The Jet Fuel Review editors are excited to share with you the noteworthy gem of Issue 15, our cento collection. “Cento” is Latin for “patchwork” and in terms of poetic form, a cento is a “patchwork” of lines from various works. According to the introduction of Hosidius Geta’s “Medea:” A Virgilian Cento, by Joseph J. Mooney, Geta’s “Medea” is the first recorded cento, dating back between 200 C.E. and 300 A.D. Classified as a Virgilian cento, “Medea” is composed of lines from works by the ancient Roman poet, Virgil. A Frankenstein-like composition, each line is carefully sutured to the next in order to create thought-provoking images and metaphors that seamlessly weld with one another, and ultimately crafts a piece that pays homage to other’s work while creating a new text.
We are thrilled to feature a wide array of pieces that showcase the dynamicity of this experimental stitching form such as Brianna Noll’s “L.A. Centos” in which she incorporates lines from well-known films such as Nightcrawler, Real Women Have Curves, and 500 Days of Summer. Along with Noll, the Special Section includes centos by notable writers such as David Lehman, editor in chief for The Best American Poetry series, poet and ONU professor Jennifer Moore, 2017 Tuscon Literary Award winner and editor Lynne Thompson, and collaborators Ariana Sophia-Kartsonis and Stephanie Rogers. Last, but definitely not least, we are excited to publish Lewis University’s very own, Dominique Dusek, whose cento “Water Song,” is a fusion of images that are both rich like “the wine dark sea wreck,” yet sustain intimacy like “two birds coupling.”
We hope you both enjoy and appreciate the thoughtful artistry that is involved when constructing the cento, and hopefully discover a newfound love for this longstanding, intricate form.
Zakiya Cowan & the Jet Fuel Review Editors