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Nine More Gates: An Introduction

                                    Dan Albergotti, Editor

When I began thinking about what sort of feature we might present in the ninth issue of Waccamaw, I wondered if there were a way I could make “nine” significant. It’s easy to celebrate a fifth, a tenth, a fifteenth, etc. But a ninth?

Then my eyes fell onto the book lying on my office desk, Jane Hirshfield’s Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry, one of my favorite collections of essays about the art and a text I regularly assign in my classes. I opened to the copyright page and saw that the original publication year was 1997; this year would mark the fifteenth anniversary of its publication. Significance found.

So I solicited nine original essays from previous poetry contributors to Waccamaw on the topic of “poetry and gates.” The poets were told that they could interpret that topic in any way they saw fit. The results, I believe, are extraordinary. And I think you’ll agree.

I want to thank the poets for participating in this feature and for writing such great essays. And now I invite our readers to enjoy “Nine More Gates”:

Nicky Beer, “Gates Beyond Gates”

Mary Biddinger, “Love Song for an Enormous Pair of Red Lips”

Traci Brimhall, “A Love So Strong It Nails You to the World”

Chad Davidson and Gregory Fraser, “The Gate’s Hinge”

Erica Dawson, “John Donne Is My Pusherman”

Camille Dungy, “Oh, To Be Inarticulate”

John Hoppenthaler, “Like Cranes on the Wing”

Doug Van Gundy, “Points of Entry”

Katrina Vandenberg, “Poetry and the Body”

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