One year ago, in our Summer issue of 2006, we published "Mary," by JoSelle Vanderhooft. Since then, we haven't been able to get enough of her poetry, and have published a piece of hers in every issue -- except for our Winter 2007 issue, in which we published two, "Elise" and "Handless Came the Maiden."
JoSelle's work awes us for a number of reasons. One of them is her ability to sustain a poem's lyricism and effect over considerable length; many of her poems -- certainly all the ones to appear in Goblin Fruit so far -- are several pages long, and are only the more dizzyingly captivating for it. Another is her ability to do nothing less than break and bruise the reader with the images she evokes. She reminds us of no one so much as John Donne in her ability to "dislocate," as T.S. Eliot said of the Metaphysical Poets, "language into its meaning." Still another reason is her range; it amazes us that "Mary" and "Elise" were written by the same hand, that one poet can so skillfully pull comfort and horror from the same domestic space.
We invite you, then, to peruse these poems plucked specifically for this feature, and let them have their way with you. We'd like to thank JoSelle for granting us an interview as well as the beautiful work in this showcase; we'd also like, most especially, to thank Marge B. Simon for the beautiful illustrations she provided for the poems below. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we did, and encourage you, as ever, to speak them aloud, wrap your tongue around them, feel the knock of them against your teeth.