Editor’s Note

This time two more of our six-person selection panel were invited to provide sonnets of their own relating to the issue theme (reversals) and to say something about the chosen sonnet and their approach to assessing sonnets for 14 by 14. We have David Anthony with his much-admired sonnet “Talking to Lord Newborough”, and Rhina P. Espaillat with a fine new unpublished one, “Retrospective”. I hope our readers will enjoy these excellent sonnets and the accompanying observations. 

New names predominate in this issue. But there are a few familiar ones too: congratulations to Catherine Chandler on placing a sonnet in all four issues so far, and to Rick Mullin and David Landrum on both making it three out of four this time. I don’t want to sound like a stuck record, but it bears repeating that our selectors are individuals with their own strong preferences, and they sometimes disagree quite markedly among themselves. Whether or not a given sonnet is to your own taste, you can be sure that it has had to pass scrutiny in competition with more than eighty others, and has had to impress at least a majority of the panel in order to come through.

Our sonnet authors have interpreted the reversals theme in a variety of ways. See, for example, how cleverly Jill Davies works several reversal senses into “Parallel Parking”; how Wayman Narthex in “Scoundrel to Laureate” “reverses” former US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s notion of poetry writing as a way of keeping out of trouble; or with how light a hand Jean Kreiling’s “August” delivers the extended metaphor of slow reversal.

My thanks again to the panel and our artist/photographer. (Detailed acknowledgments and links are here.) I’m happy to say that five of the six are continuing for the next issue. Rose Kelleher has withdrawn and her place will be taken by Julie Kane, winner of the first Open Poetry Sonnet competition (and a contributor to our Issue 3). Welcome to Julie.

Issue 5, due out August 14, will focus on the theme of time and chance, however our sonnnet writers choose to interpet it. 

14 by 14 please, not 14x14To anyone who cites or mentions 14 by 14: Please, please use the correct name. It is not 14x14. There’s a practical reason. Where the title becomes separated from any link, people are likely to try 14x14.com, and will fail to find the site there. I foresaw this problem when I registered the domain 14by14.com, and would have registered 14x14.com as well and aliased it to the other domain (basically, typing either address into a browser bar would have brought you to the same site), but 14x14.com was already taken.