An illustration of a man wearing sunglasses and a black beret while driving a jet ski that has a quill and inkwell as its motor.

Editor’s Letter: Indulging Our Love of Phrases

An illustration of a man wearing sunglasses and a black beret while driving a jet ski that has a quill and inkwell as its motor.

Publishing fiction and poetry has lengthy been a part of our method. A basic curiosity journal, we consider, must be greater than a house for journalism. It ought to domesticate good writing in each incarnation. This dedication additionally displays the concept that nonfiction exists on the identical spectrum as sonnets and quick tales—that they’re all a part of what Homosexual Talese known as the “literature of actuality.” It shapes our modifying too. We don’t fear solely about information; we thoughts the language they’re wearing. Should you’ve written for us, you understand how we fuss over your sentences till they sit good. I’ve typically thought journal writers practise a secret prosody, marrying a particular flip of phrase to a particular flip of thoughts.

The Walrus involves the query of literary arts from a novel vantage. Workers and writers are likely to dabble in different genres. We’ve an editor who has simply positioned a really high-quality quick story in a literary journal. Certainly one of our political reporters is attempting to complete one other novel. After which there’s me. For many years, I’ve had a facet gig as a poet. (A couple of months after I used to be employed right here, a colleague launched me to a board member thus: “Carmine’s come a great distance. When he first began, he spoke solely in iambic pentameter.”) That versatility bestows a way of the elasticity of kind but in addition a recognition that readability is king. Pursuing accessibility at our day jobs helps us admire what readers can grasp within the experimental issues we steal time to write down.

Once I started modifying poetry for The Walrus in 2016, it was with the understanding that, not like journals that cater particularly to the verse group (a coterie composed largely of teachers and inventive writing academics and college students), we’re one of many few Canadian publications that join poems to the final reader. Poets are actually the first shoppers of what they produce. And as they’ve consolidated the artwork round their very own wants, its cultural significance has plummeted. Holding the artwork alive for that wider viewers grew to become a precedence for me. It meant discovering poems that would seem alongside a number of the nation’s greatest investigative reporting, memoirs, and essays. I strive laborious to search out work that may defeat the doubts and preconceptions protecting in any other case well-read adults from giving poetry an opportunity. I hope what I’ve chosen for this concern reveals how poems will be accessible with out giving up an inch of craft, musicality, or ambition.

Summer season Studying is an annual concern the place our love of phrases is indulged. We spend months planning the lineup, salting away essentially the most melodic, shocking, and revelatory poetry and fiction we are able to discover. Then we hand these phrases to an illustrator. There isn’t any Walrus faculty of writing. We don’t have a home aesthetic. Pleasure is the one organizing precept. In that sense, this concern could also be our most Walrussy act of the 12 months. 

Carmine Starnino
Carmine Starnino (@cstarnino) is interim Editor-in-Chief of The Walrus.
Graham Roumieu
Graham Roumieu ( is a Nationwide Journal Award winner and an everyday contributor to The Walrus. He attracts for The Atlantic, the New York Occasions, and the Wall Avenue Journal.

Author: ZeroToHero

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