Ann Aspell and Jim Schley

                        Photograph by Eric Slayton, all rights reserved

It is the dangerous privilege of the true poet, who is a secret agent of perception, to make of his border-crossings, simultaneously clandestine and luminous, an instigation to plenitude, to fulfillment.
— George Steiner, Grammars of Creation
Perhaps every poem represents a crossing of borders, in time or place or between individuals. Perhaps every poet is practicing a form of translation, traversing from one order of language to another.

Why did Chapiteau Press adopt so broad a theme for this issue of In Posse Review? Here, as one would expect, are poems involving the borders between nations, but also poems that bridge cultures, epochs, and experience, and that trace the mysterious border at the very limit of life.

We believe that poetry, even when very colloquial, invites you to hear your own language anew, as a foreign tongue, bringing the most familiar stories to you as if from afar. This strangeness renews words, retrieving them from the increasingly de-humanized discourse of our public life. In doing so poems restore some of the sensory immediacy — the flesh and blood — to human experience.

In 2003, Chapiteau published Against Certainty, the first Poets for Peace chapbook. While that selection of poems explored different manifestations of violence, at its heart was a yearning for reconciliation. We hope the poetry in this issue of In Posse Review augments that collection and the crucial work of Poets for Peace. The poems you find here acknowledge and describe many kinds of border, yet they invite readers — co-conspiraors, co-translators — to cross in their light.

Ann Aspell is a book designer, editor, and poet. A co-founder of Chapiteau Press, her poems have recently appeared in Hunger Mountain, She lives in Montpelier, Vermont.

Jim Schley has worked as a writer and editor, teacher with adult students, and performer with several experimental theatre troupes on tours of the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He is the author of the poetry chapbook One Another (Chapiteau Press, 1999). His poem "Virginal: The Nativity Pageant" is featured in In Posse Review, Issue 14.

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