The Daddy Issue

Winter 2022. Vol. 44 No.3

In this issue, you’ll find daddy poems next to dad poems, next to father poems, next to stranger poems. You’ll find pleasure next to pain, kink next to squick. We asked poets to explore daddy energy in all its forms, to give us all the fun and all the pain that comes with the term, and the contributors to this very special issue did not hold back.

Many of these poems celebrate sex and sexual experiences, while some grapple with trauma around those experiences and others. Contributors like Matthew Stepanic bring us into the pleasurable world of kink, while others, like Adèle Barclay and Poonam Dhir, walk us through uncertainty, loss, and death.

We encourage you to proceed with both curiosity and joy, as well as care for yourself, as you read through these pieces. Cayenne Bradley’s “Father Stories” urges us, in its final line, to “believe survivors of fathers,” and we’d encourage you, the reader, to take that stirring line as your signal that something dark approaches in the following pages. With those who may experience most keenly the pain of those poems that follow Bradley’s in mind, we made a point of keeping these especially heavy poems grouped together.

The delightful Jake Byrne, a past winner of our Foster Poetry Prize, graciously agreed to be interviewed for this issue, resulting in a conversation with fellow poet Anthony Aguero that’s both playful and keenly insightful. Accompanying the interview is Jake’s epic “DADDY I,” a poem that follows in the tradition of his Foster Prize-winning “Parallel Volumes,” in terms of the expansive qualities of both the poem’s formatting and its exploration of its ideas.

As is the case with every issue of CV2, this one is both celebration and burial; both an exclamation of that which brings joy and a putting to rest of that which brings pain. If you like hugs, consider this issue to be one big daddy hug from all of us to you, and let it be either an ecstatic, screaming, jumping squeeze, or a quiet, firm, cradling embrace. Whatever it is you need from your daddy right now, we hope you’ll find it here.