The Editor

Writing and publishing are the twin strands of my creative life. In middle school I wrote terrible science fiction stories with friends thinly disguised as characters. In high school I served on the yearbook staff, learning to choose typefaces, count in picas and deploy white space. In Mr. Polito’s AP English class, we read Sylvia Plath’s “Cut”; she used the word “homunculus,” which thrilled and scared and scarred me for life.

photo: Jennifer Goldring, Juniper Tree Studio

As an undergraduate student of English at SUNY Buffalo, I began to write my own poetry. Twenty years later, (with an interim stint at community college to learn medical coding and running the literary magazine while I was there) after endless practice both in and out of writing groups, I decided it was time for the formal discipline of an MFA. I graduated from the University of Missouri – St. Louis in December 2012.

I’ve always stood between communities, never fully inhabiting any particular one. This has been a continuous source of discontent – it can be hard to feel at home anywhere when nowhere is really home – but while pursuing my MFA I came to see it as a gift. I can be an ambassador. I can build a bridge. In both my professional and creative lives, I’m surrounded by intelligent people who love to read and value art, but who confess to me that poetry has resisted their effort to understand. Yet they also tell me “there is this ONE poem” or “I do like this ONE poet’s work.” And that is where Architrave comes in. I’m certain I can find at least one more.

—Jen Tappenden

photo: Jennifer Goldring, Juniper Tree Studio