Volume 8, Number 4
Fall 2007

Introduction: Teri Ellen Cross

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. From Brian 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
Teri Ellen Cross
: Split This Rock Issue

Teri Ellen Cross: Tenth Anniversary Issue


Table of Contents

I. I Went to Your Neighborhood

Katy Richey
: "Reverence, 8th Ave., N.E."
Kathleen O'Toole
: "Demolition in a Time of Penitence"
Elizabeth Poliner
: "Students Painting in the Community Garden on Newark Street"
E. Ethelbert Miller
: "Sneakers"
Tanya Snyder
: "Graffiti"
Kate Powell Shine
: "Skaters"
David Salner
: "Manhattan Seasons"
Joyce Latham
: "K Street, Deconstructing"

II. Open Hydrants

Brian Gilmore
: "In Memory of 8-Track"
Kenneth Carroll
: "DC Wishes"
Grisella M. Martinez
: "MLK Jr. Central Library"
Abdul Ali
: "There Were Homes"
William Claire
: "The Bass Man and His Instrument"
Jose Padua
: "On Broadway"
Jessica Haney
: "#23a. How did this person usually get to work last week?"

III. The Next Theater of Operations

Linda Pastan
: "In the Shadow of the Capitol"
Joshua Weiner
: "Kennedy Center"
Joseph Awad
: "The Neon Distances"
Mark Fitzgerald
: "Built to Code"
Daniel Gutstein
: "Torque"
Katherine E. Young
: "Centralized Heating: Moscow, Russia"
Rosemary Winslow
: "Winter's Tale"
Japheth Brubaker
: "Beauty Pageant at the Capitol"

IV. As the Buildings Rose

Kimberly L. Becker
: "pro patria"
Martin Galvin
: "Old Driver's Ed Film of Washington"
Joseph Ross
: "The Universal Artificial Limb Company"
Greta Ehrig
: "The Two Pink Houses on Swinks Mill Road"
Grace Cavalieri
: "Mapping DC"
Dan Vera
: "Sterling on 12th Street"

V. The Twilit Well of Metro Stairs

Carly Sachs
: "Roof Perspectives"
John Peacock
: "Mount Royal Station, Baltimore"
Heather Davis
: "Running Errands"
Ramola D
: "I Saw Her Rise"
Rick Cannon
: "In the Uneven Plain"
Fannie H. Gray
: "Ballston"
Mark DeFoe
: "Lack of an Antecedent"