That anyone in this age of the dominant eye can still find mileage in arrangements of words to play on a private invisible screen with a soundtrack of imagined voice is remarkable and encouraging. I have tried, in this selection from the poems sent to me already winnowed by the student editors, to show the wide range of observations, perceptions and rhythms; of wit and cynicism; of intention and chance; of flippancy and earnestness that made my task far more pleasant than I’d expected.
The usual reward of writing is to be its first (and sometimes only) reader. Thanks to the Mays anthology, these poems are now out in the world of all others. I wish them and their authors well.
Tom Raworth is a poet who has published over forty books; he edited outburst magazine (among others) and co-founded the Goliard Press. In 1977 he was resident poet at King’s College, Cambridge. He won the Alice Hunt Bartlett Prize for his first book of poetry, The Relation Ship; recent awards include the Philip Whalen Memorial Award and the Antonio Delfini Prize for Lifetime Achievement.