Poetry 2016 – Editor’s Note

Dear Friends,

AWP 2016 Swag

This year at the AWP Los Angeles Bookfair, the number one question visitors to our table asked us was: What’s with your name? It’s a hard question to answer because Digging Through The Fat has many meanings for me. Digging Through The Fat / ripping out the heart was a phrase that kept playing in my head for several years post my MFA.

At the bookfair table



It’s also a subtle homage to Seamus Heaney’s poem “Digging.” And from Heaney, I can draw on my love for deceptively simple and blunt language. It takes courage to dig deep into life and language. And to do so without grandiosity is a delicate art form.

I invited one of my favorite poets, Roberto Carlos Garcia, to be guest poetry editor this year. I’ve known Roberto for a few years now. He’s always been supportive of my work and the work of other writers and poets. I’ve always admired Roberto’s spirit and determination. His chapbook, amores gitano (gypsy loves), published by Červená Barva Press in 2013, is testament to his talent.

Version 2
Roberto Carlos Garcia

Recently, Roberto launched his own publishing venture, Get Fresh Books, and I wish him much success. In this literary world, we need leaders who are willing to offer opportunities to those of us who don’t neatly fit into the antiquated system of literary compartmentalization. Huge respect to Roberto and his future endeavors. And thank you, Roberto for your wisdom. We had some tough choices this year and I am so grateful for your efforts.

For this edition of poetry at Digging, we selected the work of eight poets who are carrying the torch Seamus left behind. We hope you will enjoy these works as much as we did.


Gessy Alvarez
Founder & Editor