Introduction to The Virtual Salon Issue

Vol 18:1; Virtual Salon Issue
Winter 2017


We greet the new year with poetry of conversation between DC area writers, past and present. The Virtual Salon Issue features twenty six poems about another writer, written in response to works by that writer, or based on a line or phrase by that writer. Some of these poems were co-authored by two poets, adding another element of collaboration between writers in the region. This also marks the first time Beltway Poetry has included collaborative poems.

The individuals referenced in these poems represent a range of genres including poetry, non-fiction, music, and playwriting. The poems are presented in reverse chronological order, based on the birth year of the writer invoked in each piece. We also included biographical notes on the writers who inspired the poems, from contemporary authors such as Rita Dove, David Keplinger, and Lucille Clifton, to earlier writers such as Betty Friedan, Robert Hayden, and Charlotte Forten Grimké. There are two poems for Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson and three for Walt Whitman. We are particularly pleased to present a previously unpublished poem by Georgia Douglas Johnson, a Harlem Renaissance-era writer, on Mary Church Terrell.

These poems responded to a call for work that communicates with another writer and contributes to a conversation. We greet the new year with a continued call for our reading and writing to foster an ongoing and collective exchange of ideas.

Kim Roberts and Gowri Koneswaran