Chapbook Series

The Prolific Press Chapbook Series celebrates the tradition of chapbooks the world over. Chapbooks are smaller collections. Inclusion is very selective, making our chapbooks highly collectible.



Product Image Item Name+ Price
A Tale of Water by Sandra Marshburn

A Tale of Water by Sandra Marshburn

A Tale of Water contains twenty poems that were written with life on Edisto Island, South Carolina, in mind. The author, originally a Midwesterner who grew up near Lake Michigan, already liked water before she moved to Edisto, but salt water, hurricanes, creeks, wading birds, maritime forests, and the importance of bridges to life on an island serve as new material for her. Edisto Island offers more than incredible scenery to think and write about: serious challenges to its shorelines from climate change, and a group of islanders, some native, some like her, a transplant, all of them working together to keep the island a natural part of the coast, with limitations on commercial development. The author began volunteering soon after she arrived on Edisto at the Edisto Island Museum writing materials for annual tours of historical places on Edisto became a quick way for her to learn the history of a place and people who have not been focused on much before. These elements enrich her life and her writing, with many poems connecting Edisto to a larger sense of time and place and to the past.
$8.95

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An August Nightmare by Stephen Dudas

An August Nightmare by Stephen Dudas

About the book: Part love poem, part speculative memoir, An August Nightmare is an exploration of grief and fear, the fear of grief. If loss can haunt a loved one left behind, how might one find what remains of himself within the shatter? Dudas takes up this question in a collection of prose fragments that unsettle familiar spaces to imagine how a particular emptiness moves in. About the poet: Stephen Dudas teaches at Miami University in Oxford, OH. He earned an MA in Creative Writing from Miami University in 2013. Dudas is currently pursuing a PhD in literature. His writing has been published in The Great Lakes Book Project, drupe fruits, Ohio’s Best Emerging Poets (Z Publishing House), and Rain Taxi. Dudas is a founding co-editor of Threadcount Magazine.
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Ashes of Memories by Jen Emmerich

Ashes of Memories by Jen Emmerich

True stories of loss over differing cultures and times in history. Emmerich is a native Canadian, a soldier’s daughter, and a daughter of communism. She has spent all of her professional life in the mental health field where she currently practices as a psychotherapist in Sedona, AZ. Through the experiences of her parents and clients, she has learned much about suffering, pain, and joy. Ashes of Memories sifts the voices of her past. Through her words and extraordinary talents, you are invited to go with Jen Emmerich on her journey. Listen to those same voices and live the experiences of a rich and beautiful life through her words. You may never get closer to a passion like this.
$8.95

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Bad for the Heart by Howie Good

Bad for the Heart by Howie Good

About the poet: Howie Good has been a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz since 1985. He received his bachelor’s degree from Bard College, his master’s from the University of Iowa, and his Ph.D. from University of Michigan. Prior to embarking on an academic career, he worked on daily newspapers in Michigan, North Carolina, and North Dakota. He has written scholarly books on media ethics and the image of journalists in American popular culture as well as collections of essays on public education. His forthcoming book of poems, Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, won the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry. His other poetry books include A Special Gun for Elephant Hunting (Dog on a Chain Press), The Complete Absence of Twilight (MadHat Press), Fugitive Acts (Right Hand Pointing) and Dark Specks in a Blue Sky (Another New Calligraphy). He lives in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley with his wife, Barbara, and their dog, Dewey. Poetry: (5.5 X 8.5) 56 Pages, Chapbook Bound. ISBN: 978-1-63275-047-1
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Baggage May Shift by Terez Peipins

Baggage May Shift by Terez Peipins

Baggage May Shift takes the reader on a remarkable journey from Terez Peipins’s immigrant past, from a childhood on a farm in Western New York to broader horizons in Europe and America. With dazzling images she transports us to Paris, Irish roads, and a ship crossing the Atlantic after the Second World War. The focal point of this collection of poems is the need of the writer to belong to a place in the world and she has found that place in nature and a variety of lands. Peipins is truly a citizen of the world. Poetry
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Barefoot Girls by Ann E. Michael

Barefoot Girls by Ann E. Michael

Ann E. Michael spent her adolescent years in South Jersey, between Philadelphia and NJ’s Long Beach Island, just as musician Bruce Springsteen was getting started on his phenomenal trajectory to rock icon. She left her suburban town by attending college instead of taking her senior year of high school, intending to pursue visual art and psychology. Life happened instead, and her love of reading and writing evolved into a vocation as educator. After working in the magazine industry, marrying, and starting a family, she earned an MFA in Creative Writing-Poetry at Goddard College. She instructs English comp-rhet at DeSales University, where she also created, and now directs, the university’s writing center. Barefoot Girls offers a series of narrative, lyrical, persona poems backgrounded in Springsteen’s 1st three albums but projected through a girl’s perspective. The poems, inspired by memories of late adolescence, relate the stories of young women navigating sexuality, feminism, intellectual growth, and the urge to escape from “my hometown.” The 24 pieces in this chapbook represent a selection of a larger series of poems Ann E. Michael has written that explore female teen dynamics, such as the common feelings of otherness when the young person recognizes adulthood looms, and as parental and social expectations press her to follow proscribed behaviors. Using the rhythms and assonance of sentence, sound, and place—the coastal plain of southern New Jersey, the Atlantic Ocean, scrub pineland, suburbs, and proximity to cities—the speakers in Barefoot Girls portray sensations familiar to any young woman who has observed her surroundings and peers and begun to ask serious questions of herself. In several of these poems, Bruce Springsteen’s songs or phrases act as image, allusion, or icon, pointing a way in to the psyches of young American women. The use of these references is individual and often unexpected, suggesting that what it really means to take a song to heart is far more than assimilating a popular trend but instead a form of deep and reflective association that may last a lifetime. Ann E. Michael intends the collective voices in Barefoot Girls to generate a kind of imagined memoir of a time and place (South Jersey, early 1970s). Although peer pressure and social expectations may change in superficial ways, the transition to womanhood remains a fraught experience for many girls. This collection aims to evoke the loving camaraderie of girlhood friends, the fears and eagerness that surround growing up, and the wide variety of viewpoints that mark each woman as specific and valuable to the world.
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Blackbird Songs by Katie Sullivan Hughbanks

Blackbird Songs by Katie Sullivan Hughbanks

Peacocks get attention. When people visit a park or zoo, these beautiful birds demand to be noticed. They puff out their chests and spread their glorious feathers for others to admire and envy. But do folks awed by the peacock stop to listen to other birds singing? Do park visitors even notice the calls of the grackles, cowbirds, starlings? Most likely, no. In Blackbird Songs, birds act as metaphor. We notice the peacocks; we listen to these showy folks and are dazzled by their physical beauty. But what about the blackbird? Isn’t there profundity and depth in her voice? Shouldn’t she be heard as well? This is the premise of Blackbird Songs by Katie Sullivan Hughbanks. The poems featured in the collection celebrate individuality, spirituality, survival, optimism; they call for voices to sing out, to be lifted above the collective din. The book’s poetry frequently uses birds and other images from nature as motif to reveal both the natural world and human society and to explore how these two converge and interplay. Reflecting on themes of self-image, forgiveness, loss of innocence, and more, the poems in Blackbird Songs are each distinctly different but share the quality of accessibility so that every reader can make meaning – multiple meanings – from the writing, and by the end of the collection, enjoy a sense of hope and peace. And if readers appreciate the grackles, cowbirds, and starlings a bit more, well, that’s a plus. Katie Sullivan Hughbanks graduated with a Master of Education degree from the University of Louisville and has taught literature and writing for 22 years at Assumption High School in Louisville, Kentucky. She spends every moment she can writing, hiking, singing, dancing, birdwatching, and admiring dogs of all types. Her family includes her husband, daughter, son, and stepdaughter.
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Brief Candles by Bill Rector

Brief Candles by Bill Rector

Is Shakespeare universal? In “Brief Candles,” a series of sonnets that recreate Shakespearean figures in modern settings, Bill Rector argues, Yes! These characters, from Macbeth to Caliban, are as familiar as the strangers we pass on neon-lit streets. About the poet: Bill Rector is a retired physician. He was Poetry Editor of the Yale Journal of Humanities and Medicine and is co-founder, with Mark Irwin, of Proem Press. He has published his work in numerous journals, including Field, Prairie Schooner, The Denver Quarterly, The Colorado Review, and Hotel Amerika.. A full volume of poetry, “bill,” was published in 2007 by Proem Press; it has been followed by four chapbooks: “Lost Moth;” Epiphany. “Biography of a Name;” Unsolicited Press. “Two Worlds;” White Knuckle Press; and the present volume.
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Catch as Kitsch Can by Rodd Whelpley

Catch as Kitsch Can by Rodd Whelpley

About the book: Kitsch is the Evel Knievel lunchbox you’ve stored in the basement, the complete set (two issues) of the Courtship of Eddie’s Father comic novels that won’t yield space on your bookshelf, the eighteen sharply creased love notes Audrey Francisco (now gone from bladder cancer) wrote you the nine days she loved you in 7th grade. They are bound in the rainbow ribbon she pulled from her hair, kissed and offered you between second and third periods on a Tuesday in October. You’ve meant to send these things to her widow or children, but you can’t. Kitsch are those very same things – faded, dank and silly – your spouse and children correctly say are junk. Except they are talismans that not only connect you to, but make you an active participant in, the wider culture of the past and also in the evolution and reckoning of your personal history. In the end, the difference between what is kitsch and what is trash are the feelings we attach. The poems in Catch as Kitsch Can launch from the icons of our collective and personal pop cultures – celebrities, songs, poets, and pets. With the light, reckless abandon of a teenager, each plays its necessary, dangerous game of chicken – driving headlong towards the sentimental, trusting that just before calamitous impact they will veer away, and, in so doing, become vessels with which to capture the real, unvarnished anxieties, losses, hopes and loves that can tie us to a valued common past. About the poet: Rodd Whelpley seeks poetry in the everyday world. He manages an electric efficiency program for 32 cities across Illinois and lives near Springfield with his wife, son, and the memories of good Golden Retrievers he has known. Born and raised in Geneva, Ohio he earned degrees in accounting and English at Walsh College in Canton, Ohio and an MA in English with an emphasis in creative writing at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. After a nearly 20 year career as a book and magazine editor at publishing houses, trade associations and universities, he took a position in the not-for-profit public power industry at the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency, where he manages an electric efficiency program for 32 cities and allows himself to believe he is also the secret writer in residence. Early on, he hoped to be a fiction writer. He published a mystery novel, Capital Murder in 2002. In 2015, he began to write poetry in earnest. Since then, his poems have appeared in 2River View, Antiphon, The Chagrin River Review, Eunoia Review, Menacing Hedge, The Naugatuck River Review, Right Hand Pointing, Shot Glass Journal, Spillway, Star 82 Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. Catch as Kitsch Can is his first chapbook. What are others saying? In Catch as Kitsch Can the ordinary world of the actual and the inner world of wonder and memory waltz so deftly that we really are sitting in Mel’s Diner even as we watch the show. In these poems the actual is the source of possibility, never its limitation, and of course an Iowa farm girl can pour Lake Erie in a teacup and be all the more real and present for doing so. – Tim Hunt, author of Ticket Stubs & Liner Notes, winner of the 2018 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award
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Chapbook Sampler Pack (10)

Chapbook Sampler Pack (10)

Our chapbook sampler pack is perfect for those who want to evaluate our chapbook quality before sending a manuscript to Prolific Press, or any bargain hunter looking for a great deal on chapbooks. You will receive 10 random chapbooks (no duplicates) from our catalog with a total retail value of $89.50. Please don’t request specific books.
$76.00  $39.95
Save: 47% off


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Crossing the Days by James Scruton

Crossing the Days by James Scruton

As a collection, Crossing the Days contemplates the nature of time, its strange hold on our language and thought. In the title poem, a child learns “big hand / and little, … the slow semaphore of days.” Other poems feature speakers who consider their own childhood notions of time, from the “rubber band I could stretch across the universe” (“Infinity”) to the perplexing math of “Word Problem”: trains at different speeds, characters whose ages added up to a number “somehow divisible by the youngest.” Some poems focus on occasions—a wedding or anniversary, an illness or accident—that mark significant changes in a life. No less important are subtle, private moments. The speaker in “Wish You Were Here” jots a long-distance love note while listening to “our song” before admitting “oaky, a favorite of mine / more than yours” and delivering a final half-plea, half-incantation against time and loss. Similarly, the couple in “The Palm Reader” must temper their skepticism with hope, their past together framed by though not determining their future. Indeed, loss—or the threat of it—ticks incessantly through the collection, and not just in the love poems, of which there are several. The self-deprecating speakers of “The Eye Appointment” and “Red Flags” recognize their humor is mere cover for their respective fears. And yet humor abounds in Crossing the Days, the poems taking the long view of temporal concerns, no matter how dire, mindful perhaps of the Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh’s contention that “tragedy is underdeveloped comedy.” So it is that “The Last” can imagine tributes paid to the final rather than the initial birth in any calendar year, or make light of the ominous in “Listening to My Heart,” its “rhythm sprung by worry,” its “uneasy silence half the time.” The poems here treat time as an element, a dimension, a resource, an unaccountable force of nature. Whether detailing a distant memory or contemplating a recent headline, Crossing the Days chronicles our own interests, past and present.
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Deep Fahrenheit by Amy Gordon

Deep Fahrenheit by Amy Gordon

Deep Fahrenheit portrays the process of growing up. In the opening poem, a woman in feudal times stands in a field under the stars and feels the turning of the earth beneath her feet and senses for the first time that she is not the center of the universe and that she is connected to all things. In the final poem, a contemporary woman standing outside at the end of a day, also feels the earth’s turning, and senses not only her own death but the gradual extinction of all things. The feudal woman can be seen as a child emerging out of her egocentric universe, experiencing the first of many epiphanies. Growth occurs sometimes in shattering moments of disillusion: “Waking Up”, “We Lived in a Child’s Painting,” or in joyful unions, “Let’s Face It” or in quiet moments: “Otter Pond.” These moments might be considered the “Deep Fahrenheit,” where the lens through which the child observes the world is developed. This is a female lens, a girl-becoming-woman’s response to being raised in a world that at first seemed like child’s painting, complete with red house, yellow sun, and blue lake. By stepping through the metaphorical ice into the muck beneath the surface, she gains a deeper understanding and empathy for the people around her, those she knows intimately and those she observes in passing; she sees climate change, war, school shootings, the disappearance of language; she sees loneliness, aging, abandoned places. She lives with the doleful tune of her own failings as well as the hymns of leaves and cello music. Nature is both a consolation and a teacher—its beauty consoles, its patterns offer inspiration, but its sometimes too-quiet stillness offers a warning that nature, too, is in danger. This is a world in which all things under the stars are connected to each other and to the stars themselves: a potato field, a painting by Millet, Lays Potato Chips, music, Androcles and the lion, birds in a war-zone, the loneliness of a man on a train, two people in a relationship. The child-woman, even as the sun begins to set, is forever in the process of growing up and like a child, remains a wishful-thinker, forever hoping, as in “If-Quest” for an improved world. “We need these poems. We need to “Sing to the Boys” and to see “What He Saw.” Gordon’s amazing powers of attention and description open us to the world and each other in new ways, whether it’s to vivid glimpses of past and present in the now, or the myriad sorts of “Mysterious Pull” that we may barely notice. Read the poem “If Quest” with breakfast and it will follow you around all day.” Ellen Doré Watson; Author of pray me stay eager. “Gordon invites us on a languorous walk, guiding us with her gorgeous ‘new lens.’ Her taut lyrics and wanderer’s narratives reveal mystery without the distraction of mysticism. Memory intrudes and moves thick as knotweed, in elegies and in portraits of the dead or the lost, but this poet’s wisdom and desire move freely, inspiring us, consoling us with her celebrations of land, water, glint of mica. Gordon is a gift.” Judith Vollmer: Author of five books of poetry, including The Apollonia Poems ; Four Lakes Poetry Prize of the University of Wisconsin Press, 2017. Vollmer’s poetry and criticism have appeared in Poetry International, The Georgia Review, Poet Lore, The Women’s Review of Books, and elsewhere .
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Desert by Lisa Stice

Desert by Lisa Stice

Set in the deserts of the Southwest United States, these poems explore dreams that sometimes dry up and get lost, people who sometimes feel small in an expansive landscape, an environment shaped by inner struggles. About the poet: Lisa Stice is a poet/mother/military spouse, the author of two poetry collections Permanent Change of Station (Middle West Press, 2018) and Uniform (Aldrich Press, 2016), and a Pushcart Prize nominee. She volunteers as a mentor with the Veterans Writing Project, as an associate poetry editor with 1932 Quarterly, and as a contributor for The Military Spouse Book Review. She received a BA in English literature from Mesa State College (now Colorado Mesa University) and an MFA in creative writing and literary arts from the University of Alaska Anchorage. While it is difficult to say where home is, she currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, daughter and dog. Learn more about Lisa Stice on her website: https://lisastice.wordpress.com/
$8.95

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Dirty Handed Graspings by Ed Ahern

Dirty Handed Graspings by Ed Ahern

Dirty Handed Graspings is wide-ranging sample of Ed Ahern's poetry- wry, humorous, and deeply empathetic to the vagaries of our existence. Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He’s had over two hundred stories and poems published so far, and four books. Ed works the other side of writing at Bewildering Stories, where he sits on the review board and manages a posse of five review editors. "Ed Ahern covers a wide expanse in his poetry in topics, forms and tones. Enjoy the fun and philosophy." Laurel S. Peterson Poet Laureate Norwalk, CT 2016-2019 "Ed Ahern has the ability to reflect on experience and share emotion succinctly. His writing invariablysecures empathy and respect, and commands the full attention of the reader." John Stocks Poetry Editor, Bewildering stories magazine "Ed Ahern's poems are at once playful and somber. They embrace life in its totality. The poet is precise, self-effacing, nimble, equally unafraid to live joyfully and to lift the curtains that lead to the shadows." Emerson Gilmore author of To Alice and her Cancer: a Chronicle and The Leesburg Poems
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Dreams of Somewhere Else

Dreams of Somewhere Else

Dreams of Somewhere Else is a short collection of poetry released by the Prolific Press International Chapbook Series. Praise for Ken L. Jones... “I have been a champion of this project from the beginning, I consider myself one of the lucky few who get to read Ken’s poetry daily with his “Poem of the Day” which he sends via email. The poems really do mean a lot to me and I don’t take them for granted.” David Todd Ocvirk, director of Kolobos and Gangs of the Dead. “The Poetry of Ken L. Jones is amazing. Not defined, Ken echoes Edgar Allan Poe Saki, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth with tinges of Shel Silverstein. His verse is anagrammatic, yet his work emerges lyrically complex and visually precise. This is not poetry for the Dick and Jane crowd. Enjoy.” Tim Lasiuta, former reviewer for Comic Buyer’s Guide, author and popular culture historian. "I have been blessed by being able to read many of Ken L. Jones’ poems. Ken paints with words and often sparks ideas for my own paintings and drawings from a few lines.” Phil Yeh, Godfather of the graphic novel.” “In poetry circles, Ken is known for his cut-up poetry and eccentric fiction works, as well as his collage paintings.” Tom Luth, artist for Mad Magazine.
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Driving Around, Looking in Other People's Windows by CL Bledsoe

Driving Around, Looking in Other People's Windows by CL Bledsoe

Driving Around, Looking in Other People's Windows is a poetry collection about a marriage falling apart in the face of illness and debt. Two young, idealistic poets try to move past the difficulties of their childhoods to make a life together, but good intentions aren't the same as good plans. Bledsoe's poems mix pathos and humor, joie de vivre and clinical depression. His language is spare but warm. He is struggling, not only with living, but with figuring out how to live, how to move through this world in a meaningful way, how to be a person. Ultimately, though the poems might deal with dark subject matter, there is hope. There has to be. About the poet: CL Bledsoe grew up on a rice and catfish farm in eastern Arkansas. He taught high school and college for a decade and now works as a technical writer in northern Virginia, where he lives with his daughter.
$8.95

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Drowning at the Pool Party for Lifeguards by Timothy Martin

Drowning at the Pool Party for Lifeguards by Timothy Martin

Drowning at the Pool Party for Lifeguards visits the intersection of the broadly historical and the deeply personal, and explores how each works to inform the other. Mingling with poems about the Nazi resistance, World War I, and Civil War burials are verses about personal relationships both successful and otherwise, and a number of other subjects. A reticent father, a romantically grounded farmer, and the avaricious widow of a seventeenth-century adventurer are a few of the characters and voices that are heard from. Even the mother of Death herself makes an appearance. By turns serious and playful, the poems suggest a glimpse of who we have been and who are. We are authors of broken hearts and botched love affairs, as well as breathtakingly courageous acts in defense of those who otherwise have none.
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Elemental by Julia Klatt Singer

Elemental by Julia Klatt Singer

Elemental, by Julia Klatt Singer, is a set of poems written to the Periodic table. They are poems based on the nature and properties of the elements, and how they become a part of our lives, both lived and imagined. Like the Periodic table itself, they are about relationships, and what is triggered in the nearness of one another. Julia Klatt Singer is the poet in residence at Grace Neighborhood Nursery School and a rostered artist for Compas. She is co-author of Twelve Branches: Stories from St. Paul, (Coffee House Press), and author of four books of poetry; In the Dreamed of Places, (Naissance Press), A Tangle Path to Heaven, and Untranslatable, (North Star Press). She has co-written over two dozen songs with composers Tim Takach and Jocelyn Hagen. Ms. Singer’s son likes to describe her as a long-haired, sweater-wearing poet and thief.
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encircled by John Reinhart

encircled by John Reinhart

An arsonist by trade, John Reinhart spends his spare time gluing things together. He lives on an urban farmlette in Colorado with his wife, three children, dog, duck, cats, goats, chickens, pigeons, and probably mice. He is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, lapsed member of the Industrial Workers of the World, and one time member of the Veterans of World War II Club of Northampton. A Rhysling Award Nomineee and Frequent Contributor at the Songs of Eretz Poetry Review, his work has recently been published in Star*Line, Grievous Angel, Moon Pigeon Press, FishFood Magazine, NewMyths, and Scifaikuest, with an expanding selection available at http://www.patreon.com/johnreinhart. encircled Poetry by John Reinhart 52 pages / Chapbook binding.
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Ephemorphosis by Melodic Rose

Ephemorphosis by Melodic Rose

Ephemorphosis is poetry unleashed. This book can be summarized as an ephemeral metamorphosis and amalgamation of spiritual manifestation. Ephemorphosis is an intense reflection of the human condition and the society we are bound to. It seeks to find the common thread that connects us all. It is a dialogue of the human soul, a mantra for those subjugated within the confines of race, gender, and religion. Ephemorphosis navigates the complexities of life. It is a tapestry woven from the fabric of love, womanhood, justice, and faith. In short, Ephemorphosis is a plight for liberation, a conglomeration of the human struggle, and a testament to resilience. As the first generation in her family to be born on Canadian soil, Melodic Rose comes from a rich cultural background dynamically impacted by West Indian and Canadian traditions. Over the years, she has developed a strong longing for art that accurately depicts the plethora of nuances, shades, colors, and voices of the literary community. More about the Poet: Melodic Rose is a spoken word artist from Montreal. She has written poetry for 15 years. She believes that poetry should be a transcendent experience. That true poetry comes from artistic and emotional vulnerability, and at the heart of it, should reflect the distinct voices and nuances of the human experience. Melodic Rose hopes to reflect this philosophy through her work by producing art that is unbound by the confines of race, gender, or political affiliation, challenging and inspiring others to live with complete authenticity. Her poems, Revolution and Sanctum, have been published by Poetic Matrix. A 2015 Media Portrayal for Vincent Van Gogh was also published by On The Grid. Her latest poem, Resistance, was accepted by Monkey Star Press and will be released in 2016.
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Euonymus by David Appelbaum

Euonymus by David Appelbaum

Euonymus is a fragmentary story of rebirth. It focuses on the narrator’s struggles for survival, physical and spiritual, during an unforgiving winter. Although his identity remains vague, the dialogue he has with his God shows him to be stubborn and resilient in the face of ongoing hardship. His two children make cameo appearances, usually at odds with his desires. Euonymus is also a theophany, a work designed to evoke or invoke the appearance of God. In the form of a conversation with an unnamed divinity, the narrator alternatively pleas, demands, questions, laments, or prays for an understanding of what is required of him. The author’s use of an ambiguous first person pronoun ‘I’ makes it difficult to know always whether the narrator is speaking to or being addressed by the other. His world and its creatures share in the conversation. Plants, trees, resident animals each take part, giving a panoramic view of his situation. At the center of the meditation is euonymus—the common spindle tree, on the wood of which, according to lore, Christ was crucified.
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Final Arrangements by Mickey J. Corrigan

Final Arrangements by Mickey J. Corrigan

Everyone tells you: Death does not give, Death takes away. In this short collection of easy to read poetry, Mickey J. Corrigan explores burial practices around the globe. Why be buried in the same old way when you might choose to follow Japanese tradition and allow your family to pick through your ashes to retrieve your bones? Or you can opt for a final party like they do in Mexico, honoring the dead with lively music, food and drink. You could ask your beloved to dance with your old bones, an ancient practice in Madagascar. These honest, dark poems have moments of strange humor as they illustrate for readers how various cultures help their dead return to the elements of creation. Ultimately, Final Arrangements is about the body and letting go of it. How we do this is our choice. Yet after all the funerals you've attended the masses and wakes hospices, hospitals morgues, funeral homes morticians, interments cremations, scattered ashes… there's more for you: Death comes with options! Originally from Boston, Mickey J. Corrigan lives in South Florida and writes neo-noir with a dark humor. Novellas and novels have been released by publishers in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. Poetry has appeared in Work to a Calm, Flatbush Review, Fourth & Sycamore, R.kv.r.y Quarterly Literary Journal, Penny Ante Feud, ink sweat & tears, And So Yeah, and elsewhere. Poetry chapbooks include The Art of Bars (Finishing Line Press, 2016) and Days' End (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2017). Project XX , a novel about a school shooting, was released in 2017 by Salt Publishing in the UK. "Mickey J. Corrigan’s Final Arrangements invites us to consider rituals invoked to give form and sense to what cannot be known. To stare into a hole in the ground. To bring close thoughts it is most natural to turn from. To not banish the abstraction by which death is stolen from our experience. Humorous, biting, literal and elegant, this collection does everything but shy away." Athena Sasso; author of The Account in Question and Other Stories "The afterlife won't be worth visiting unless there are Mickey J. Corrigan books." Michael Cantwell; author of the True Justice series "In America where death is big business, the main business is keeping the dead as far away from us as possible. Final Arrangements takes us on a wild, fascinating tour of funeral rituals worldwide, to places where participation is hands-on and intimate." Jade Bos; author of Hookers and Cake
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Final Inventory by David Anthony Sam

Final Inventory by David Anthony Sam

About the Book: Final Inventory contains the deeply personal poetry by the author, David Anthony Sam, written as his mother was dying and in the years after. Here, Sam celebrates his mother’s life and her impact on him, grapples with her dying and his helplessness to ease her from this life, and mourns her by “mothering himself a new life” absent her powerful presence. Words are a gift his mother gave him, given that she loved to read and was an author herself albeit with few publications. So it is appropriate that Sam use those words to honor her as well as convey the journey that (while individual here to the two of them) is nonetheless a universal one. About the Poet: Born in Pennsylvania, David Anthony Sam is the proud grandson of peasant immigrants from Poland and Syria. He lives in Virginia with his wife and life partner, Linda, and retired as president of Germanna Community College in 2017. Sam has four previously published collections and was the featured poet in the Spring 2016 issue of The Hurricane Review and the Winter 2017 issue of Light: A Journal of Photography and Poetry. His poetry has appeared in over 80 journals and publications. Sam’s chapbook Finite to Fail: Poems after Dickinson was the 2016 Grand Prize winner of GFT Press Chapbook Contest and his collection All Night over Bones received an Honorable Mention for the 2016 Homebound Poetry Prize.
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High Water Lines by Lauren Scharhag

High Water Lines by Lauren Scharhag

High Water Lines is a swan song for the American dream, where the notion persists that anyone can still pull themselves up by the bootstraps to escape poverty. This is a collection of poems for the working poor, especially those that dwell in the places deemed “flyover country.” These poems are for anyone who has ever had to pick up and move to chase a job or escape eviction, for anyone who has ever had to punch a time clock or bust their hump for a measly tip, for anyone seeking a better life in another country, for anyone who is one emergency away from homelessness. Written in a time when wages have stagnated while the cost of living has skyrocketed, when millions of Americans are juggling multiple jobs to make ends meet while CEOs are raking in record profits, High Water Lines examines both the struggles as well as the dignity of labor. This is America: thrift-store shoppers, pawn shop patrons, housewives, veterans, farmers, day laborers, transients, dumpster-divers, oldsters on fixed incomes and Peanut Festival Queens. Woven throughout are related issues such as climate change and addiction. People make questionable choices trying to fill the void left by exhaustion and despair. Relationships suffer, children repeat their parents’ mistakes. But they are also survivors, finding creative ways to rise above their situation. In rising above, we maintain a sense of self. These poems are haunted by the past while facing an uncertain future. They bear witness to the departure of comfortable middle-class possibilities. Scharhag is an emerging voice in contemporary poetry. Her lines are as widely varied as the experience of the 99-percenters she champions. They can be as brief as a few lines, or span several pages. She offers verse that is at once profoundly personal and relatable, compassionate and analytical, bleak and irreverent. High Water Lines is a mirror for our American moment.
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Leading the Beast Home by Daryl Muranaka

Leading the Beast Home by Daryl Muranaka

A beautiful collection of poetry, full of echoes and transitions that create moments of resonance causing these poems to vary in speed and delivery. They unload all at once, only to reload on a second read. In some ways, these poems remind me of mechanical poetry, poems constructed by piecing together fragments of language, only to change and then reform, suddenly emerging with a surprise. There are interesting things going on here, styles that seem divergent and then suddenly harmonious, voices that seem deeply rooted in the poet, then become a chorus we sing together. These poems are thought-provoking and a deserve a place in the Prolific Press International Chapbook Series. Read these poems. -Glenn Lyvers, Masthead (Prolific Press Inc.) Before “settling down with a job and family,” Daryl Muranaka spent nearly ten years wandering around the world, learning from the cultures and peoples he encountered while contemplating the promise of America, the meaning of being an American. In Leading the Beast Home, he reflects on those revelations, springs forth with labored epiphanies, hauls up from guttural places those ideas and lessons birthed from the soil of his adventures. He examines his own life by both exploring and defying the American stereotypes he embodies, never taking for granted the luck and occasional second and third chances he’s received.
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Little Suites by Deborah LeFalle

Little Suites by Deborah LeFalle

Little Suites is a collection of poems inspired by the author’s reflections on her childhood – delightful and tender moments, as well as trying and sometimes unpleasant moments that helped her develop as a humane being. Each poem individually contains thematic linking characteristics and together they form poetic suites joined by the common threads of memory, appreciation, innocence, curiosity, imagination, kinship, reality and growth. About the Poet: Deborah LeFalle is an active retiree who started writing in her 60s. In addition to writing she enjoys walking, engaging in the arts, digging into her family history, and spending time outdoors communing with nature. Poetry is the genre of writing she is drawn to most with inspiration for her poems often stemming from personal experiences. She lives a simple, gratitude-filled life in Northern California. Biography: Deborah LeFalle holds Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a Master’s in Urban Affairs, and a Doctorate in Transformative Studies. Besides her academic writing, she has two published books of creative writing to her credit: Worthy (2017); and Bitty Brown Babe (2019). She has also been published in the following journals, magazines and anthologies: Garden of Black Joy: “Auntie Sisterhood” (forthcoming); Still Point Arts Quarterly: “On the Heels of Wonder”; The Haberdasher – Flumes: “Seasons”; The Same Magazine: “waiting for a glimpse”; De La Mancha Magazine: “Where I Find Peace”; Edify Fiction: “Two Days ‘til Christmas”; Third Wednesday: “Groove Interrupted”; Writing in a Woman’s Voice: “Achillea Outside My Window”; Catamaran Literary Reader: “A Keepsake from Nature”; Cherry Blossom Light: “Two More Haiku”; Muse Literary Journal: “In Defense of Linen”; Poetry Quarterly: “Darceen”; The Raven’s Perch: “Do Tell” and “Happenstancing with Hitch”; The Voices Project: “Prelude to Juice”; TimBookTu: “Stuck on Replay”; What Brings You Here?: “Family Reunion” and “Girls in Trees”; Willow Glen Poetry Project: “71 Redeux”; Winter Writes: “Kettle Tea” and “Thank You For” and “On My Way Walking”; You Share Project: “Growing Up Amid Wings”; California Quarterly: “When Do You Know You’re a Poet?”; ESME: “Commuter’s Love Affair”; Entropy/Enclave Final Poems: “Eluding Wisdom”; Field Notes – Interpretations of Nature: “The Creek in the Glen is Choking”; Icon: “House”; Penumbra: “The Visit” and “Lunar Love Letter” and “Waking Up”; Rockhurst Review: “Chris and Chris”; Silver Birch Press’ My Sweet Word Series: “Black Cherry and Me”; Sisyphus Quarterly: “Garden Party”; Miracles and Extraordinary Blessings: “Lesson in the Snow”; Reflections and Illuminations: “Day Before the Antique Dealer Comes”; and Scattered Acorns: “Two Haiku.”
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Love & Poison by Arya F. Jenkins

Love & Poison by Arya F. Jenkins

Love & Poison is a fearless exploration of dark facets of love. At once fiercely feminine and feminist, it challenges the reader to revisit her own assumptions, expectations and journey through love. It is a riveting contemporary journal for the lover and beloved in every reader.
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Lyrics from the Central Plateau by Tim Gavin

Lyrics from the Central Plateau by Tim Gavin

The poems in Lyrics from the Central Plateau express the tension between the dominant culture and the developing world culture of Haiti, as witnessed by the speaker who is deeply rooted in serving marginalized, yet resilient, Haitians. These poems are set in the remote place of Cerca, Haiti, which is home to a resilient people who live off the little that the land yields. The poems express the anxiety, joy, regret, anguish, glory and affirmation of the speaker who is trying to collaborate with the church, the villagers and his home in America to bring about peace, prosperity and justice to a small community, which has suffered from the corruption, alienation, and ignorance of government powers – both foreign and domestic. The poems, which appear on one level hopeless, offer on a much deeper level of the true spirit of the human condition’s willingness to survive in the most unfavorable conditions. The poems chronicle the Haitians ability to cling to the “hope buried deep in Haiti’s great mountains." From the rugged geography to the lack of clean water, from those “who farm// In dust and stone” to those who are “ignorant of tomorrow’s promise,” the poems move seamlessly through hope and despair, faith and resilience, and death and resurrection. In a world where the poor suffer and have little representation at the table of plenty, Lyrics from the Central Plateau gives a voice to the Haitian brother who cries out. About the poet: Tim Gavin is an Episcopal Priest who serves as Head Chaplain of The Episcopal Academy. He has served The Episcopal Academy for over 30 years. In addition, he has supervised the school’s partnership with St. Marc’s School in Cerca, Haiti. The focus of the partnership rests on the principles that every community has its assets and can be developed to become self-sustainable. Therefore, Gavin has overseen the building of school in Cerca, development of clean water, the creation of a farm, and the annual operations of a medical clinic. His theological principles that all people share in the divine nature of God solidifies his faith that people, no matter how different their backgrounds, can work together to make the world a better place for all people. Gavin has been an educator for over 30 years and has taught at every age lever from pre-school through graduate school. His poems have appeared in many literary journals. He enjoys distance running and has retired from racing ultra-marathons and now enjoys running for the sake of running. He loves learning about other cultures and understanding the history and literature that articulates the life of those cultures. He lives with his wife in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania and has two adult sons.
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Magical Yogis by Mark Tulin

Magical Yogis by Mark Tulin

Now available! Mark Tulin arrives with epiphany and confidence. Magical Yogis is about magic, the magic of words to bring balance and upheaval simultaneously. These poems stretch the mind, twist the conscious, and leave the spirit in a puddle of sweat, under which the mind is pinned to the mat of a new reality. Tulin’s approachable voice expresses a harmony that all people can gravitate to and enjoy. About Mark Tulin: Mark Tulin retired from psychotherapy and moved to Santa Barbara, California five years ago to pursue writing poetry and short stories. When he’s not writing, he’s in the yoga studio doing headstands and slow vinyasa. He has published in the elephant journal, Fiction on the Web, San-ta Barbara Independent, Family Therapy Magazine, Dual Coast Magazine, Page and Spine, the Creating Writing Outloud podcast and many others. He is a featured writer on HubPages and his website, www.crowonthewire.com., features links to all his writings.
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Michigan Reunion by Peter Hoheisel

Michigan Reunion by Peter Hoheisel

In 2006, Peter Hoheisel's high school class had their 50th Reunion. Michigan Reunion begins with a brief reflection on that experience, and ends after a road trip through Lower Michigan, when he crosses the Mackinac Bridge and enters the Upper Peninsula, which he considers to be his spiritual home. Reading these individual poems, which is actually one long poem, we travel with him on a bittersweet journey of re-discovery.
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No More Kings by Lily Iona MacKenzie

No More Kings by Lily Iona MacKenzie

From the poet: When my husband was diagnosed with bladder cancer, our first response was shock and then “why him?” He had rarely even been ill with a cold, and at 80 was in robust good health, his blood pressure consistently around 120/70 or lower. An avid in-door biker (an hour and a half each day, seven days a week) who follows a pretty healthy Mediterranean diet, he seemed like the last candidate for this disease. But cancer has an omnivorous appetite, and, unlike we humans, it doesn’t discriminate. It isn’t selective in its targets. As I wrote these poems, I didn’t consider publishing them because they were so personal. But when I reviewed what I’d done, I realized they needed readers because others will resonate with the emotions evoked. They aren’t just diary entries to be hidden away. And while I don’t like to publicize what my husband and I went through as a result of this diagnosis, I also realize my writing could be of value to others who are either experiencing something similar or who may do so one day. The first poem is entitled “Down the Rabbit Hole,” and Alice’s experiences in Wonderland aptly capture the disorientation we felt after receiving the cancer finding. It describes what I went through as I watched the urologist investigate my husband’s bladder with a cystoscope. Since we non-medical types don’t often get to actually see these cancers that grow in our bodies, I was fascinated at how innocent the growth looked. It, too, is part of nature, unaware of the havoc it produces in the lives it touches. And so, part of me, my writer self, was intrigued by this new world we’d entered. Of course, a cancer diagnosis also reminds us of the inevitable prognosis we all face: everyone dies. Cancer just makes that reality more vivid. It becomes a new neighbor that we can’t ignore, a dark cloud that hovers even during remission periods. In other words, we can never claim innocence again in terms of what lies ahead of us. Also, the quotidian comes more into focus and takes on new meaning These poems capture some of the emotions I went through as I helped my husband encounter the many surgical procedures, chemo therapy sessions, and radiation appointments he tolerated. As I state in the poem “Bend in Seasons,” “How super / natural the give and take / is between seasons, / as well as our mortality.” I hope you’ll join me on the journey I’ve been on.
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Old Friends at a Party by Les Bohem

Old Friends at a Party by Les Bohem

A book of short poems about things Les saw, or wished he had seen, or is very sorry indeed that he saw. Les Bohem was part of the great Los Angeles music scare of the early 1980s. His band, Gleaming Spires, had a cultish hit with their single, “Are You Ready For the Sex Girls‚” (if you grew up on Revenge of the Nerds, you know it). At the same time, he was holding down a day job as the bass player with the band, Sparks. After this burgeoning career in rock and roll stopped burgeoning, he found a job writing screenplays about rock and roll musicians whose careers had stopped burgeoning. But no one makes movies about rock and roll musicians whose careers etc, and so he wrote A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 5, The Horror Show, and bits and pieces of several other memorable epics. His feature film screenwriting credits include Twenty Bucks—a movie he wrote based on a 1935 script by his dad, Endre, a screenwriter and producer from the 1920s through the 1970s which was developed in both the Sundance writers and directors labs. The film won several awards, including an Independent Spirit Award. Twenty Bucks was followed by Daylight, Dante’s Peak, The Alamo, Kid, Nowhere To Run, and The Darkest Hour. He also wrote and executive produced the mini-series Taken with Steven Spielberg for which he won an Emmy, as well as a Television Critics Award and a Saturn award. In addition, he and Taken were nominated for a Golden Globe and a Writers Guild award. Last year, he created the show, Shut Eye, but he advises against watching it. Les has never stopped playing music. He's had songs recorded by Emmylou Harris, Randy Travis, Freddy Fender, Steve Gillette, Johnette Napolitano (of Concrete Blonde), Alvin (of the Chipmunks), and the awesome Misty Martinez. He wrote and performs Walk On Well Lighted Streets, the title song for Shut Eye, for which me won a BMI songwriter award. His first album, Moved to Duarte, was released in January to rave reviews and absolutely no sales or downloads. Learn more about Les Bohem by visiting his website. *Poet image by: Bonnie Perkinson
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On the Jefferson Line by Eve Ott

On the Jefferson Line by Eve Ott

About the book: A bus trip in the fall of 2016 from Kansas City, Missouri to Minneapolis, Minnesota. It couldn’t be more “American heartland” than that. But if you’re thinking farmers in coveralls or sweet, little ladies balancing apple pies on their laps, think again. The passengers on this bus appear wearing hijabs, Nigerian geles, and little white bonnets. The trip includes musical boys with hair braided into elaborate crowns, men in broad-brimmed hats, and tall, slender Somalians. This bus resounds with a cacophony of languages, accents, and road noises. And in this mix, an aging woman, “an old white lady” by her own description. It is through her eyes that we get to know some individuals from this varied assortment: a huge man making a very, very long and delayed journey home; a shy, self-effacing, middle-aged woman who asks little more of life than to have a home free of roaches and a job with health insurance to carry her through to Medicare; a newcomer appalled by America’s fast food eating habits. The speaker is alive, rooted in the strange bouncing moments and aware of the passing world, with its news and political antics. We can only hope that her journey, turned celebration of life, a life shared by a colorful assortment of brilliant and captivating souls, will not become the eulogy of her pivoted life. About the poet: Eve Ott was an English major at the University of Connecticut, where she earned a degree in education from Milton College, Milton, Wisconsin, and did graduate work in creative writing at Emporia State University. She has had multiple poems and short stories published in the following journals: The Same, I-70 Review, Thorny, Locust, and Kansas City Voices in which one of her essays, A Faded Photo from the Seventies, placed third in a prose contest. Her work also has been included in the following anthologies: Whirlybird KC Anthology: “Accidental Angel;” 365 Days Volume 1: “Promises to Keep;” “Words Gone Wild;” “Turning Point;” “Now and Now and Now;” “Pennies and Poems.” 365 Days Volume 2: “July 4th;” “When the Curtain Opens;” “When the New Year Has Come.” Gimme Your Lunch Money: “Once Upon a Time;” “My Bully;” “Pedal Harder,” and in the Kansas Time and Place Anthology: “The House with the Mansard Roof.” Her book Album from the Silent Generation was published in 2014 by Aldrich Press. Eve taught composition as an adjunct at Emporia State University and Butler County Community College, among other jobs. Now retired, she works enthusiastically as a member of the Riverfront Reading Series and The Writers Place Program Committees to give writers, both new and established, a voice in the literary community. Praise for Eve Ott: "A long, Greyhound Bus ride would bring out the grumpy face on most of us, but Eve Ott spotted the beaming giant because she beams, too. Then, one-by-one, she took in her other fellow passengers. Lucky you. You get to meet them." -Alarie Tennille; Poet "Hop aboard for a multicultural slice of American life on a bus while landscape ‘[rolls] endlessly past the window.’ Eve Ott captures [the] character and the experience of traveling so well [that] you’ll feel like you’re there. This is a book you’ll definitely want to read, perhaps while traveling." -Maryfrances Wagner; Co-editor of I-70 Review.
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One Step Ahead by Ken Jones

One Step Ahead by Ken Jones

One Step Ahead is a stunning collection of poetry by Ken Jones. These poems sing, here and now, in all the right ways. The subtle nuances of voice and intonation are like treasures for the reader - things the reader witnesses because the poet points the way. A wealth of imagery jumps off the page, making these poems approachable and enjoyable for everyone. Some readers will view these poems as complex creations that rest innocently on the page, with all the appearance of simplicity on the first read, but with layers of meaning that unfold on subsequent reads. With that in mind, Jones opens this collection with a poetic instruction to the reader, “Do not look / for hidden meaning / in the words I write…” but adept readers will look beneath the sheets and behold the splendor of places that weren’t really meant to be seen. One look isn’t enough, not for any of us. Praise for One Step Ahead: "Shelley defined the poet as one “who beholds the present intensely as it is." To read Ken Jones’s “Close Encounter” is to behold present, past and future – all intensely, all at the same time with a dizzying frisson of recognition. With the physicist’s gift for apprehending the convergence of forces that press upon the immediate and the artist’s gift for capturing the numinous, the inchoate, the hidden, Jones in his poetry remakes the world, stripping from it the veil of familiarity, recreating it, making it new again -- both rich and strange." Dr Kathleen Schultheis, English department, Oak Park HS, California. "Ken Jones’ poems place us right smack dab in the present. These heart poems, this English voice is immersed in the wonder of the word the world. This book embraces the awe the spectacle of the moment. These “scribblings” look inward and in that journey, life is there “ … all the while / like a flowing river / and you / just / happen / to it." Phil Taggart, Ventura County Poet Laureate (www.philtaggart.com)
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Orphan Haiku by Dennis Herrell

Orphan Haiku by Dennis Herrell

Dennis Herrell loves haiku, having spent two years in Tokyo and the countryside of Japan. And Dennis freely admits that he is not a master like Basho, Buson, or Issa, and never will be. But he does his best. If you enjoy looking at pictures of wildlife (or pets), trees, flowers, sunsets, mountains, meadows, or beaches, Dennis Herrell is reaching out to you through his haiku. If you are intrigued by the small images of life around you—hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies, bumble bees, or cuddly puppies and kittens, you will appreciate Dennis’s small poems of haiku.
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Our Situation by Luther Jett

Our Situation by Luther Jett

An inspired poetry collection by W. Luther Jett. About the poet: W. Luther Jett is a native of Montgomery County, Maryland. He began writing shortly after learning how to hold a crayon and started transcribing his ideas onto paper shortly thereafter. His poetry has been published in numerous journals, including The GW Review, Beltway, Innisfree, Potomac Review, Little Patuxent Review , and Main Street Rag. His poems have also appeared in several anthologies, including “My Cruel Invention” (Meerkat Press) and “Proud to Be” (Southeast Missouri State University Press). His poetry performance piece, Flying to America, debuted at the 2009 Capital Fringe Festival in Washington D.C. He was a winner in the 2011 Moving Words Poetry competition in Arlington, VA. He was a featured reader during the Summer 2009 Joaquin Miller Cabin Series. During 2016 Luther was a featured reader at Ah! Coffee (Annapolis MD), Zed Cafe (Silver Spring MD), The Writers’ Center (Bethesda MD), the Kensington Bookshop series, and the Georgetown (DC) Neighborhood Library series. His chapbook, “Not Quite: Poems Written in Search of My Father” was released by Finishing Line press in the fall of 2015. Praise for Our Situation: Couched as they are in exquisite hope (“the canticle of sparrows/ assures me we are constant as the grass”), we find in these poems “the trumpet’s blare” and ... resistance. The range is wide.Yeats, Epimenides, the ancient prayer to do with the opening and closing of the gates recited on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, all make their appearances in this work, and somehow enter the context of our present lives — “small boat pitched/ on the dark sea—One child/cast up on the cold shore.” --Myra Sklarew, author of A Survivor Named Trauma, forthcoming The palace is burning. My country is dying. As prophets of old, W. Luther Jett reveals in tones magisterial and lyrical our situation. Not your situation. Not mine. Ours. He asks us to consider what led us to Charlottesville, to Aleppo. Our failure is blindness. “If you don’t see the wolf on my back—how can I describe the wolf lurking on your own shoulders?” We are all in the same boat, “lost between ocean and sky with nothing to hold but each other.” These poems are meant to advise and guide us. Jett implores us to open our eyes. And listen. --Barbara Goldberg, Series Editor, International Editions , the Word Works The anger pulls you in. Frustration holds you rapt. But, the balm of a promised dawn-view dandles you. Luther Jett's Our Situation beautifully helps us hike up the current hard-rough trail, all with a whispered hope of vistas around the bend. --Hiram Larew How do we name, process, and react to the perils of the world we live in and the constant barrage of troubling news? With fierce compassion, W. Luther Jett's Our Situation impels us to do just that while reminding us of how much we have to lose should we fail. This is a collection that needs to be read. --Lucinda Marshall founder of the DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading series
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Patron Saints by Daniel Riddle Rodriguez

Patron Saints by Daniel Riddle Rodriguez

Spanning a period from the mid-nineties to the early aughts, the linked stories in Patron Saints feature a cast of recurring characters who are irresistibly, undeniably real. A young girl comes-of-age in a town full of hunters, wolf pits, and traps. An ex-con makes a home between rocks and hard places while trying to please both his boss and his probation officer. A prostitute snaps a heel, and her pimp, a self-described "soul poacher," feels compelled to take action. Patron Saints explores the symbiotic relationship between dominant and submissive personalities: lost children and their surrogates, hustlers and hoes, hunters and their human prey—characters consumed by ambition and wracked with guilt. This is a world of lapsed Catholics and burnouts. Beauty queens and bulimics. Like sheep, they were sent into a world of wolves by God, and they haven't forgiven him since. About the poet: Daniel Riddle Rodriguez is a full-time student and father from San Lorenzo, California, where he lives with his wife and son. He is the author of Low Village (CutBank 2016) and Low Village: Rules of the Game (Nomadic Press 2016). Previous publications include Fourteen Hills, Eleven Eleven, MonkeyBicycle, Juked, Literary Orphans, Gulf Stream Magazine, Glassworks, Mid-American Review, Word Riot, Prairie Schooner, The Penn Review, and others. Moonlighting as a performance poet, he represented the Oakland Slam Team at National Poetry Slam 2014.
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Pixelated Tears by Kaecey McCormick

Pixelated Tears by Kaecey McCormick

About the book: Pixelated Tears explores the varied nature of the female through a poetic lens with surprising language, explosive imagery, and emotional impact. In this collection of childhood memories and fantasies, adult ponderings and observations, and personal reflections, Kaecey McCormick documents the feminine experience with tenderness, humor, and candor. About the poet: Kaecey McCormick is a language artist living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds bachelor degrees in Anthropology and Psychology from UCLA and the University of Maryland as well as an MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University. Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have been published in numerous journals, magazines, and anthologies. Kaecey won Honorable Mention in the 2016 Writer’s Digest Awards for poetry and was named the 2018-2020 Poet Laureate for the City of Cupertino, one of the founding cities of Silicon Valley and home of the high-tech gian, Apple, Inc. When not writing fiction or poetry, she teaches English at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California and runs a busy freelance writing and speaking business serving individuals, businesses, and nonprofits. Pixelated Tears is Kaecey’s first chapbook. Praise for Kaecey McCormick “Kaecey McCormick can best be characterized by insight into the human condition and her ability to connect with her listeners and readers. She speaks and writes in a way that makes poetry breathe.” Jack Hasling; Author and Retired Professor of Speech Communication “To know Kaecey is to know an enthusiastic and caring poet bursting with energy. This chapbook exemplifies the poetic practices she so aptly teaches as Cupertino Poet Laureate: imagery, sensory language and emotional affect. Enjoy her lively poetic journey from her childhood and through motherhood.” Ann Muto; Author of Open Passage and Cupertino Poet Laureate 2016-2017
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Poetica de Poetica by Joe Masi

Poetica de Poetica by Joe Masi

Poetica de Poetica is an entertaining-yet-instructive journey through the basic elements of poetic craft: metaphor, free verse, analogy, and more. With skill and humor, Joe Masi invites us into his enjoyable poetry classroom, treating us to memorable examples of basic building blocks every poet should learn and know. Praise for Poetica de Poetica: "Poetica de Poetica is a delightful little primer for beginning poets that reminds me of Strunk and White's The Elements of Style in its humor, concision, and clarity. Masi gives the beginner not only useful advice but also examples that echo Elements of Style. Don't "Use weak nouns that hop along/on their adjective crutches//Clog a line's arteries/with passive verbs." Do "Pick nouns and verbs that require/no adjective, adverb hangers-on." I recommend Poetica de Poetica, not only for the poet just starting out, but also as a humorous reminder to the experienced poet who is perhaps getting too smug." ~Art Elser, author of A Death at Tollgate Creek and To See a World in a Grain of Sand. "As the title implies, Joe Masi's Poetica de Poetica is both a series of poems about poetry—and a smart, savvy instruction manual on poetic craft. The poet deftly navigates an instructive journey through the basic elements of poetry, all while thoroughly entertaining the reader. At 88 years young, Joe possesses a remarkable, fresh voice—one distinguished by both his humor and poetic skill. Don't miss this one." ~Joy Roulier Sawyer author of Tongues of Men and Angels and Lifeguards "Joe Masi is a brilliant wordsmith, Jack of all trades, and consummate humanist. His new Poetica de Poetica is a captivating synopsis dealing with the etiology of poetic inspiration and literary craftsmanship. It is a tight, succinctly written symphony of creative issues and inspirations, conducted deftly by Joe's inimitable insight and acumen. Highly recommended, even for non-poets." ~Thomas A. Myers, author of Cancer as an Opportunity About the Poet: Joe Masi was born in 1930 and grew up as a townie in Greenwich, CT. The recipient of a work scholarship to Princeton, he lettered in both football and track, and graduated with a degree in economics in 1952. In 1951, Joe was featured in a five-page spread in LIFE, which chronicled his career as a B-team quarterback, daily facing off against the No. 4 football team in the nation. For many years, Joe worked as a management consultant for Deloitte, and in his retirement years has intently pursued honing his poetic craft. His work appears in such publications as Anti-Aging Articles, Baseball Bard, Evening Street, Poet's Haven, Trajectory, and WestWard Quarterly. His latest project is an unpublished poetry memoir, Depression Baby. Joe is a member of Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver, the largest literary center in the West, where he has studied with faculty members Joy Roulier Sawyer and former Denver poet laureate Chris Ransick. He has also both taught and created original coursework in ethics and American politics at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
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Pushing 50 by Amy Fletcher

Pushing 50 by Amy Fletcher

Written in 5-7-5 haiku form, Pushing 50 is the culmination of over three years of happenings in the life of a middle-aged woman who shares her experiences and all the joys and tribulations that go along with them. These short poems are familiar and relatable––sometimes sad, sometimes funny, they always speak in some way to the human condition, particularly the emotional and physical changes that happen to most women as they traverse their late forties. This book also touches on memories of key events related to our collective mortality.
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Relic and Myth by Jeanne Julian

Relic and Myth by Jeanne Julian

Relic and Myth is a collection of narratives. Characters include an 11-year-old diarist, a transplant patient, and a hip-hop princess. The author shed the skin of an Ohioan who went to church every Sunday as she moved from the heartland to Massachusetts, and then to North Carolina. She has traveled in all fifty states. Some of this questing spirit appears in the poems. They have an American feel, as they move from a Native American pueblo to the nation’s capital to a Southern quilt show. This journey allows the reader to share in the transformative experience of creating meaning. The simplest things—a coin, a daffodil bulb, a pendant on an old woman’s necklace—become sources of rethinking. Is this how religion is born?: as the American Transcendentalist Frederic Henry Hedge said, “assume that the world without depends on the nature of our intuitions.” That is perhaps the experience of poets whose work is founded to any extent upon observation. Maybe the poem that exemplifies this “process” the most is “The Museum of Lightning-Struck Objects.” The clutter in a woman’s purse is perceived by a child as magical, as magical as invisible signals sent into the universe by ham radio (pre-dating cyberspace!): “zap extrapolated from within.” A shadow of aging and mortality deepens the book, like the ticking clock that marks time in the artist’s studio filled with dusty objects meant to inspire. There’s also a steady awareness of how hard it is to know what’s going on inside of others, family and strangers alike. Do we ever stop being The Child enough to understand our parents outside of that role? Can tourists “get” the lives of those in the places they visit? Can a husband and wife bridge the emotional gap imposed by a life-or-death struggle with disease? Nonetheless, you can ignore the themes of personal trial and spiritual invention in this collection, and just let it amuse you. A woman perceives a virile running youth as the grown version of a glowing garden geegaw. A quilt is dedicated to an 88-year-old aunt “who can shag with the best of them.” Another aging woman hints that turning men into stone, like Medusa, “might be useful.” The description of a contemporary hip-hop celebrity is just made for chanting. Much of the language of the poems is conversational, but also offers music through a sensitivity to sound and structure. There is the order of even stanzas—in one poem (“Shells”), the five- lined stanzas reflect the five-member family it describes. But there is also the urgent rush of “Made” and of “Capital,” which is one breathless sentence.
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Settling Into Earth by Meredith Devney Mullins

Settling Into Earth by Meredith Devney Mullins

Settling Into Earth is a coming-of-age sketch, one of people and place. It is a snapshot of life-- of the characters we meet, the towns we call home, the subtle complexities we face-- the stirring and settling, the digging and replanting. Mullins takes us through suburban, rural and urban locales to consider the universality of family relationships, gender roles, the ache of growing and loving. This is poetry that doesn't shy away: it sifts through restlessness only to root itself in its beauty. What are people saying about this book? With a fine hammer, Mullins splits life open like a geode, revealing its mysteries. Settling Into Earth gives us a sensuous and generous collection of poems. ~Lise Haines , author of When We Disappear There's so much summertime in these vivid yet atmospheric poems—fireflies and lawnmowers give way to a young couple stealing onions for omelets; childhood gives way to adolescence. This is work that sees to the edge of the periphery and beyond, into the unnamable spaces that make a life. Settling into Earth is making a promise it knows it doesn't intend to keep: we'll root and find comfort here, for sure, but we'll also recall how profoundly unsettling (and how profoundly satisfying) it is to be shown that the world is new once more. ~Drew Perry , author of This is Just Exactly Like You and Kids These Days In Settling into Earth, Meredith Devney Mullins illuminates our world. Each image, line, and gorgeous poem surprises, and takes our hand, so that we may "walk through waist high buckwheat" into "sunflowers stretching their crowns to the sky." Mullins's poems seize and sing to us, in the truest pitch. Her pages are shot with electricity! ~Peter Shippy(/i>, author of How to Build the Ghost in Your House (Rose Metal Press)
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Socorro Prophesy by E. Doyle-Gillespie

Socorro Prophesy by E. Doyle-Gillespie

In Socorro Prophesy, E. Doyle-Gillespie gives us stories at the edges of the human experience...places familiar, but kept at arm’s reach. We wrestle with the validity of these poems, straining to embrace the wholeness of our being. The campfires of story-spinners and myth-keepers draw us close, like ancient spirits visiting the truth of our human journey together. Along these roads, E. Doyle-Gillespie presents a truck with monsters, dark fears in the shadowy realm. He introduces icons that serve as totems of our secret worries, placeholders of our fears, with voices that seem to know about our fear of death. Through the language of poetry, E. Doyle-Gillespie reaches for the elemental, asking the reader to come to grips with the fragility of the human experience, with its ever-present demons, those in the darkness, those in the mirror.
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Souls Cleaner Than Ours by Michael Flanagan

Souls Cleaner Than Ours by Michael Flanagan

Michael Flanagan never fails to create breathtaking haiku, filled with depth and beauty. His images of nature remind us all that we are part of the natural world, not so unlike the creatures we see every day, and rarely give a voice to. Flanagan offers that voice, and also speaks to the questions raised by the human condition -- each haiku a gift of an ever-present moment, sometimes contemplative, always a reflection of ourselves. He shows us the world one tiny moment at a time, inviting us to live in that moment with his creation. The revelation of the readers' perspective helps make us aware of our higher-self, and grounds us in our humble roots. Haiku has that power. Flanagan wields it like a sword we embrace.
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Still Life, Requiem and an Egg by Marian Willmott

Still Life, Requiem and an Egg by Marian Willmott

About the book: Still Life, Requiem and an Egg is a collection of poems reflecting on a life in its final decades and the cyclical nature of the universe underlying the aging process. Loss, hunger and the metaphysical are interwoven with the natural world; rivers branch like the veins of the body, a scar glints like fish bones. The forests and rivers of Vermont or the ocean off Cape Cod, are tinged with elements of science, the political and the sensual; the geometry of a snowflake, a bandolier of bullets, ocean’s salty tongue. These are poems of contemplation. Marian Willmott writes in the poem River 1, “I write to listen, to feel its power in my bones, to feel what I cannot know.” About the poet: Marian Willmott is an artist and writer living in Vermont, enjoying both the solitude of the mountains and a vital artistic community. She received a BA in psychology and painting in 1968 from Goddard College and an MFA in painting in 1987 from Goddard College and the Vermont Studio Center, working with oil paints, primarily focused on landscapes. She began writing poetry in high school but it wasn’t until 1999 that she began to focus and develop a writing practice. She now enjoys the balance and interaction of both forms of expression. She worked part time as an art teacher in the public schools, balancing a family of three children and her creative pursuits. She’s now retired from teaching. Much of her writing begins in nature, usually with a ‘free write’ – writing to see what emerges. Often it takes some time before reaching words that resonate and are deeply felt. It is a matter of discovering what she has to say and then honing in on it, expanding or fine tuning it, based on a feeling/intuitive response. She strives to stay present to the mystery we are a part of and deepen the encounter. Her work has been published in Calyx, Salamander, the Denver Quarterly, The Worchester Review, The Louisville Review, Karamu, and The Comstock Review, among other journals and in an anthology, Unbearable Uncertainty. In 2014, a poem was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Turnings, a poetry chapbook, was published by Pudding House Publications in December 2007. Praise for Still Life, Requiem and an Egg: "The poems in this collection are as honest and personal as they are contemplative and profound. How might a man begin to understand what it is to be a woman. How might anyone experience what it is to be this human, to endure her challenges and share her joys. In the opening “River” series, the poet invites readers to abide with her, beside and within the river that is at once her history, her own body, and a body of water in revealing intimacy. And in Part 2 poems of love and compassion for the woes of others. These are the keen observations of an accomplished painter, drawn with elegant imagery, restraint, and deft turns of phrase. Grief is a part, and also patience with the life and the writing. I look forward to more poems by Marian Willmott." ~Daniel Lusk, author of The Shower Scene from Hamlet, The Vermeer Suite, and other books "In this lovely chapbook, Marian Wilmott weaves a place in her world with stories of family, tending, and reclamation. Like the movement in the rivers that make up the first section, the poems here have an undercurrent of clarity and elements of surprise. Connections to earth layer through the later poems. Here the natural world anchors extraordinary images as the poet lives the ordinary, intermingling the erotic with the everyday. These are certainly poems to be savored slowly." ~Patricia Fontaine, author of Lifting My Shirt and editor of Healing Art & Writing: Using Creativity to Meet Illness
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The Everleigh Poems by Elisa Orzac Shoenberger

The Everleigh Poems by Elisa Orzac Shoenberger

The Everleigh Poems are a series of poems from the perspectives of the infamous prostitutes or “butterflies” of the Everleigh Club in turn of the century Chicago. The madam sisters, Minna and Ada Everleigh, decided they wanted to open a different kind of brothel in 1900. They opened a luxurious mansion with a gold plated piano. They believed in elevating the oldest professional, notably treating their prostitutes well. Minna Eveleigh allegedly explained a bit more crudely, "You have the whole night before you and one $50 client is more desirable than five $10 ones. Less wear and tear.” They had rules: no stealing, no drugs, and no illness. Allegedly, the phrase “get laid” comes from their name, Everleigh. Each poem is from the perspective of a different butterfly. The poems reveal their motivations, their demons, their delights, and life stories. The poems are loosely based on the history as discussed by Karen Abbott in her fabulous Sin in the Second City. Princes, politicians, and even the grand Midwest poet, Edward Lee Masters, alike visited at the house. They were targeted in anti-vice efforts due to their popularity and their temerity in publishing advertisements for the club and closed their doors in 1911. About the poet: Elisa Shoenberger is a Chicago based writer. She has a BA in Latin American History from the University of Chicago, a MA in Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an MBA in Marketing and Operations Management from Loyola University Chicago. She has written for the Ozy, the Billfold, iExplore, City Creatures blog for the Center for Humans and Nature, Love TV, the Reset, Sonderers, Rebellious Magazine, vis a tergo, and Our Urban Times. She is a regular contributor of Book Riot. She is the co-editor and co-founder of the literary journal, The Antelope Magazine. She writes a travel and art blog called Not Without My Bowler Hat. In her spare time, she plays alto saxophone, travels, stiltwalks, and makes cheese.
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The Impressionist Painter by Alan Humason

The Impressionist Painter by Alan Humason

Alan Humason’s poetry examines the lives of ordinary people through a narrative exploration of every day events—dating, doing work, driving home, walking outdoors, loving—knowing that honest epiphanies can spring from the most modest of pastimes and contacts. He aims to be insightful and empathetic about the human condition in clear, vivid, evocative language. Taking an observant story-teller’s point of view, rarely writing in the first person, Humason quickly crafts engaging tales that pulse with character, a sense of place, and deeper meanings. The poems in this collection span four decades of work by the author. Taking a cue from the title piece, each poem here is a kind of painting, each visually based while evoking all the senses and a visceral, gut-level response. Along with their immediacy, these poems also look to pose certain questions: How do we reconcile our drives and desires with our shortcomings? How do we find peace—if we ever can? How do we interpret what we see and feel, and where can that lead us? At times the answers are abundantly clear; other times, they remain mysteries too elusive to unravel. The poems are also distinguished by their directness and brevity, with a simplicity of line that carries the reader steadily forward to the end—inviting, not demanding, a second, immersive read. The 18 poems of “The Impressionist Painter” create a heartfelt, brave, and thought-provoking collection, informed by raw experience, and shot through with care, longing, and hope.
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The Long Good-bye by Bruce Gorden

The Long Good-bye by Bruce Gorden

These are personal poems, direct from the heart of a wounded poet. Gorden became the primary caregiver of his wife as she suffered from Alzheimer's disease. As a poet, he funneled his experiences into his art, and in doing so, worked through the emotional trauma of caring for a loved one during her slow decline and death. Through a poetical lens, as both a caregiver and husband, Gorden reveals both joy and pain in the face of the body's cruel betrayal, juxtaposed against the profound love and friendship of the soul. These poems are suddenly painful and quickly tender, each with its story to tell, moments of profound change, sometimes with a dull ache, like pressing a deep bruise, other times like mature love, poignant and nostalgic.
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The Rock in the Middle of the Road by Edward D. Miller

The Rock in the Middle of the Road by Edward D. Miller

About the book! The Rock in the Middle of the Road describes a series of encounters: with new places and uncovered memories; the politics of the moment and the legacy of history; and falling in love in the here and now. Set in Brazil, Argentina, France, New York City, Cape Cod, and in the virtual homeland of a remembered childhood, Miller’s poems ask the reader to disembark from the ordinary. On this journey, the reader attends to the rhythms of phrases and the playfulness of words. Also, one is called to pay attention to the details in a cityscape or a seascape, suggesting different ways to measure distance and nearness. Even as the poems border on the philosophical, they are also awash with emotion. Some, like the titular poem, tell complex stories with remarkable brevity. Others demand that the reader resists narrative and instead indulge in a perception. And don’t be surprised if you find yourself laughing out loud at Miller’s off-key wit and unlikely fixations. All but one of the poems have been published in journals previously, most in the last five years. Appearing together in this chapbook, they form a collage of a borderless imagination tousled and re-ordered by experience, working hard to find connections between the outer world and the inner realm. What are others saying? "With characters who threaten to choose memory to the event or to cannibalize aesthetics, lovers who diagnose each other or rue the Victorian scent of an elusive love letter, chockablock metropolitan oases where even silence brings no respite, and tourists who are lost in the euphoria of learning a phrase or two of rural dialects, Edward Miller's poems are replete with grace, compassion, the simmering ardour of faith and the tenderloins of dry wit, that an entire generation has quite mindfully disowned. The Rock in the Middle of the Road will be a gigantic obstruction to the hounds of self-indulgence, greed, dispassion, disgrace and historical amnesia that plagues our poets of the world, and this world of poets. An achievement to remember for very long!" ~Dr. Arup K. Chatterjee, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Coldnoon: International Journal of Travel Writing & Travelling Cultures and author of The Purveyors of Destiny: A Cultural Biography of the Indian Railways and The Great Indian Railways About the Poet: Edward D. Miller graduated with a doctorate from the Department of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts/NYU in 1998 and he was hired as an adjunct professor in the Department of Performing and Creative Arts in 1996. He is a founding member of the Department of Media Culture and served as Chair and then as Coordinator of its MA Program in Cinema and Media Studies. He is a former fellow at CUNY’s Center for the Humanities and the Center for Place, Culture and Politics. Currently he is the Acting Coordinator of the Film Studies Certificate Program at the Graduate Center as well as Co-Curator of the Gallery of the College of Staten Island. Professor Miller is the author of Emergency Broadcasting and 1930s American Radio (2002) and Tomboys, Pretty Boys, and Outspoken Women: The Media Revolution of 1973 (2012). He has published numerous reviews and analyses of screen and audio culture in scholarly journals, edited books, and other publications as well as poetry and creative nonfiction for many literary journals. He is currently a Contributing Editorial Associate for Coldnoon: International Journal of Travel Writing and Travelling Cultures.
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The Ten Most Important Questions ... by Louis Gallo

The Ten Most Important Questions ... by Louis Gallo

The Ten Most Important Questions of the Twentieth-Century, articulated by a multiplicity of voices and dialects, is a sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, sometimes absurd meditation upon questions that seemed to haunt the era. The voices, manipulated by a ubiquitous, unseen narrator, include those of historical personages like Freud, William James, Abbot & Costello, Heidegger, Max Planck, Jackie Wilson, Schrodinger, et al; and some fictitious characters like Old Blues Man and Shaman. All to ensure a Byzantine babel. The “answers,” if any, range from serious meditations on existence to outright, vaudevillian jokes. Or often the “answers” are irrelevant, the questions mere prompts for one of the voices to wax and wane. About the poet: Louis Gallo’s work has appeared or will shortly appear in Southern Literary Review, Fiction Fix, Glimmer Train, Hollins Critic,, Rattle, Southern Quarterly, Litro, New Orleans Review, Xavier Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Missouri Review, Mississippi Review, Texas Review, Baltimore Review, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, The Ledge, storySouth, Houston Literary Review, Tampa Review, Raving Dove, The Journal (Ohio), Greensboro Review,and many others. Chapbooks include The Truth Change, The Abomination of Fascination and Status Updates. He is the founding editor of the now defunct journals, The Barataria Review and Books: A New Orleans Review. He teaches at Radford University in Radford, Virginia. 52 Pages. Chapbook bound. Full Color Cover ISBN: 978-1-63275-062-4 Printed in the U.S.A.
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The White Forest by Joel Van Valin

The White Forest by Joel Van Valin

Joel Van Valin’s first collection of poetry is a stroll through a lyrical forest filled with sonnets, aubades, hymns, spells and love poems. His verse signals a return to form, evoking Frost, Millay, Dickinson and Byron. Joel Van Valin is the publisher of the literary journal Whistling Shade, which he founded in 2001. He is the author of a time travel novel, The Grand Dissolute (2015), and a fantasy novel, The Flower of Clear Burning (2002), and he often blogs for the time travel website timetravelnexus.com. His poetry and fiction have appeared in journals such as Dislocate, The Avalon Review, Knockout and The Talking Stick. His poem “Fairy Tale” won the 2017 Park Bugle poetry contest, and his sonnet “The Empty Road” won Best Farewell Sonnet in 2012 in the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest. Van Valin has been writing poetry since high school, when he was strongly influenced by the Romantics and early 20th century American lyric poets such as Robert Frost, Elinor Wylie and Edna St. Vincent Millay. He currently works as a technical writer and lives with his wife and twin sons in St. Paul.
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Things I Can't Remember to Forget by Carol Lynn Grellas

Things I Can't Remember to Forget by Carol Lynn Grellas

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas lives and writes in California. She has won the Red Ochre Press Chapbook contest with her manuscript, Before I Go to Sleep. She has authored several chapbooks along with her latest lull-length collection of poems, Hasty Notes in No Particular order (Aldrich Press). According to family lore, she is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson. Things I Can't Remember to Forget is a beautiful collection of thoughtful poems, full of ripe femininity and purposeful language that cuts Grellas from the pack. She is a unique voice, careful and precise, demonstrating a surety of expression and style that allows the reader to step through the veil and into the deeply raw world that only Grellas can show us. She is a pure soul, unhidden, something we rarely see today. If you have stood in front of the World Peace Bell in Kentucky, with its 73,000 pounds of aching reverberation, something felt through your core, rattling your spine, unhinging your jaw, then you might have an inkling of the power Grellas presses into the hearts of her readers. These poems ring, and once rung, cannot be unheard. Buy this book.
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Toward a Peeping Sunrise by Carole Mertz

Toward a Peeping Sunrise by Carole Mertz

Toward a Peeping Sunrise follows an arc: it wakes (with its somewhat surreal opening), gathers momentum at “Dolly’s Broke” and “Ballast,” then mellows into the final two rhymed poems, the only two written in rhyme. “That this Blue Exists…” is a puzzle formed by the piecing together of titles of 14 authors’ works. This poem won the August 2017 Wilda Morris Poetry Challenge. Carole created the ‘Title Poem’ while reading Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread. Other authors came to mind as she worked through the “title” challenge, shaping the words into a narrative. Living amidst the bustle of NYC, following her college graduation, Carole dated a college classmate who took her to dinner at the Zukofsky’s. In awe of the author, but totally unaware of his prestige and his translations of the Latin poets, she sat dumb-mouthed throughout the dinner. Years later, she recalled the evening, eventually connecting Catullus with Zukofsky’s translations and recalling the dark blue and white drapes in the dining room. (And probably wishing to be home in her mother’s comfortable kitchen with her cheerful pink and green floral curtains.) Carole frequently walks with her husband on the trails at the nearby nature conservancy in her community. The reflective tones and orange colors of the autumn season led to the composition of “The Mellow Season.” The poem was accepted immediately upon submission to The Society of Classical Poets for publication one year hence. At its publication, more than twenty fellow writers contributed their comments at the site. Poet Joseph S. Salemi, editor and owner of Trinacria, called these autumn verses “a perfectly chiseled and polished poem.” He also said, “I love both the perfect metrics and the elegant diction.” The poem was selected for inclusion in the Society’s 2019 print anthology, Journal VII. Poet Amy Foreman called the poem “The perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of tea on this drizzly fall morning!” (These comments are archived at the site at October 14, 2018) Regarding “At the Luncheon Party,” writing ekphrastic descriptions is a current interest. Carole visited museum after museum and cathedral after cathedral as she traveled through France, Austria, and Italy during her student days. She enjoyed meeting significant paintings firsthand. Van Gogh and Renoir were favorites. Later she saw the Renoir at the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Carole is sister to two visual artists. Their work adds to her love of contemporary works and of the classical artists of the 19th and 20th centuries.
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Until I Couldn't by Claire Scott

Until I Couldn't by Claire Scott

Until I Couldn’t is a moving and well crafted collection of poems expressing a longing to belong, to find a home. The poems invite the reader to join a world at times menacing, barren or lonely. Poems range from a childhood riddled with alcoholism and indifference through wrestling with meaning in a world with bumbling gods. The opening poem, “Moth-Hour,” sets the tone for the collection: “Miss Landon taught us the world/is round the world is flat/moth’s hearts fail/people fall off.” The poems describe what happens when “people fall off.” In describing a childhood of swinging fists and boxed ears, Claire Scott writes, “I reach my hand across time/to touch the child./I listen to her sing/My Only Sunshine/with my one good ear.” In “Hired Hand” she writes of a lonely child who finds solace in the arms of a much older man who works for her cold and indifferent father. She writes of the world of a younger sister who feels like “An afterthought, a footnote in six/point type,” watching her sister get the top bunk while she gets “the broken Barbie with one shoe.” The poetry is filled with poignant images: “sluggish bees slouch/but I wanted/futile and forlorn.” In describing the death of a father who wasn’t present, she writes “no glow in this dark/no stones of rebirth/for the him-not-him lying in the bed.” The title poem describes the anguish of a mother who can no longer protect her son with Burl Ives’ songs or a batman cape. An almost fatal automobile accident changes his life forever: “tonight a moonless night/an empty voice a blue cape/lost long ago.” Despite the starkness of many of the poems there is much tender humor, humor as a buoy to rest for a bit, with a smile and a slice of sun. There are dripping gods, “wings wet with remorse.” In “Missing Gods,” she asks, “is there a third-tier god in a dusty town, maybe somewhere in Texas, standing on a street corner/holding a sign/Availible/will work for food.” In “In the Event You Die Before Me,” she writes of hiring “someone from Craig’s List/ or Central Casting “willing to shout/& scream for seven days…offering $68 an hour, plus overtime/for weekends and holidays./Especially holidays.” The humor is woven with a search for answers that always lie just beyond. The darkness is never unrelenting or without alternatives. “So my mother was insane/my Father an alcoholic/my ex a sex addict/crocuses flash/through fresh snow/ a lizard scuttles long a branch/the first robin sings/for the sake of a song &/this is the only/moment when the sky/turns over the past &/offers a pure white page.” The final poem “A Mote of Dust” offers light and hope for this weary earth, this “messy, greedy, contentious planet/and whisper names of love for/the only home you ever knew.” Relationships are the gifts we give each other. No higher meaning is needed for us earthbound creatures to feel alive.
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Vaulted Skies by Martina Reisz Newberry

Vaulted Skies by Martina Reisz Newberry

Vaulted Skies is a book of snapshots focusing on the brief thoughts and glimpses that make up the "everyday-ness" of life. Small hopes, small fears, small failures, little victories—threaded together—are the real journeys taken by women, men, children toward whatever heaven they hope for or whatever hell they dread.
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Vinnie by Janet McCann

Vinnie by Janet McCann

Vinnie peers into the mind of the sister overlooked by history, who kept the household going and defended Emily’s reputation against rumor and judgment. These poems, in part based on Vinnie’s 1851 diary, help to fill out her image and give her the role she deserves. Janet McCann taught for 46 years at A&M. Now retired and widowed, she lives with her two large, unruly dogs in Texas, and volunteer-teaches at the prison. Her work has appeared in KANSAS QUARTERLY, PARNASSUS, NIMROD, SOU'WESTER, AMERICA, CHRISTIAN CENTURY, CHRISTIANITY AND LITERATURE, NEW YORK QUARTERLY, TENDRIL, and others. A 1989 NEA Creative Writing Fellowship winner, she taught at Texas A & M University from 1969-2016, is now Professor Emerita. She has co-edited anthologies with David Craig, ODD ANGLES OF HEAVEN (Shaw, 1994), PLACE OF PASSAGE (Story Line, 2000), and POEMS OF FRANCIS AND CLARE (St. Anthony Messenger, 2004), and written books on Wallace Stevens and Emily Dickinson. Most recent poetry collection: THE CRONE AT THE CASINO (Lamar University Press, 2014).
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What Worlds and Moons by Peter Schireson

What Worlds and Moons by Peter Schireson

What Worlds and Moons is a series of prose poems and short fictions that reveal an underlying strangeness in otherwise ordinary moments of daily life. These pieces work on multiple levels, at once deeply personal, while at the same time aware of and engaged in the objective, impersonal world. Meet Valdek the cat, a connoiseur of classical piano; meet the author’s older brother, Harry, who chained himself to a tree and was later buried upside down; listen to Einstein’s thoughts as he trims his mustache. The characters and voices in this collection are diverse and unique, each a window on a world both routine and mystical at the same time – the death of a dog, an encounter with a stray cat, a waitress leaving work – mundane scenes that take on surprising hues, sometimes unexpectedly madcap, sometimes dark, sometimes both.
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Why I Love You by Martin Knabe

Why I Love You by Martin Knabe

Martin Knabe is a regular contributor to Prolific Press. He is a Danish poet.
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Window Left Open by Ayaz Daryl Nielsen

Window Left Open by Ayaz Daryl Nielsen

A collection of haiku filled with imagery, epiphany, and mind expanding journeys. Ayaz Daryl Nielsen creates tiny scenes that pack a punch in just a few words. Each poem is untitled, drawing the reader into the scene without pretense or introduction. Suddenly, readers are swimming in pools of language and meaning, each pool deeper than the next. Immerse yourself in Nielsen’s world. “American haiku, wry and humane.” ~Alan Catlin; Editor, Misfit Magazine “A fine collection of modern English haiku.” ~Don Wentworth; Editor, Lilliput Review “He’s living the life of haiku.” ~Patricia Donegan “An absolutely lovely collection.” ~Peggy Dugan French; Editor, Shemom “I fell in love with the work. A worthy read.” ~Michael Rehling; Founder, United Haiku and Tanka Society
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XXX (thirty) by Xavier Pastrano

XXX (thirty) by Xavier Pastrano

The searching for one’s sense of self is a journey that never ends; however, significant milestones that shed light on who an individual truly is, are often times marked by age. In XXX (thirty), Xavier Pastrano explores the insights and experiences of his early thirties, observing and analyzing his milestone moments through a candid and, at times, poignant lens. One key milestone that Pastrano examines in XXX (thirty) is race and identity. As a mixed race individual who grew up with a single, white mother in the Midwest, he noticed a unique dichotomy between how he perceived himself versus how others perceived him. On one day he could pass enough to experience the luxuries of white privilege, but the next day he could be called a racial slur. This “tug-o-war” of racial identity would later fuel the fire for several of the poems in this collection. Additionally, Pastrano addresses the realities of leaving behind familiarity and traversing into uncharted territories. In “Deconversion,” he talks about the moment in which he lost his faith and became a non-believer, leaving behind the familiarity of his Catholic upbringing and embracing new ideologies. In “Parenthood,” Pastrano addresses the harsh realities that he now faces as a father of a mixed race child. In the end though, the poems showcase the growth that can come from asking those difficult questions and stepping outside of familiarity. Although Pastrano draws from his own personal experiences for the poems in XXX (thirty), he takes great care in developing poems that readers can relate to on varying levels. Despite the social, racial, and economic differences that have a tendency to divide, Pastrano writes in hopes of finding a balance between staying true to himself and building bridges with his readers. About the author: Xavier Pastrano currently resides in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with his wife and son, where he teaches high school English and College Composition. When not writing, teaching, or reading, he enjoys listening to various genres of Metal, watching horror films, chilling with his rad wife, and going bananas with his 3-year-old son. Xavier Pastrano earned his BA in Creative Writing from Southwest Minnesota State University, his Masters of English from the University of North Dakota, and his M.Ed from the University of Sioux Falls. He was the winner of the Evelyn Sundby Himes Award for his manuscript of poetry titled Plumeria and has poems published in the following anthologies: Thunderstorms: "Memory Vs. Evidence"; "Lucila"; "Teach Me"; "Sauced"; "Motormouthed"; "Black, White, Other - Check One"; "Retrograde"; "How Can I be of Service?" and The Scandalous Lives of Butterflies: "The Temple"; and "Provide." He currently teaches high school English and online sections of College Composition. XXX (thirty) is Xavier's first traditionally published collection of poetry.
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You/Wee: Poems from a Father by Sidney Thompson

You/Wee: Poems from a Father by Sidney Thompson

About the Book: Poets such as Beth Ann Fennelly have explored the evocative, transformative nature of motherhood, but where is the fatherhood companion? Sidney Thompson generously answers with You/Wee—eighteen poems addressed prayer-like to his first-born daughter. Thompson serves as witness to his daughter’s conception, her birth, and her discoveries into toddlerhood, in addition to his own developments and discoveries as a father and child. The mother’s experience, too, is a source of wonder in Thompson’s work: “the girl oh I hope’s within her,” he writes, “is within you, so you, too, may survive/ one revolution after another.” These poems are songs authenticated by a precision so keen they must, in their candor, allow for the elusiveness of joy, the unease of affinity, its vigilance and expectation. You/Wee may begin “when the world is puddle-wonderful,” as E.E. Cummings simultaneously describes spring and childhood in “[in Just-],” but it progresses into a tangle of life’s and love’s most mature complexities, as it should, to reach beyond reach, both “far and wee.” About the Poet: Sidney Thompson earned an MFA in fiction from the University of Arkansas and a PhD in American fiction/African-American narratives from the University of North Texas. He lives in Fort Worth with his wife, Sara, a doula, and their four children and serves as a Writing Consultant for the William L. Adams Center for Writing at Texas Christian University, where he also teaches creative writing and African-American literature. Sydney Emerson, his first biological child, inspired this return to poetry, his first love. Praise for Sidney Thompson: “Thompson’s book You/Wee offers us lyric narratives on early fatherhood, childhood, and the dawn of some mysterious exchange. The poetry’s gift resides in how freely it moves from wit to wonder, from the quotidian and small, the messy even, to their more magnanimous embodiment in our affections. A truly moving collection.” —Bruce Bond, author of Frankenstein’s Children and Choir of the Wells “Thompson’s huge-hearted poems are filled with magic and wonder. From a prayer whispered to the daughter through the mother’s moon belly to, after her birth, the toddler’s first words, and first scar, the adoration and tenderness in these poems is unflinching. You/Wee is an incredibly moving, brilliant look at fatherhood.” —Alex Lemon, author of Feverland: A Memoir in Shards and Another Last Day “Thompson’s poetic tribute to his daughter invites us to share in the astonishing revelation of new life—and a rediscovery of the self. These poems rightfully encompass a vast terrain, as the powers of the female body are innumerable. What a gift Thompson has given us, celebrating, through verse, a family's genesis.” —Jenny Molberg, author of Marvels of the Invisible
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