Editor's Letter:

Julianna Spallholz

I am fascinated by the idea of community, by the many different forms communities come in, and by the amount of communities of which we count ourselves a part. In one of my communities resides the family across the street and their cat-hating dog. In another are the people who work at the same place I work. Another is the upstate New York community I grew up in, which I now visit only twice a year. And another is, of course, the big writing community, inhabited by writers I've hung out with and haven't, know well and don't, hear and only hear about.

By acting as a guest editor of the In Posse Review, I was able to invite a small collection of writers from our big community to speak to each other through pieces of original prose poetry, passed along like whispered messages in a child's game of Telephone. We started with a word that was known only by Kristen Nelson, the writer who began the chain. Kristen composed a piece with this word in mind and passed the piece on to the next three writers in line, who then composed a piece in response to Kristen's piece and passed it on to the next writers, who composed and passed on to the next and final writers. In this way we created three branches that started with the same silent root.

There were no rules—only the request that each writer write a completely new prose poem that answers, subverts, carries on, spits at, strolls alongside, moons, kicks, makes out with, whatever, the prose poem that they received from the writer before.

Some of the writers involved in this project know each other professionally, while some know each other personally, even intimately, while some of the writers have never met. They live in New York, Virginia, Seattle, Vermont, and Arizona, and they produce exciting, dynamic, sad, thoughtful, funny, explosive, humble work from their living rooms, studios, offices, basements, pool sides, bars, universities, and coffee shops, in cities, towns, villages, and rural routes everywhere.

Each piece included in this project was created within the space of one week, an immediate, secret babbling of mystery, trust, and the individual desire to make sense of and continue the strange and heartfelt message that came from the person sitting, cross-legged, on the summer camp grass to our left.

The word Kristen began with is Home.

We hope you enjoy it. Thank you for reading.

Julianna Spallholz
Guest Editor

Start reading: Chain poems