Editors' Notes

Maria Damon and Michelle Greenblatt
Jim Leftwich and Michelle Greenblatt
Sheila E. Murphy and Michelle Greenblatt

A Visual Conversation on Michelle Greenblatt's ASHES AND SEEDS with Stephen Harrison, Monika Mori | MOO, Jonathan Penton and Michelle Greenblatt

Letters for Michelle: with work by Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Jeffrey Side, Larry Goodell, mark hartenbach, Charles J. Butler, Alexandria Bryan and Brian Kovich

Visual Poetry by Reed Altemus
Poetry by Glen Armstrong
Poetry by Lana Bella
A Eulogic Poem by John M. Bennett
Elegic Poetry by John M. Bennett
Poetry by Wendy Taylor Carlisle
A Eulogy by Vincent A. Cellucci
Poetry by Vincent A. Cellucci
Poetry by Joel Chace
A Spoken Word Poem and Visual Art by K.R. Copeland
A Eulogy by Alan Fyfe
Poetry by Win Harms
Poetry by Carolyn Hembree
Poetry by Cindy Hochman
A Eulogy by Steffen Horstmann
A Eulogic Poem by Dylan Krieger
An Elegic Poem by Dylan Krieger
Visual Art by Donna Kuhn
Poetry by Louise Landes Levi
Poetry by Jim Lineberger
Poetry by Dennis Mahagin
Poetry by Peter Marra
A Eulogy by Frankie Metro
A Song by Alexis Moon and Jonathan Penton
Poetry by Jay Passer
A Eulogy by Jonathan Penton
Visual Poetry by Anne Elezabeth Pluto and Bryson Dean-Gauthier
Visual Art by Marthe Reed
A Eulogy by Gabriel Ricard
Poetry by Alison Ross
A Short Movie by Bernd Sauermann
Poetry by Christopher Shipman
A Spoken Word Poem by Larissa Shmailo
A Eulogic Poem by Jay Sizemore
Elegic Poetry by Jay Sizemore
Poetry by Felino A. Soriano
Visual Art by Jamie Stoneman
Poetry by Ray Succre
Poetry by Yuriy Tarnawsky
A Song by Marc Vincenz

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The State of Literature: Let Us Strive to Make a Positive Difference
by Ndaba Sibanda

Is writing not something of great magnificence? If so, why can we not make a difference?

The world has never been static, and neither has writing. It is dynamic. It makes the world revel and reveal itself. Out went the traditional writing feather or pen, and in surged the computer. Kudos, the world crooned.

However, this does not mean that the pen is down and out. This does not mean that the pen has ceased to be mightier than the sword. Writing is writing whether by virtue of the might of the pen or the wizardry of the computer.

It is a world so fast-paced that some "forward-looking people" believe that books—as we know them now—will be transformed into dinosaurs by the emergence of the e-books. What are the implications and complications for the writers and publishers? Does it mean that writers who stick to the old book idea will also perish or become dinosaurs? This discourse will not dwell on those possible ramifications. Maybe another time and space will be explored and created.

This essay seeks to motivate writers to write insightfully, passionately and selflessly for writing is a noble profession.

l believe each and every artist has a responsibility not only to excel and leave a good legacy but also to SELFLESSLY reach out to the artistic needs and aspirations of other people at a given time, especially the young and everyone else and make a positive difference wherever and whenever possible. Like other talents, writing is a privilege and platform we can use to reach out, and in the process find meaning in this seemingly meaningless world, find voice for a voiceless society and even find ourselves, discover who really we are in the thick bush of confusion and desperation we sometimes find ourselves in.

Through writing we find courage, ammunition and inspiration to go on, in spite of all the odds, we find vision to define and refine our identities and destinies. Yes through writing we find ourselves, our voice and verve. And through writing we get personal and meaningful solace, fulfillment and a true sense of belonging and of being blessed. Through writing, we have every right to thank God for His kindness in bestowing love and life upon us, life endowed with something special—writing abilities and possibilities.

After all, on a broader spectrum, writing is a form of communication, and we all know that without communication and interaction the world becomes hollow, chaotic and meaningless.

There is no gainsaying the fact a writer's humble efforts have to exposed to an appreciating or interested audience. This calls for patience, diligence and research. Start small, and grow .This is the stage where the platforms presented by publishers, print magazines, online publications, networks, writers' clubs, blogging and book publishers play a crucial role in a writer's career. In today's digital age, one has to make or break it. Competition is stiff. This does not imply the prospects are not rosy. Innovation is the buzzword. Writers should know their story otherwise they risk remaining in the dark like light covered by a cloud of darkness. In today's world, the state of the arts presents a wide range of publishing opportunities and possibilities which one should not whine about , but take advantage of and shine.

Writers' sites are important because they do not only help artists hone their skills, some of them also give one information about publication opportunities available here and there, and the literary achievements of other community members. In essence, all these elements serve to inspire people, and even attract them to the site. They make them better craftsmen and craftswomen, they bring authors together, and they market them and their craft.

To this end, l urge fellow writers to meaningfully use writing as a platform to reach out and touch lives in a positive way. Solidarity is a rarity to be nurtured and encouraged. This could come as a congratulatory message to people who have done something special. Let us celebrate with those who have won writing awards, published books or even joined our sites. Writers have an assiduous duty to unravel the mystery of life. Writing presents a mirror through which one seeks to understand, analyze and cherish the complexity of human life and its dynamics. For where there is a breath of life there is a kind of theatre. This is the beauty of writing. I have my favorite phrase: it is right to write..."

Have a great day, and continue to spread that great message of reaching out to the young, for the writing future belongs to them!

Ndaba Sibanda hails from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest city. A former National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) nominee, Ndaba's poems, essays and short stories have been published in Africa and the US. His book of poetry, The Dead Must Be Sobbing was published in March 2013 by SBPRA.

He lives in Saudi Arabia.

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