Letter from The Editor

My husband prefers to wear—and prefers me to wear—light, bright colors rather than dark, somber ones. He thinks it affects the wearer’s mood, and the mood of people around them. Though I’ve never been a black-only sort of poet, I admit I’ve had to turn away from my favorite olive green a few times in favor of colors that will make him happy. In one way, he’s right: making him happy does make me happy. So more colors it is.

You might notice our look this month reflects a similar mindset. We’re heading into fall, the fading of summer flowers and the move through brown towards gray. But somehow, despite the season, putting together an issue of Sweet Lit feels celebratory. It deserves color. We are not mourning a dying year, but celebrating the brilliance of our poetry contest winner and runners up. We’re presenting a bright tapestry of amazing writing—beautiful even when it’s wrung from pain.

And that’s the thing good writing can do, isn’t it?

When I say love it means
I’m supposed to carry everything

and I’m afraid I’ll kill it.

Sara Quinn Rivara’s winning poem, “When I Say Love I Mean El Greco’s The Assumption of the Virgin,” may be about the contradictions of love, the weight and the cuts of it, but her language is so true, so specific and surprising, that it’s brilliant. Saturated, one might even say.

So put on a colorful scarf, open your mind to the colors and nuances of this world, and sit down with this issue of Sweet Lit.

–Katie Riegel

p.s. In the midst of writing this intro, I heard the news that beloved friend, poet, and editor, Jon Tribble, passed away. Others have said and will say more eloquent things than I about this wonderful man, this amazing advocate for poetry. My brain is not processing the loss of such a great light. Sweet exists in part because of Jon’s example. Please join us in reading his writing, celebrating the fruits of his editorship, and creating a vibrant literary community every day, as he did.


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 … return to Issue 12.1 Table of Contents.