to the wistful.

Are the Fractured Verses seriously funny too?  We had solicited “shrink lits” or verses that boil a great work down into a limerick or some other breezy form, with hilarious results.  Nevertheless, shrink lits have a lesson to teach, especially insofar as they poke a pin into the helium balloon of bardic grandisoity.  Of course poets are called to take on great subjects but it is meet to ponder the fine line between great statements and small.  And a shrink lit itself can be ambitious in scope: note, for example, Jan D. Hodge’s take on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and Carol Lewis’ extraordinary digest edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.

Some straight parodies are also included among the Fractured Verses.  Even though we weren’t soliciting them, such fine parodies came in that it would have been churlish not to include them.

Do you have ideas for next year’s Bumbershoot annual?  Then sometime between now and early 2009, please write to us at umbrellajournal at gmail dot com!

Cover Art

The lovely butterfly bumbershoot on our cover is by Karen L. Lewis, a Teaching Artist for Just Buffalo Literary Center in Buffalo, New York and also a contributing editor for the award winning Traffic East magazine and a fellow of the Banff Centre’s Wired Writing Studio. Her project “Writing with Light: Picturing Poetry,” in collaboration with CEPA Gallery, was recently the subject of a documentary film by Jon Hand.  Karen’s recent poetry credits include Letters to the World (Red Hen Press), The Buffalo News, and Hammered Out (Canada). Her photography was featured at a show at the School of Ideas in Lewiston, New York..

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