Amusing poetry, both free-form and metrical, has undergone a diminution in publishing outlets since the 1950's, (though it remains popular with audiences and even turns a profit in Britain and other countries outside the U.S.). Says X. J. Kennedy, one of the master stylists of light verse: "...he saved a whole genre of poetry that was wilting and drying up for lack of any outlet for it."
The next issue of Light Quarterly, which may be the last, will be a memorial issue dedicated to the memory of John Mella and the legacy of light verse he has left. It features some of his own work, and shows how wide his boundaries within the genre extended. He believed "light" verse could be applied to dark topics as well as frivolous, it could be about anything, even the death of a child, as he once remarked.
There will be tribute to John Mella at the West Chester Poetry Conference, at West Chester University in PA. On Saturday, June 9th at 8:15 a.m. a panel of three, led by Melissa Balmain will speak about his life and the legacy of Light Quarterly; it is free and open to the public.
We hope, through some miracle of literary/interplanetary convergence, to continue to publish the best light verse writers, not only X. J. Kennedy, but also Edmund Conti, J. Patrick Lewis, Charles Ghigna, Joyce LaMers, Alicia Stallings and many other new, emerging writers.
The goals of The Foundation for Light Verse and its publication, Light Quarterly, are to bring clarity, wit, readability, and enjoyment in the reading of poems through the use of cadence, rhythm, and rhyme, and to promote the learning of such poems by heart.
Lisa Marwart can be reached via e-mail: lisa.markwart(at)lightquarterly(dot)org