As you may know, my late husband and I edited the Romantic poetry journal Romantics Quarterly (RQ). He was the founding father and first editor of RQ. I came along at the end of the 2nd issue and assisted Kevin until it became too much work for us to maintain on top of our regular full time jobs. At that time, we passed along editorship to friend and fellow poet Mary Rae. She did an excellent job, not only maintaining the publication, she also took Romantics Quarterly from a saddle-stapled journal to a perfect-bound slick-looking publication. It is now out-of-print. Kevin and I often discussed whether to resurrect RQ, or start a new publication. We decided on a new magazine.
The name Scarlet (like the color red) had been stuck in my head for several months before I acknowledged that I found “it”. I did mull over possible names for this publication, but once Scarlet got in my head, it just stood out — a name “rife with poetic symbolism” (according to one of my closest friends whose thoughts echo my own reasons for going with the name). Scarlet, the color of blood, a life-force, flame, divinity, sacred theology, ministry, royalty, love, passion, sin. The Scarlet Pimpernil (devotion). The Scarlet Letter (adultry, sin). Scarlet, the color of the blood that flows as a constant source of sustenance for the quintessential Vampyre known as The City of New Orleans. The Scarlet tide separates the widow from the bride (war/death). Scarlet the color worn by Cardinals in the Roman Catholic Church symbolizing their willingness to defend their faith to their death. My niece Scarlett – a fierce little lady with a strong will and determination. I find that Scarlet (red) is a comforting color for me. And, I like the name.
The Premiere issue will deal with “Death and Immortality”— a topic weighing heavily on my mind since Kevin’s passing. Death – because Kevin’s physical death was the spark for me to get started on my promise to him; Immortality – because his spirit lives on, guiding me.
One morning, while I was out for a walk with Buddy, I couldn’t help but listen to the birds sing to each other. I had just asked for guidance in my new endeavor, when I looked up and saw a hawk sitting in a tree nearby, watching me. I won’t go into the details of hawk symbology here except to say that I am interpreting it as a very good sign.
~ Janice Roberts
Editor’s note: When Kevin was ill in the Fall of 2008, I promised him that I would do this project for him, and that I would do it with or without him. Sadly, Kevin did not live to see the realization of his dream of this magazine, as he passed away on December 10, 2008.
Header photo, Samhain Altar, by Janice Roberts