THE EVOLVING CITY
Volume 8, Number 4
When Kim Roberts contacted me with the prospect of co-editing the 2007
Fall issue of Beltway Poetry Quarterly, immediately I was on
board. Beltway Poetry Quarterly has consistently published
a great mix of interesting, upcoming, established, and diverse writers.
As Kim and I discussed the developing theme of cities, housing, and
neighborhoods (many thanks to Amistad editor Abdul
Ali for the initial theme suggestion) our conversation birthed a
new title: The Evolving City.
From the onset of the conversation my excitement began to build. How
would poets interpret such a theme? Would we see poems hinging on racial
and socioeconomic themes? How would gentrification eventually rear its
head? Where would urban and rural end and begin in the poems? This much
was clear to both Kim and I—as cities evolve, so do the people
who are the foundations and lifeblood of these cities. Be these cities
rural or urban, Midwestern or Southern, people give a city, a neighborhood
its life and leave it to poets to record and honor the dignity of that
life with language.
I was far from disappointed by the various interpretations on the theme.
Gilmore’s poem giving such a sensory rich and detailed history
of his Washington D.C., to Joseph
Ross’s poem taking us inside the doors of one of Silver Spring’s
more interestedly titled stores, to Katherine
E. Young’s poem taking us across the globe through a Russian
winter; work flowed in from all angles, locations, and topics, each
elucidated our theme beautifully. My heartfelt thanks goes out to Kim
Roberts for including me in this wonderful process and to the poets
whose engaging works are included in this issue.
—Teri Ellen Cross
To read more by this author:
Teri Ellen Cross: Split This Rock Issue
Ellen Cross: Tenth Anniversary Issue
Table of Contents
I. I Went to Your Neighborhood
"Reverence, 8th Ave., N.E."
"Demolition in a Time of Penitence"
Poliner: "Students Painting in the Community Garden
on Newark Street"
"K Street, Deconstructing"
II. Open Hydrants
"In Memory of 8-Track"
M. Martinez: "MLK Jr. Central Library"
"There Were Homes"
"The Bass Man and His Instrument"
"#23a. How did this person usually get to work last week?"
III. The Next Theater of Operations
"In the Shadow of the Capitol"
"The Neon Distances"
"Built to Code"
Young: "Centralized Heating: Moscow, Russia"
Winslow: "Winter's Tale"
"Beauty Pageant at the Capitol"
IV. As the Buildings Rose
Becker: "pro patria"
"Old Driver's Ed Film of Washington"
"The Universal Artificial Limb Company"
"The Two Pink Houses on Swinks Mill Road"
"Sterling on 12th Street"
V. The Twilit Well of Metro Stairs
"Mount Royal Station, Baltimore"
D: "I Saw Her Rise"
"In the Uneven Plain"
Fannie H. Gray:
"Lack of an Antecedent"