From the Editor
In an age when so few take care with how language is used, and when so few seem to care that so little care is taken, one might find a necessary measure of consolation and of hope in the painstakingly well shaped lines that our poets offer. This issue of Saint Katherine Review is devoted to sharing what our poets have offered. As genres go, we generally understand fiction to be focused upon the art of narration, of telling a story; we generally understand drama to be focused upon the art of human interaction; and we understand exposition—essays, etc.—to be focused upon the art of argument, of presenting a point. In each of these genres, the language serves as a carefully shaped vehicle for something else—a previously conceived tale, or a prior event, or a prior idea.
While poetry is understood to be yet another genre, it is best understood as not being the vehicle for something else. Poetry, after all, is understood to be focused upon the art of language itself, language, as such.
Long ago, I ceased to think of poetry as a way to express what I previously wanted to say, and began, instead, to understand poetry to be the scene of meaning-making, the place where I—attending primarily to language as such—might glimpse my words leading me to seeing what I did not know to seek, saying what I had not known to say.
Enjoy these scenes of meaning-making in the pages that follow, and trust your own attention to language to serve in opening these texts to apprehend what necessary consolations they avail.
—Scott Cairns, Director of the Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, Editor Emeritus for St. Katherine Review.
Book Briefs by
EIGHTh DAY Books
In Issue 7.1
written by SARAH Law
Madame Besnier takes the portrait
three short days before she enters-
she is fifteen, her tresses twined
up in a bun. Her blue dress hugs
her body in a way she will foreswear,
her hands are demure; her face bright.
Later, Céline will slim her spine
with artist’s gouache – to an arch,
tighten her image
to sanctity’s pattern
like and unlike the Thérèse she knew.
Thérèse herself looks straight ahead:
smiling – at the camera’s examen
and the dark veil that surrounds it.
written by WHITNEY Rio-Ross
Between your silence and
stories I remember to tell myself
are the pages where I tried
to stitch you together: scraps
loosely tied by love, not
enough to hold your shape.
Still, I unwind the words
I spun and hope to find
your fraying edges, tug myself
into their knotted center—
but some tangles feel
too forgotten to trust.
I’ve heard that faith
is a practice of memory.
But memory, I’m finding,
is a kind of accident−
our threads caught by truth,
to bind, tear, mend,