You responded beautifully to the optional theme for this month "A Time to Reap". Thank you for the variety of poems on the topic. In September of 2019, Firestone published what would be his last issue of Verse-Virtual, and then the journal went silent for three months. If that had been the end of the journal, it would still have represented a bountiful harvest for his efforts at building a community of poets, based on kindness and encouragment.
During the three silent months, there were discussions among the contributing editors to find a way to keep Verse-Virtual going. Because I have the technical and web expertise, I volunteered to take over that function, with other CE's filling in as guest editors, and a goal of publishing every other month. We opened submissions for a January 2020 issue, and published that issue with fifty poets. There was a lot of mumbling in the community about how hard it would be to have to remember to submit every other issue, and maybe only get to submit/publish 3 times a year. That was interesting because one of Firestone's emphatic rules was "If you're only looking to get published and not be part of the community, this isn't the place for you."
Despite his illness, Firestone was very gracious in corresponding with me as I took on the Managing Editor role, and when we discussed the problems of only putting out an issue every other month, he said to me "Do whatever you like, Jim. It's okay with me. I trust you." So the monthly publication resumed in March of 2020 and has continued without interruption since then. As I have become more comfortable in my role as Editor, I have introduced some small changes that I believe have enhanced the journal, such as a monthly cover photo, monthly readings, periodic book parties, and the like. The response from the community to all of these changes has been positive and supportive, for which I thank you all. You are my harvest, the rewards of my efforts each month to make sure that this community and journal continue. Thank you for your emails to me, your comments and compliments, and your interactions with each other. You are a special group of people.
OCTOBER SUBMISSIONS ARE CLOSED, as I am working on a special issue of Verse-Virtual. Regular submissions will resume for November.