by Rose Lemberg and Shweta Narayan
adapted from Crepuscular Rays in GGP by Mbz1.
Dawn spills over the forest. It tangles the crones of old trees, lights branches up from below, showing us outlines, textures, truths that went unnoticed or or unspoken. The light fills up a city like a bowl, turning it glorious, incandescent. We've watched a thousand newborn dawns, and yet, each morning is made again like love, like bread. It changes — from one city to the next, from land to land, from person to person, reborn again within each single yearning heart; to witness it is to see, each time, for the first time, the light.
Putting this issue together was a journey both old and new. When Rose first suggested an issue full of poetry in voices new to Stone Telling, Shweta was nervous — what if we wouldn't get enough exciting new submissions? What if they just weren't Stone Telling poems? What if we'd already found all the poets writing the kind of poems we love, since the voices of power keep insisting there are so few of us? But we knew we had to try. After all, Stone Telling began, not so long ago, with voices all new to us; we wanted that openness to be our pattern, and we wanted new poets to discover us.
In this issue you'll find voices that have never before been featured here; some you'll know well from elsewhere, but others, we're delighted to say, have their first publication, or one of the first, with us. M Sereno, whose first-ever sale, "The exile, i", we are proud to feature in this issue, wrote eloquently on her experience as a multiply marginalized writer. She speaks of not daring to send any work out for years, and how our call for new voices gave her the courage to submit.
So I read, and read, and watched Stone Telling carefully to see if it would publish words that did not apologize for what they were, and did not pander to distances in experience, and carried the voices of the marginalized and unheard and forgotten of victors' histories in their music, in their swells. If it would hear someone who was very small and nameless and unknown. Awitin Mo
We are so proud of all our poets — unknown perhaps, but never nameless to us; and like the dawn bursting forth from the first bashful ray, we hope those voices overflow and fill the world with light.
Putting this issue together was a risk, but one worth taking. And we think you'll agree that it paid off. We're incredibly excited to share these pieces with you, and we hope they resonate as they do for us.
We now have a Patreon, and thanks for the generous support of all our friends, we have been able to increase payment from 5$ to 10$ per poem, effective immediately — so that our new poets will be paid at the new rate. If you find our work meaningful, please consider subscribing to our Patreon and spread the word — we'd love to increase the pay even more.
We're also very excited to announce that Bogi Takács has joined the team as an assistant editor. Going forward, Bogi will be assisting with all aspects of Stone Telling magazine, including reading submissions, website maintenance, and blog management. Thank you for your help so far, Bogi, and we're looking forward to working with you!
Our next issue will be themed Hope. While we love the salt and marrow feel of the many poems we feature, we feel it is time to search for hopeful texts to see us through the darkest times. Our reading period will begin on November 15th and run through January 15. We'll also be reading for Stone Telling 13: The Joke Issue. For details please see our submissions guidelines.
As ever, thank you so much for sharing the journey with us.
Rose and Shweta