Monday, May 22, 2017

An Emergency of Birds, by Diana Decker

Diana Decker is a poet whose work has appeared in Verdad, Poppy Road Review, Silver Birch Press, deLuge, KY Story’s Anthology Getting Old, Mothers Always Write, and Smoky Blue Magazine. She writes, sings, and counts the birds on the small farm in New York that she shares with her husband.

Poet on the poem:

This is about habitat loss and climate change, of course, but also about a delayed realization of loss and missed opportunity, and the momentary impulse to just give in and ride the decline.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Pasta In A Ditch, by Brendan Cooney

Brendan Cooney is a U.S. poet living in Copenhagen. His poetry has appeared in Spillway, Sugar House Review, Canary, and Isthmus. He’s published essays in Prairie Schooner, Salon, Counterpunch, Chicago Reader, and Outlook India, and journalism in National Journal, Columbia Journalism Review, and other magazines and newspapers. Glimpses of films and other work are at:

Poet on the poem:

My immediate inspiration here was the Tang dynasty poets. The twin longings I have long had for solitude-in-nature and for home I was thrilled to find in work over a thousand years old. The pasta story ended with the man, a Swedish dairy-farmer, taking me for an Eastern European burglar, rounding up neighbors a few minutes later to hunt for me. I could see their lights from my new hiding place. The alienation from the species I felt at the time deepened. A homelessness never more shocking than upon return to my sacred swath of ground in Maryland.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

You Go Too, by Dennis Caswell

Dennis Caswell is the author of the poetry collection Phlogiston (Floating Bridge Press).  His work has appeared in Bluestem, Crab Creek Review, Poetry Northwest, Rattle, and assorted other journals and anthologies. He lives outside Woodinville, Washington, works as a software engineer in the aviation industry, and loves Bassetts jelly babies.

Poet on the Poem:

I’m guessing that it takes a long time and a lot of thought to muster the resolve to commit mass murder. What sort of thought could that be? I wanted to create a sort of calculus of alienation: a system of thought within which slaughter makes a kind of psychotic sense.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

For My Cousin, The Stripper, by Maari Carter

Maari Carter is originally from Winona, MS. Her poems have appeared in such places as Salt Hill Journal, Superstition Review, and SundogLit, among others. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing at Florida State University, where she serves as Poetry Editor of The Southeast Review.

Familial mythology is often a point of interrogation in my work as a way to examine the causality of that initial priming that occurs through inherited narratives and the schematic dissonance it can create, even within something as interconnected as the family unit. With this poem, in particular, I wanted to focus on oppositional epistemologies without privileging one or the other, but acknowledge the cost and limitations of each.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

How the Birth Mother Was Found, and Thorn, by Lynne Thompson

Lynne Thompson is the author of Beg No Pardon, winner of the Perugia Press Prize and the Great Lakes colleges Association’s New Writers Award, and Start With A Small Guitar (What Books Press). Thompson’s poems have appeared in Ecotone, African American Review, North American Review, and Prairie Schooner.

“How the Birth Mother Was Found” accurately reflects the way in which a friend found my birth mother, and, ultimately, connected us. It was the first time I understood that the gene pool includes the vocal chords. “Thorn” was born of my ruminations—read: fears—about the kind of mother I might have been and, perhaps, why I never became one.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Valentine Palindrome, by Christine Butterworth-McDermott

Christine Butterworth-McDermott is the founder and head editor for the online journal, Gingerbread House Literary Magazine. Her poems have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, The Normal School, River Styx, Southeast Review, and others. She is the author of Woods and Water, Wolves and Women.

“Valentine Palindrome” was inspired by two separate incidents: an old boyfriend who hid some love letters from another girl and a mockingbird (not a cardinal) that crashed into my window.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Short Talks (After Anne Carson), by Molly Brown

Molly Brown is from Geneva, IL. She holds degrees in Music and English from Bucknell University. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Word Riot and Turtle Island Quarterly.

After encountering Anne Carson’s “Short Talks” in Plainwater, I was struck by their form and timbre, how their collective voice is at once reverential and then twists away into humor and then back again. I wanted to try my hand at this kind of voice, at its lovely, intimate, and beautifully strange brevity and presence.

Monday, May 8, 2017

"I Was the More" by Martha Gray Adkins

Martha Gray Adkins was born in St. Louis, MO, and has lived at Egleston Children’s Hospital, Fort Benning, Fort Ord, and Fort Drum. Adkins’s work has appeared in Feminine Inquiry and Lavender Review, and is forthcoming in Plenitude.

“I Was the More” is based on my experience as a survivor of intimate partner violence. This poem is part of an ongoing body of trauma-oriented autobiographical work re-interrogating the domestic, where each piece uses fragmented text from Shakespeare’s Hamlet (in this case, Ophelia’s line “I was the more deceived”) as title and kindling.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Introducing David J. Daniels, Assistant Poetry Editor

David J. Daniels is the author of Clean (Four Way Books), winner of the Four Way Books Intro Prize, and finalist for the Kate Tufts Award and Lambda Literary Award for Poetry. He is also the author of two chapbooks, Breakfast in the Suburbs (Seven Kitchens Press) and Indecency (Seven Kitchen Press). He teaches composition in the University Writing Program at the University of Denver and has received fellowships or scholarships from Kenyon Review, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and The Stadler Center at Bucknell University.

Crab Creek Review is honored to welcome David J. Daniels to the editorial team. David has been hard at work reading submissions for the 2017 Crab Creek Review Poetry Prize. Follow David on Twitter @David_J_Daniels

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Selfie at the End of the World, by Francine Witte

Francine Witte is a poet, flash fiction writer, photographer, blogger and reviewer. Her latest poetry chapbook “Not All Fires Burn the Same” won the 2016 Slipstream Press competition and will be published this fall. She is a former high school teacher, and lives in New York City.

The title of this poem just popped into my head one day as I noted how everyone loves to document each moment with a selfie as a kind of stamp that this particular moment took place and I was part of it. I thought of all the possibilities this offered, and the most outrageous one would, of course, be pausing in the middle of chaos just to snap that photo.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Motai-nai: Don’t Waste, by Sara Yamasaki

Moving Words Writing Clinic. Her poetry is published in Calyx and Echoes from Gold Mountain, book reviews, articles and essays in the International Examiner and The Kyoto Journal. She is a 2015 Hedgebrook Writing Residency recipient.

While caring for my 92-year-old father, at times I felt crazy. He had dementia. His days and nights, and past and present realities were mixed up. Yet, I began to see I wasn’t just caring for him. Sometimes, at the most surprising moments, we dipped back in time and he became my caring, insightful father, and I became his little girl. He passed away on February 28, 2016.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

This is Your Love Poem, Al, by Corrie Williamson

Corrie Williamson is the author of Sweet Husk, winner of the 2014 Perugia Press Prize and a finalist for the Library of Virginia Poetry Award. Her poems have appeared in The Missouri Review, AGNI, Shenandoah, Willow Springs, and elsewhere. She lives in Helena, MT.

“This Is Your Love Poem, Al”: I have been known to say that all poems are ultimately about sex, death, or god. My partner has gently pointed out the potential cynicism and narrow-mindedness of such a claim. He usually makes a fair point, and so I did my best here to prove myself wrong.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Oh, This Could Be the Last Time So Here, by Peter Twal

Peter Twal’s poems have appeared (or will soon) in Kenyon Review Online, Ninth Letter Online, Public Pool, Quarterly West, cream city review, The Journal, Devil’s Lake, RHINO, Booth, Yemassee, DIAGRAM, Bat City Review, and elsewhere. Peter earned his MFA from the University of Notre Dame. Read more at

First inspired by the LCD Soundsystem song “All My Friends” and later the poetry of Habib Al-Zayudi which I was translating from Arabic, I began writing poems obsessed with nostalgia, began exploring the ways in which memory can be a sort of violence against the body, both past and present. These poems explore that premise at different points in manuscript—specifically, when the speaker’s memories begin to bite back.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Crab Creek Review Poetry Prize open for submissions

Spring is almost here in the Pacific Northwest, and after a cold, wet winter, Seattle is looking forward to some sunshine! While we wait, we're buoyed by flurries of submissions for the 2017 Crab Creek Review Poetry Prize, and excited to have Diane Seuss on board to judge this year's contest.

The entry period for the 2017 Crab Creek Review Poetry Prize began on February 15th; entries will be accepted until May 15, 2017. A $500 prize will be awarded for the winning poem. All entries considered for publication. Winner and finalists will appear in Crab Creek Review. All poems are read anonymously (blind reading) by the editorial staff. We follow the CLMP code of ethics; if you think you are too close to the poetry editor or judge for comfort, please refrain from submitting work to the contest. We have a non-contest option available to all, with a 10-day turnaround time. A small processing fee is charged for this "Fast-Lane" submission option.

Diane Seuss was born in Indiana and raised in Michigan. She earned a BA from Kalamazoo College and an MSW from Western Michigan University. Seuss is the author of the poetry collections Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl (2018); Four-Legged Girl (2015), finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open (2010), winner of the 2009 Juniper Prize for Poetry; and It Blows You Hollow (1998). Her work has appeared in Poetry, the Georgia Review, Brevity, Able Muse, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and Missouri Review, as well as The Best American Poetry 2014. She was the MacLean Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of English at Colorado College in 2012, and she has taught at Kalamazoo College since 1988.

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Politics of Scent, by Kelly Grace Thomas

Kelly Grace Thomas is a Pushcart Prize nominee and 2016 Fellow for the Kenyon Review Young Writers. “The Politics of Scent” was a semifinalist for the Crab Creek Review Poetry Contest. Her work is forthcoming or has appeared in: Rattle, PANK, Rust + Moth, Crab Creek Review, Black Heart,
and others.