About this Issue
Mantis was born out of the desire to facilitate conversation among the variety of writers engaged in the practice of poetry and poetics today. We believe that poetic practices — the production, translation, reading, publication, and critical reception of poetry — is always too complicated and multivalent for rigid categorisation; the lines drawn between “creative” and “critical” poetic practices are too often so starkly made, at times limiting the possibilities of poetic endeavour. Mantis celebrates the overlapping and merging practices within the world(s) of poetry. And, to the multiplicity of approaches that we see in the world around us, we want to contribute the richness of a diverse set of voices responding to specific poetic concerns. Both Mantis 1: Poetry and Community and Mantis 2: Poetry and Translation celebrated issues central to reading and writing; with Mantis 3: Poetry and Performance, new concerns emerged. Mantis 4: Poetry and Politics clinches, in many ways, the previous issue themes, exploring poetry’s indispensable role in upholding critical dialogues in societies both contemporary and ancient. The selection in Mantis 4 of poems, critical pieces and translations offer various ways of reflecting on this role.
Jason Lee – Translation: Pablo Neruda’s “Vienen por las islas (1493)”