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Issue 56

Matt Warren, contributor and Gene’s son

Once upon a time in 1998, Gene Warren Doty published a collection of his poems, Zero: Thirty Ghazals.  In those days, the Twin Towers were bustling with accountants, Apple was a has-been struggling to survive, and the ghazal was a poetic form little known in English and very vaguely defined.

Zero was the last of Gene’s ten published compilations of his own poetry.  The literary efforts of his remaining years were devoted mainly to presenting the works of others in The Ghazal Page (then at, starting with just three ghazals by two poets in August 1999. Nearly 16 years later, the English ghazal is much more widely known and has taken a more definite yet flexible form, informed by Classical tradition and by the explorations of scores of excellent poets.

Although by 2014, Gene had decided to retire from The Ghazal Page, he was always open to the possibility that someone else would take it on. Had his health not declined so much during his final year, he would likely have pursued this possibility more vigorously. As a sometimes-contributor and as his son, I am glad to see The Ghazal Page continue under the leadership of Holly Jensen; I believe that Gene would also have been pleased.

Changes are to be expected with new management, as Gene well knew. But some things remain the same: The Ghazal Page will still host good new poetry and ongoing experimentation within the ghazal form. I am grateful to Holly (and to others who have helped out) for renewing my father’s most prominent project; like many others, I wait eagerly to see the new Ghazal Page take flight.

Matt Warren, 2015

Issue 56 teems with 50 poems by writers from four continents. You’ll find traditional Persian ghazals of every variation, experimental ghazals (in particular, Karla Linn Merrifield prods, pushes, and plays with conventions and Dawn V. Randall further fragments the form), tercet, free verse, hybrid, and even a collaborative poemIntroduction by Holly Jensen.

Judith Skillman August
Jean L. Kreiling “Shimmering Substance”
Siham Karami Honor
Michele Waering Beautiful
Karla Linn Merrifield Download 43: “Letter from a Very Horny Bitch,” Postmarked 1971
Michele Waering Kid
Barbara Lydecker Crane Finding Rumi in a Wine Bar
Liusaidh Ghazal for a Hunter
M. Shayne Bell In Isfahan at Hasht Behesht
Antonia Clark Constabulary Note
Esther Greenleaf Murer Villanghazalle with fauna
Beatriz F. Fernandez Hypatia’s Revenge
Linda Umans Ghazal from Cuba
Sana Shah Ghazal 1
Antonia Clark Paraclausithyron
Dawn V. Randall Welcome Wagon
Siham Karami In Egypt
Janice D. Soderling Aaylah Writes to Her Lover
Judith Skillman Inflammation
Dawn V. Randall Eagle Eye
Liusaidh Ghazal for Ten Bad Dates
Tom Hennemann The Blow-Up Doll Blues
Pattie Palmer-Baker Goodbye to Once Before
Beatriz F. Fernandez Ghazal Upon Hearing of a Mutual Friend’s Death
Ellen Pickus Fire Ghazal
Karla Linn Merrifield Solar Ghazal
Roger Sedarat Lines on My Backhand
Alison Armstrong-Webber
Antonia Clark
Mignon Ariel King
Esther Greenleaf Murer
Terry Ofner
Deceased Gods
Deborah Kreuze Ghazal Underneath
Lukas DeVries I Dance Macabre
Linda Umans Ghazal for the Vultures
Suzanne Herschell Once
Sana Shah Ghazal 4
William Dennis Back Then
Matt Warren Years
Tracy Fiebiger Februrary 21
Dawn V. Randall Forgiving Tree
Jean Syed Prime Mover Ghazal
Sana Shah Ghazal 3
Judith Skillman Twinned
Sita Inas Mere Nada Our Appetites Devoured Us
Esther Greenleaf Murer Rules
Beatriz Fernandez The Ghazal Ghazal (Or How to Write a Ghazal)
Antonia Clark Ghazal of the Contrary Poem
Barbara Lydecker Crane It
Barbara Lydecker Crane Inside Out
Karla Linn Merrifield The Four-Master’s Constellation of Sails (Fore to Aft)
Mohammad Zahid Evening
Mohammad Zahid Dreams
Mohammad Zahid Night
Holly Jensen In Search of the Contemporary Ghazal
A review of R.W. Watkins’ anthology, “Contemporary Ghazals”

About larrygates

Web developer of Ghazal Page. Sometime pseudonymous ghazalkar.