Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Glosa: Lemons, by Susan Blackwell Ramsey

Susan Blackwell Ramsey’s work has appeared in such publications as
The Southern Review, Poetry Northwest, Indiana Review and Best American
Poetry 2009; her book, A Mind Like This, won the Prairie Schooner Poetry
Book Prize. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

About the poem:

There’s a lot of poetry cross-pollination in Kalamazoo and Diane Seuss’s influence
is deep and wide. From her I learned about the glosa, a Spanish tribute form. I’m
working on a series based on lines from local poets and since Gail Martin has been
my first reader for years and my neighbor for even longer; having this poem in an
issue with work of hers delights me.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Where Plants Go To Die, by Fernando Pérez

Fernando Pérez lives in Seattle and teaches at Bellevue College. His poetry has appeared in The Acentos Review, Huizache, The Suburban Review and others. His first collection of poems is A Song of Dismantling (University of New Mexico Press, 2018.)

About the poem:

The poem came after visiting my mom one day and noticing what some might call
an eyesore of a lawn. I inquired about succulents instead of grass and she said
“plants come here to die.”

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Little Katabasis by D. Eric Parkison

D. Eric Parkison earned his MFA at Boston University. His work has most
recently appeared in B O D Y, American Chordata, and the Columbia Review,
among others. He lives, teaches, and writes in Boston, MA.

About the poem:
A landscape rather than an underworld for a journey begun but unending, and
without a hero. One wants to nod to the past in revealing the present. If it has been
done right there is music. It is a part of a manuscript in progress.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

A Strange Feeling in a Parking Lot / the Tree, by Raynald Nayler

Raynald Nayler’s work has been published in the Beloit Poetry Journal,
Weave, Sentence, and other journals. A fluent Russian speaker, Raynald
has lived in Central Asia, Russia and the Caucasus for over a decade. He is
currently Press Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan.

About the poem:

I have lived much of my life overseas a Foreign Service Officer, International NGO
worker, and Peace Corps Volunteer. This poem uses material from the travels of
Arab traveler Abu Hamid Al-Andalusi Al-Gharanati in the “Land of Darkness”—
the far North in the twelfth century. The poem combines that material with a true
story of reverse culture shock from a fellow Peace Corps Volunteer. My goal is to
express some of the confusion, wonder, and dismay of the encounter with the alien
and the experience of being an alien abroad, seeing U.S. material culture through
the lens of a total outsider—which is how I often feel when I return to my country.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

The Skirt, by Donna Miscolta

Donna Miscolta is the author of the novels, Hola and Goodbye, and When the
de la Cruz Family Danced, and the story collection, Natalie Wood’s Fake Puerto
Rican Accent. Her work has appeared in Cha: An Asian Literary Review and
Connecticut Review, among others. She has been the recipient of numerous
grants, residencies, and awards, including the Bread Loaf/Rona Jaffe
Scholarship for Fiction. She currently lives in Seattle.

Friday, August 31, 2018

from California Building, by Teresa K. Miller

A graduate of the Mills College MFA program and two-time National
Poetry Series finalist, Teresa K. Miller is the author of sped (Sidebrow)
and Forever No Lo (Tarpaulin Sky) as well as co-editor of Food First: Selected
Writings from 40 Years of Movement Building. She lives near Portland, Oregon.

About the poem:

This piece is excerpted from a book-length manuscript titled California Building,
composed of three serial poems reflecting on, among other subjects, the significance
of family lineage and procreation against the backdrop of human-induced
environmental catastrophe. The italicized text comes from Brenda Hillman’s “El
Niño Orgonon” and “Half the Half-Nocturnes.”

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

An Anti-Lyric, by Devon Miller-Duggan

Devon Miller-Duggan has published poems in Rattle, Shenandoah, Margie,
Christianity and Literature, Gargoyle. She teaches Creative Writing at the
University of Delaware. Her books include Pinning the Bird to the Wall (Tres
Chicas Books, 2008), Neither Prayer, Nor Bird (Finishing Line Press, 2013),
Alphabet Year, (Wipf & Stock, 2017).

About the poem:

The poem’s made of bits and pieces that have been kicking around in my head for
decades, mostly about my first year in grad school (also the first year of marriage
and the first year after my grandfather died). The guy who came up with “pogo
stick” and wrote the sestina with “Apollinaire” as an end word got to be kind of a
big gun, so I might have been right to be impressed.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Monster, by Michael Mercurio

Michael Mercurio is a recent graduate of Lesley University’s low-residency
MFA program. His work has appeared in the Indianapolis Review and poems2go.
He lives in Northampton, MA, with his wife and two Miniature Schnauzers.
He can also be found online at poetmercurio.com.

About the poem:

“Monster” is a loving tribute to the first-born son of my best friends, and a
recognition that everything about our relationship has changed.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Your Life at Apogee and Mine Descending, by Diane K. Martin

Diane K. Martin’s work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Field,
Kenyon Review, Harvard Review, New England Review, and many other
journals and anthologies, including Best New Poets, and has received a Pushcart
Special Mention. Her collection, Conjugated Visits, a National Poetry Series
finalist, was published in 2010 by Dream Horse Press.

About the poem:

I am a late developer and, in my late 60s, am just beginning to feel accomplished—
or know what I want to accomplish—in my work. “Your Life At Apogee and Mine
Descending,” is my rather peevish accompaniment to my pride in my son’s, nieces’,
and nephews’ successes.  “Silent Night” is a description of an oversensitive, introverted teenager that
resembles some version of my past self. (ed. note: "Silent Night" is available in the 2018 Spring issue of Crab Creek Review)

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Flying After the Election, by Gail Martin

Gail Martin is the author of two books, Begin Empty-Handed (Perugia Press)
and The Hourglass Heart (New Issues). A Michigan native, she has roots in
both northern and southern Michigan. She works as a psychotherapist
in private practice in Kalamazoo, MI. http://www.gailmartinpoetry.com/

About the poem:

Both poems reflect my experience of our world during what are inarguably dark
times. I flew to Massachusetts the day after the election and this small incident
seemed to enlarge. I was seeing events through a new lens. "Crave" is about
shadowboxing with despair, and how the past takes on a certain rosy luster when
the present tense and future don’t look very heartening.
(ed. note: Readers can find "Crave" in the 2018 spring issue of Crab Creek Review)

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Inside the Story of My Brother, by Erin Malone

Erin Malone is the author of Hover (Tebot Bach Press, 2015) and a
chapbook, What Sound Does It Make (Concrete Wolf Press, 2008). Her new
poems appear in Cimarron Review, Okey-Panky, Radar Poetry, and Terrain.org,
among other places, and she is editor of Poetry Northwest. Her website is

About the poem:

In order to tell a story, one has to reach inside that story and examine all of the
others contained there. I often think of memory as a set of nesting dolls. Discovery
is the kernel-sized doll, the heart.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Third Descent, by Kristine Langley Mahler

Kristine Langley Mahler lives on the suburban prairie of Nebraska.
Her work received the 2016 Rafael Torch Award for Literary Nonfiction
from Crab Orchard Review and has appeared/is forthcoming in The Rumpus,
Quarter After Eight, New Delta Review, Sweet, Chautauqua, and elsewhere.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Shawl, by Moira Linehan

Moira Linehan is the author of two collections of poetry, both from
Southern Illinois University Press: If No Moon, and Incarnate Grace. She lives
in the greater Boston area.

About the poem:

This poem is for a very significant person in my life. It began as she became a
widow, rather suddenly, in early fall a few years ago. She had been a lifeline for me
when I was widowed. Knitting a shawl for her, making this poem as I was doing so,
became attempts to offer her strands of connection.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

At the Convention Center, by Emily Koehn

Emily Koehn’s poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in FENCE,
Crazyhorse, Cincinnati Review, The National Poetry Review and elsewhere.
Her work has been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes. She grew up in
Hot Springs, Arkansas, received her MFA from Purdue University, and
currently lives in St. Louis.

About the poem:

The small town I grew up in had a convention center that was used for many
different purposes. I wrote “At The Convention Center” after I was thinking about
the myriad ways people’s histories and stories connect and how they can be
embedded in a single place. The poem also comes out of a larger project about a
beauty contest.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Aretaics, by Tina Kelley

Tina Kelley’s third poetry collection, Abloom and Awry, came out from
CavanKerry Press in April, joining Precise and The Gospel of Galore. Her new
chapbook, Ardor, won the Jacar Press chapbook competition. A former
New York Times reporter, she co-authored Almost Home: Helping Kids Move
from Homelessness to Hope.

About the poem:

I was reading through a list of uncommon words beginning with A. It’s what I do
for fun. This word made me think of virtue in my life, in my toddler daughter’s
life, and in the world. It’s part of a project I’m launching, a field guide to North
American words. As per usual, pretty much everything is true.