SENTINEL POETRY #24   November 2004

THE CLOSEST THING TO PRIESTHOOD

I can now agree with anyone that says 'time stands still when you are having fun'. Editing Sentinel Poetry (Online) through 24 issues has been astounding fun for me. I have met and talked with great minds and learned something from every poet I have encountered. Somebody asked me last week how I keep this thing going with no grants, donations or  merchandising, and I was not ashamed to say that it is all down to my selfishness. Why selfish? Because every poet I have spoken to, every poem I have read, every emotion I have shared with writers from Australia, Nigeria, United States of America, The United Kingdom, Indonesia, Senegal, Sudan, Egypt, Pakistan, Canada and other parts of the world we have received submissions from--every one of these poems has made me better equipped to face life.

I think that working as a poetry editor is the closest thing to priesthood. And by God, the confessions that some poems bear break the heart or inspire.  You may have heard that there is a book in everyone. I say there is a poem in everyone; in the heartbreak following bereavement or divorce, in the joy of childbirth or marriage, in the drama of normal daily living--shopping, sex, eating, friendship, enmity, war and peace. I say, write a poem, but I say even more, aspire to work as a poetry editor --even for one day in your life.

On this note, I must indicate that I wish to concentrate on editing the Sentinel Poetry Quarterly magazine, and administering the Sentinel Poetry Movement. This means that Sentinel Poetry (Online) needs a new editor. I will continue to work as the webmaster, building the individual magazines, but I need fresh eyes and fresh vision for the online magazine, somebody to redefine the magazine, somebody with a different taste in poetry, to give readers the fullness of a varied experience over the next year or two.

I am being like a theatre casting director here, so I am auditioning so to say, candidates for this role.  I do want to see Sentinel Poetry (Online) in the hands of somebody who shares my passion for its future. Since the Internet is here to stay, this online magazine will stay for as long as the world wide web exists.

If you want to chat with me about this, why not drop me an e-mail and we will explore possibilities.

Happy Reading

Nnorom Azuonye
November 1, 2004

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