From Notes on the Third Edition:
Poetry readings at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans,
held from 3 to 5 Sunday afternoons, constitute one
of the oldest, continuously running poetry readings
in the U.S.
The first edition of The Maple Leaf Rag anthology
was published in the 1980s by Maxine Cassin's Poetry
Journal Press. The second (15th anniversary) edition,
published by Portals Press, was collected and bound
in 1994. Most of the selections in this third edition
were written in the years since. While this is not
a Katrina anthology, some poets do capture New Orleans'
Like writers around the globe, the writers at
the Maple Leaf voice keen perceptions of life experience,
both joyful and painful. Themes abound, especially
the complexity of human relations. Some of the poems,
like the readings, are for mature audiences. Many
probe deeply into psychology and philosophy. Many
are charged with deep feeling and sparkling imagination.
Many record the fiery interplay between the physical
and the spiritual, between mind and reality, sense
Poems, though rooted in place and circumstance,
can transcend time. Through the heartache - and moments
of exhilaration - of nearly three decades, writers
from all walks of life have kept writing and presenting
their artistic expressions at the Maple Leaf, perhaps
reflecting that truism by George Bernard Shaw: "Without
art, the crudeness of reality would be unbearable."
- John P. Travis, Portals Press