A Note from the Editors of Runes

Winter Solstice 2007

Stone staircase leading upwards

Steps of Stone, Steve Lautermilch

With Regret …

. . . we announce that this will be our last edition of RUNES, A Review of Poetry. When we first explored this project, we told ourselves we’d do it for five years. Over those years, RUNES grew into an anthology in which we take great pride and into a community of poets about whom we care deeply. Many of these poets came to know each other better through the pages of RUNES or through RUNIC connections, such as readings on both coasts, gatherings at AWP, workshops and such.

At the end of five years, we decided to go for six and then for seven. But time’s hoary face and the candle count on our birthday cakes have made us aware we need to return to our own work, maybe even lie down occasionally in a meadow and chew a blade of grass. So this is it. You’re holding it: Lucky Number Seven.

It’s no accident that this, our last RUNES anthology has “Connection” as its theme. Community, as stressed above and again here, has always been important at RUNES. Of course, the poems themselves come first, but after that, one of our major goals has been to treat other poets as we wish to be treated when we submit our poems. We wanted to create a kind of virtual extended family. Have we succeeded? Only you can tell us that.

But now we’d like to thank you, one and all – the RUNES family & community!

First, thanks to our wonderful contributors, the nearly 550 different poets, from every state in the union and dozens of foreign countries, who appeared in RUNES over the years. We’re so happy to have published your remarkable, evocative, brilliant poems. We’re proud of the many, many of you whose first or very early work we published. We’ve loved following your on-going successes. We’re also thrilled for the more than 45 poets whose first books won prizes and were published after work appeared in RUNES.

Thanks, also, to the ever-increasing numbers of poets who sent their work to us for consideration and who were gracious whether accepted or not. Over a 7 year period, poets mailed in over 42,000 poems, all of which we read, rejoicing in the richness of poetry. Special thanks to the loyal MANY who submitted over and over and never quite made it in – for believing in themselves and in us.

And thanks for what you have taught us. As we tell everyone, most of the poems submitted to us have been well-crafted, accomplished work. It always was painful to have to write notes that said, Alas no…. From those poets we accepted, however, as well as from those we didn’t, we learned much about our own work. Reading and rereading your poems, we tried to figure out what makes a poem feel alive, what makes it sing, jump off the page, and grab hold of an editor.

And, speaking of grabbing hold… grateful thanks, plus a tip of our metaphorical editors’ caps, to those poets who submitted using fonts large enough to read and who provided reasonable-sized return envelopes for our notes and enough postage – especially those who heeded the various rate changes!

Special thanks and much applause to the very talented Jeremy Thornton, who designed every RUNES. He is the reason RUNES is such a handsome book. Only the highest standards of production were good enough for him. He never allowed us to settle for less than the best.

Heartfelt thanks to the well over 2000 individual subscribers who helped make RUNES possible and to those “Druids” who contributed extra funds to underwrite us.

Thanks to David St. John, friend, teacher, advisor, judge of our first RUNES Award Competition, and one of the most fervent of our RUNES boosters. Thanks, too, to the rest of our contest judges for their time and effort: Li-Young Lee, Lucille Clifton, Jane Hirshfield, Mark Doty, Bob Hass, and Brenda Hillman.

Thanks to Sophie, Jake, Noah, Becca, Spencer, & Charlie, the teenage grandchildren who stuffed envelopes with brand new RUNES during mailing week.

And to Duff Axsom, Gaby Rilleau, Joe Zaccardi, and Amber Thomas, our loyal and local poets who met every year to complete the mailing and take carsful of mail bags to the post office and who made a big chore seem fun and easy.
To all the wonderful people who took time to write us with praise and affection after each RUNES came out.

To the reviewers who were generous and encouraging.

To the PUSHCART AWARD editors and the BEST AMERICAN POETRY editors who included RUNES poems in their anthologies. To the editors at Poetry Daily and Verse Daily who put RUNES poems on-line.

To all our readers who picked up RUNES, wandered about in its pages and soaked up poems. And to those who immediately ordered more copies as gifts for friend and family.

And last, but best, to our beloved husbands, Lee and David, who never relinquished their conviction that we were somewhat (well, extremely) crazy in this venture, but who always gave us their love and support, attended readings, tended the drink tables, made the appropriate murmuring noises when we read our poems, schlepped boxes of books and gave up major portions of our homes to the accumulating inventory. Now that RUNES has finished its seven year run, they may be a little bittersweet about this ending, but as always they remain in our corner and we in theirs.

In closing, we know we have one last question to answer: “Why not continue RUNES with other editors?” The answer is both complex and simple. RUNES is, we think, a reflection of the two of us. It is the result of a unique and harmonious working partnership. Because of it, we’ve experienced our dream of creating a memorable annual poetry anthology; but it’s been our dream, our vision. As we say good-bye, planning to spend more time writing, being with our families, chewing blades of grass in far-flung meadows, other editors will start up new poetry journals and anthologies. We wish them well! We will send them our poems! We hope their dream publications will be as wonderful for them as RUNES, A Review of Poetry has been for us.

Ave atque vale! ‘Lyn & Susan

CB (‘Lyn) Follett and Susan Terris
, Winter 2007


CB Follett is still the Publisher of Arctos Press. Recently, Arctos published a beautiful collection of poems, SUDDENLY, OUT OF A LONG SLEEP by Lowell Jaeger. Her sixth collection of poems, AND FREDDIE WAS MY DARLING came out the first of 2009 from Many Voices Press and is available from them or from Arctos. ConfluX Press and Tania Babin took her thirteen part poem about a black cat and turned it into a beautiful small artist's book called A CAT WHO FALLS FROM A TREE BRANCH WILL ALWAYS CLAIM HE MEANT TO. And Pudding House Press published her chapbook, RUNAWAY GIRL. She is now finishing up a new collection of poems, ONE BIRD FALLING, which will be published by Time Being Books.

Susan Terris is currently doing work for two online journals. With Ilya Kaminsky, she is poetry editor of In Posse Review.  She also acts as a regular guest editor for Pedestal Magazine. In early 2009 her newest chapbook, THE WONDER BREAD YEARS, will be published by Pudding House Publications. Susan also teaches occasional workshops in how to put together and publish a chapbook.