Greetings from the Editor

As the poems began arriving throughout November, it was clear that underlying the idea of “beginnings” was the idea of “endings.” The poems you’ll read below traffic in imagery rich with beginnings and endings: knots to be tied and untied, birth and death, tragedy and the will to connect, language and its limitations. In choosing our first theme, we did not know how prescient, how well-timed, would be the group of poems that would ferry us into the New Year.

Our paired beginnings and endings continue with an essay from Kimberly Blaeser, the Wisconsin Poet Laureate from 2015-2016, who is approaching the end of her tenure. As our state’s public poet, she reflects on her recitation project, studding the map with Wisconsinites’ voices, reading poetry, a cacophony of language and line and lyric (access the map here). Additionally, please check out the essay Fellowship: Past, Present & Future featuring materials from the WFOP archives.

This endeavor wouldn’t have been possible without the concerted help – often behind the scenes – of many people. But I would like to give a special thanks to Tori Grant Welhouse, who worked on the layout, links and all-things-technological to bring Bramble to life. Please check back in February when the Spring issue, guest edited by Michael Kriesel, will be open for submissions; the theme is “between.”

To me, Bramble invokes the thicket, wild grapevines and black raspberries, the thorny shrub and its small blooms, the ends that fruit, the sweet berry, the climbing vine, the broom that was traditionally made from it, the floors it swept, the witches who rode it: the wildness that is every day and underfoot, ubiquitous. 

In these poems, Bramble houses the surprising image that catches the throat – the sharp line that breaks where it’s least expected – confounding moments that unsettle, and stay with the reader like an echo in the room. We Wisconsinites appreciate more than the mild days of fall and the blush of spring, our temperate climate and lush layers of green. To coincide with our inaugural issue, the winter turns bitter cold, and the icicles stretch from the roofline to the piled snow below.

C Kubasta 


 C Kubasta

C Kubasta

C Kubasta is the author the chapbooks, A Lovely Box and &s, and a full-length collection, All Beautiful & Useless (BlazeVOX, 2015). Her next book, Of Covenants, is forthcoming from Whitepoint Press in 2017. She is active with the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, and serves as Assistant Poetry editor with Brain Mill Press. She thinks poetry, like humor, porn, & horror, should be a body genre. Find her at