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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In some damned heaven, singing
by Vincent A. Cellucci

Michelle was a great editor. In many ways, I only know her through her red lines—and her emails.

A Michelle email was not something one can answer in five minutes, more like thirty.

Michelle would push meā€“both professionally and personally—even in her email correspondence.

My life is usually late or rushed, especially my frustratingly limited time writing, but an email from Michelle provided a stress caesura—a moment of pause where I knew I was focusing on something that really mattered.

They made me think and more important, they moved me—stoking my commitment to words, surprising me with the extent of her kindness and praise, and wrenching my emotions to hear her strife with fibromyalgia.

Michelle once wrote me that her health is forever an issue. Now it's not—sweet, black Balm in Gilead.

Emails like Michelle's are fewer and farther between, and as I notice the Gmail autoreplies now appearing on my mobile, I have a feeling the value I place on her e-missives will continue to grow.

In 2014, editing _a ship on the line, Michelle was my Eads,1 proposing jetties in my channel to deepen the river that flowed between my co-author, Chris, and me.

When we'd discuss the work over whiskey, we both confided on how special Michelle was to us, how we've had a Humphreys2 or two, editors that are well-meaning and successful, but wouldn't engage the work past the waist-deep affair of publishing it.

Michelle laid back in the waters and lifted her feet up. Then dredged the dirty details with her edits.

And she developed the book as our engineer—building us up, checking tolerances (in this case my lack of, or "allergy to" articles and indefinites), and making sure the damn thing would support our weight.

Countering my "arguments" effectively, she helped me listen to a reader's understanding more than my own ear. She even got Shippy to reconsider many of his lines—no small feat as I've learned over the years.

But more than any engineer or editor, she was a poet.

This is why we trusted her.

One of my favorite lines of Michelle's is damned if I sing, damned if I don't.

We used to call each other fellow Unlikelies—given Unlikely Books brought us together and the name and concept certainly conveyed our shared aesthetic ethos.

The original plan was to release our books together and tour together. But the physical duress Michelle suffered from did not offer the chance.

Instead we had a video of her read.

Each night I watched her outperform her struggles, I knew her—the way she would have it:

In some damned heaven, singing.

Michelle, you were a dear friend; I only hope you agreed.

We will miss your emails, your verse, your edits.


1 James Buchanan Eads was a brilliant engineer of the Mississippi River who learned about the river through salvage diving; he eventually challenged the U.S. Levee Commission and Corps of Engineers and enacted and proposed some of the most effective interventions in alluvial flood management.

2 Andrew Atkinson Humphreys, authored a famous study on the Mississippi River without stepping into the field; this study rewarded him the post of the Chief of the Army Corps of Engineers. He won the contest against Eads over river management, resulting in the flawed levees-only system.

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