The fourth edition of Life and Legends is here, and I want to thank all writers, poets and artists for their unique contributions.
My deepest gratitude to our assistant editor Robbi Nester for reading the submissions, and helping me select the best to share with our readers. I also welcome and thank our editor intern Vishwa Chitnis for reading the selected materials with much interest, making comments and suggestions, and putting long hours in creating our fourth edition online. We congratulate the youngest team member of Life and Legends for her selection in the “Between the Lines”, International Writing Program, at the University of Iowa, and wish her the best with her creative pursuits.
I’m also grateful to Jennifer Reeser and Silva Zanoyan Merjanian for their editorial suggestions. If I can invent a title for them, I would call them the Angel Editors.
There is nothing in this issue, you would want to miss, especially the interview of three-time poet laureate of the United States, Robert Pinsky and our newly launched Cultural Diplomacy section. It was not easy to fill the shoes of Christopher Merrill, who was initially going to write for our Cultural Diplomacy section, but I feel optimistic by delivering a promise made to our readers; and hope for us to have this important conversation going there in future. Translations section brings profound poetry of iconic poets, translated by world renowned translators, and our Video, Sound, Ekphrastic poems and Poetry inspired by Art and Cinema have rare gems.
The cover photo of Life and Legends’ fourth edition, by poet and artist Paula Dawn Lietz is an exceptional piece of art. The picture shows a birdhouse on a fence, dividing a piece of land. This picture came across as a symbol of hope to me as a writer, poet and artist myself. I’m sure, many of you can relate to it too.
A creative mind shares the destiny of a bird, that crosses a border without any fear to find the seeds of brilliant ideas to feed itself and its newborns. It soars above the ground to a view of our world others cannot have without wings. It is assuring to see, no one hates birds or butterflies for crossing borders. No one envies their colors, or asks their religion or faith. No one bothers to find out their sexual orientation. We are simply lost in their beauty, and admire their sense of freedom that brings joy to us. However, as humans, we do not tend to look at other human beings in the same way, and often wonder, why? But the answer is not in giving up, but continue searching for it at the deepest level.
Chögyam Trungpa, once said, “The essence of warriorship, or the essence of human bravery, is refusing to give up on anyone or anything.” (From The Sacred Path of the Warrior). In this issue we share our hopes, joy and aspirations in the very same way, without giving up on anyone or anything, flying like fearless birds carrying olive branches, crossing the borders.
In the end, a couple of announcements. Moving forward, we are not accepting unsolicited materials for publication anymore, only to stay true to our mission of publishing international literature in English, or translated into English, not limited to a writer’s ethnic or racial identity. We are also going to focus more on publishing poetry than prose. We encourage all writers and poets to send us their proposals, before submitting their works. For more please visit our Submit page.
Hope, you enjoy reading our fourth edition.
Editor-in-Chief – Life and Legends
June 30, 2016.