When I became a part of the RDSP family last year, my first job as Poetry Editor was to get in touch with Stephen Wilson about a manuscript that he had recently submitted to us. I was very excited to have the opportunity to work with Stephen, for I had recently read his collaborative work with Linda D. Addison, Dark Duet, and was blown away. I couldn’t get the email out fast enough.
The more Stephen and I talked about the collection, the more I realized that he was just as beautiful as the poems he wrote. Despite his illness, he was always upbeat, excited, and working with me on edits, artwork, and ideas. We talked about style, theme, and most importantly, what the collection meant to him: it was a way to handle, to fight, and to accept the darkness. And he did all of that through making good art.
Stephen was so passionate about this project, and his drive and excitement made working with him a true blessing. He found a way to showcase the light, no matter how dim or brief in its passing, and he did that through poetry.
And it’s that drive, that power, that transformation that defines the craft. It’s about battling demons, both real and imaginary, and finding beauty in the good, and in the bad. Poetry isn’t something that is just read. It’s something that’s felt, something that’s experienced. When you read good poetry, it’s almost like falling in love because it stays with you. It changes you.
So I invite you, as an editor, a poet, and a fan, to pick up Stephen M. Wilson’s collection, Kicking Against the Pricks. It’s a little slice of heaven, a little slice of hell, and everything in between that is all light, dark, and beautiful.
--Stephanie M. Wytovich