Sunday, July 15, 2018

Blues for Carol, by Robert Claps

Robert Claps says: I live with my wife in eastern Connecticut, close to
Long Island sound. Recent work of mine has appeared in Tar River Poetry,
The Louisville Review, and the St. Katherine Review. I’ve spent 30 years in
information technology and am ready to retire.

About the poem:
Since my wife’s oldest daughter passed away a few years back, I have been trying
to capture some sense of her grief and loss. One day before a late season nor’easter,
a cardinal appeared, and that helped forge this poem.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Red-Berried Mistletoe, by Megan J. Arlett

Megan J. Arlett was born in the UK, grew up in Spain, and now lives in Texas
where she is pursuing her PhD. She is an editor at the Plath Poetry Project
and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ninth Letter, Poet Lore,
Third Coast, and elsewhere.

About the poem:
Two years ago I visited family in Valencia, Spain over the New Year. The Spanish
eat a grape for each stroke of midnight, both as a tradition and superstition. This
poem formed as a contemplation on acts of cultural tradition, religious holidays,
and how these change (and change us) at different life stages.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

2018 Crab Creek Review Poetry Prize Results!

Crab Creek Review is pleased to announce the results of the 2018 Crab Creek Review Poetry Prize, judged by Maggie Smith.

The prize-winning poem, selected from approximately 1000 poems, is Duncan Slagle’s “Anne Says the Autopsy Smells.”  Duncan will received $500 and his poem will be published in the fall issue of Crab Creek Review.

Erika Brumett’s poem, “Passage” and Jade Hurter’s poem, “The Swan” were selected as finalists, and Lisa Flynn’s poem, “My Mother Dreams An Archaeopteryx” received Honorable Mention. Each of the poems will appear in the fall issue as well.

Maggie Smith, whose most recent book is the wildly popular “Good Bones” (Tupelo Press) had this to say about the poems:

“Anne Says the Autopsy Smells” (by Duncan Slagle)
I admire so much about this poem: the blending of voices, the momentum from clause to clause and line to line, and the invention and insight in the language. Most of all, perhaps, I’m taken in by the poet’s masterful use of enjambment to harness that power at the end of a line and pull it down, and to subvert the reader’s expectations in those turns. This is a poem I want to read again as soon as I finish it.

“Passage” by Erika Brumett
This poet understands how form follows function, and the cacophony of the bird sounds described—that overwhelming layering of sounds—is enacted in the poem itself. The listing, the digressions, and the enjambments—all of these work together to approximate the speaker’s passage through unintelligible noise to silence, a “hush forewarning.”

“The Swan” by Jade Hurter
This sonnet-esque poem packs a lot into fourteen lines, and I’m particularly impressed by the restraint. The poem takes its time, doling out its images and insights slowly and confidently. It’s a beautifully understated fable of a poem that, to me, speaks to the awkward and yet miraculous shapeshifting women do in the real world.

“My Mother Dreams an Archaeopteryx” by Lisa Flynn
I was immediately charmed by the juxtaposition of the surreal premise and the commonplace details (those chunks of melon, the too-small car), plus the pitch-perfect, nothing-to-see-here diction. This poet also masterfully uses stanza to structure the narrative.

Congratulations to all, including the semifinalists, whose work will also be published in the fall issue:

Carolee Bennett
Erika Brumett
Jessica Cuello
Beth Dufford
Sara Fetherolf
Lisa Flynn
Jade Hurter
Judy Kaber
Michal Leibowitz
Tina Lentz-McMillan
Elisave Makridis
Owen McLeod
Dean Rhetoric
Annie Robertson
Duncan Slagle
Savannah Slone
Lena Khalaf Tuffaha

The editors anonymously read over 1000 poems and had the difficult task of narrowing down the field to 30 poems to send to the judge. We were impressed by the craftsmanship of these poems, and the sheer volume of brave, vulnerable, political, socially relevant, brilliant work. Thank you to all of the entrants, and to all of our readers. We hope you will support these writers by picking up a copy of the contest issue of Crab Creek Review when it is published this fall.

Genealogy, by Derek Annis

Derek Annis is a Graduate of The MFA at EWU. During his time at Eastern
Washington University, he was the assistant poetry editor for Willow
Springs. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Gettysburg Review,
Missouri Review Online, The Colorado Review, The Account, and Fugue, among

About the poem:
At its center, “Genealogy” is a kind of coming-of-age poem. I began writing it as
a way of mining the experience of my parents abandoning me as a child. Because
the event occurred before I could form memories, writing about it required a
somewhat surrealist approach.

Monday, July 9, 2018

If Water Can Carry Us Anywhere, It Can Bring Us Home, by Allison Adair

Originally from central Pennsylvania, Allison Adair now lives in Boston,
where she teaches at Boston College and Grub Street. Her most recent
publications include Bennington Review, Gulf Stream, and Ninth Letter, and
her poem “Miscarriage” is forthcoming in Best American Poetry.

About the poem:
I wrote this poem after seeing video of the floods in Eureka, Missouri. I got to
thinking about the particular knowledge of folks who live near water: the warning
signs, the seasonal cycles, the inevitability of the next disaster.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Crab Creek Review Seattle Release Party May 10, 2018

7pm Thursday, May 10, 2018
8310 Greenwood Ave N. Seattle WA 98103

Please join us for a reading by the poets and writers of Crab Creek Review, as we celebrate the publication of both our Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 issues with a release party at Couth Buzzard Books!

We are excited to feature Seattle writers Donna Miscolta, Erin Malone, Keetje Kuipers, Sylvia Pollack, Margot Kahn, Fernando Pérez, and Kathryn Hunt.

The Couth Buzzard serves beer, wine, espresso, & has a tasty little menu (the pear & gorgonzola pizza is mouthwatering!). Plus they have books! Pick up the new issue of Crab Creek Review, or browse the great selection of new and used. 
It's sure to be a great evening, & we'd love to have your company. 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Spring Issue of Crab Creek Review

Hello, dear readers!

The spring issue of Crab Creek Review is now available on our website, and at select bookstores in the Seattle area. The issue is brimming with brilliant and important works, by Allison Adair, Andrew Cox, Chelsea Dingman, Jessica Goodfellow, JordanHartt, Kathryn Hunt, Tina Kelley, Erin Malone, Diane K. Martin, Gail Martin, Donna Miscolta, Fernando Pérez, Susan Blackwell Ramsey, Lisabelle Tay, Julie MarieWade, Ellen Welcker, and more. These writers and poets cover a lot of ground—climate change, inequalities and injustices, love and loss, death, illness, the body—just about everything that makes up the human experience. 

Here are poems of water—too much, too little, or too dirty, explored by poets Allison Adair in “If Water Can Carry Us Anywhere, It Can Bring Us Home” and Fernando Pérez, in “Where Plants Go to Die.”

“We’re so sure / tree roots have a good grip on whatever it is that lies / beneath us. But tonight I saw a low shingle roof / float down that river near Eureka and let’s / be clear: the house was still attached” – Allison Adair

“The river lives inside a concrete box, / it too is confined, running / to where the ocean is tongued / by sediments of garbage” -- Fernando Pérez

And poems of the body, in sickness and in health, among them “The Third Descent,” an essay by Kristine Langley Mahler, and Steve Gehrke’s “Gilgamesh Alone.”

“And you, selfish, brittle-hearted king / in me, who long only for your own / acquittal, when death comes to lap the last / sip from the dish of milk going sour / in your chest, if you could borrow just / a day, just an extra hour, from the child / whom you love, would you take it?” 
– Steve Gehrke

“There are eating disorders and there is disordered eating and I am limiting myself if I say one is not the other.” – Kristine Langley Mahler

Tina Kelley probes the science of virtue, in “Aretaics” – “Who’s the best, she who stops / to move the bumper from the center lane, the soldier / diving on the live grenade, kidney donor, hospice / nurse, foster parent? I aspire to be each, and fail.”

Empathy and grief intermingle in Moira Linehan’s “Shawl” – “There’s no space / I can find to slip in beside you. His dying // rows forward. On the far other side of this / city, I begin a shawl for you”

In “A Strange Feeling in a Parking Lot/ the Tree” Raynald Nayler looks at America through a critical lens:
“They say the Darkness is close to this place. / Past the edge of town, and some go there / with torches.”

The poems, stories, and essays in Crab Creek Review will both wreck and renew you. We invite  you to support these writers and poets, and the journal, by purchasing a copy or subscribing, and/or by attending a reading. Two issue launches are scheduled in May. West of the Cascades, a Seattle reading is slated for May 10th, followed by a reading in Spokane on May 17th. See our Facebook events for more information, and stay tuned for a summer reading at the Port Townsend Writers' Conference in July!

Happy Earth Day from all of us at Crab Creek Review. May this year bring you good reading, good writing, and a heaping measure of peace.


Jenifer Lawrence
Editor-in-Chief, CrabCreek Review

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Ode to the Abused Body, by Fallon Sullivan

Fallon Sullivan lives with her dog in Seattle. She is the poetry editor for
Psaltery & Lyre, and was the 2016-2017 poetry editor for the Bellingham
Review. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Western
Washington University in 2017.

About the poem:

I wrote “Ode to the Abused Body” as a continuation of Sharon Olds’ tradition of
making the ode subversive just by writing within the form, as she does in her book of
odes. She defies convention under the guise of convention just by writing poetry of
praise to these “ugly” or base elements of humanity. I appreciate the way poetry can
serve as a platform for asserting self-acceptance and dignity, despite X, this unlovely
facet of your human experience.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Young Eat What These Birds Disgorge from Their Crops, by Kathryn Smith

Kathryn Smith’s first poetry collection is Book of Exodus (Scablands
Books, 2017). Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Poetry
Northwest, Bellingham Review, Mid-American Review, The Collagist, and
elsewhere, and she is the recipient of a grant from the Spokane Arts Fund.

About the poem:

In “Saint Francis and the Sow,” Galway Kinnell talks about reteaching an animal
its loveliness. In setting out to do this for the vulture, I was made aware, instead,
of how an animal can teach humans about our unloveliness.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

History, The Homemaker, by Scot Siegel

Scot Siegel has authored three full length books and two chapbooks
of poetry, most recently The Constellation of Extinct Stars and Other Poems
(2016) from Salmon Poetry of Ireland. His poems appear in Nimrod,
Coachella Valley Review, San Pedro River Review, Verse Daily, and,
among other publications.

About the poem:

History—real, imagined, revised, and mythologized—is a theme that runs
through my most recent full length book, The Constellation of Extinct Stars
and Other Poems. I am intrigued by the thought that just as one’s memory is
selective and unstable, history too is malleable and might even have a mind of
its own, which is the premise of “History, the Homemaker.”

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Perpetual Country (Kick the Wall), by Philip Schaefer and Jeff Whitney

Philip Schaefer’s debut collection, Bad Summon, won the Agha Shahid
Ali Poetry Prize (University of Utah Press, 2017). Individual work can be
found in Kenyon Review, Thrush, Guernica, The Cincinnati Review, Bat City,
Adroit, and Passages North. He tends bar in Missoula, MT.

Jeff Whitney is the author of The Tree With Lights in it (Thrush Press), while
Radio Silence (Black Lawrence Press) and Smoke Tones (Phantom Books) were
co-written with Philip Schaefer. His poems can be found in Adroit, Beloit
Poetry Journal, Blackbird, Colorado Review, and Poetry Northwest. He lives in

About the poem:
The two poems in this issue were written as collaborations [by Philip Schaefer
and Jeff Whitney]. The process of putting them together was quite haphazard,
involving lots of cutting and Frankensteinian rearranging with other pieces
of writing we did together and individually. The result is a pair of poems that
contain both our voices and, hopefully, some third voice bubbling under that is
neither of us.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Pablo Picasso, by Trevor Pyle

Trevor Pyle is a poet and short-story writer north of Seattle. His recent
publications include McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and Apeiron Review.
He was a finalist for the 2017 Pacific Northwest Writers Association
Poetry Contest.

About the poem:

I was always taken by the oft-quoted (and perhaps apocryphal) line about razors
by Picasso. It was fun to push that comparison between his art’s rather sharp
nature to the same aspect in his personality and legacy, which also drew blood
through the years.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Stenographers Union, by Phill Provance

Phill Provance’s poetry and prose have previously appeared in the
Baltimore Sun, Orbis, Arsenic Lobster and others. His second chapbook,
Given to Sudden Laughter, is forthcoming from Cy Gist Press in 2019.
He lives in Woodstock, Illinois, with his son, Ledger, and is currently
completing his MFA at WV Wesleyan.

About the poem:

“The Stenographers Union” came about as an attempt to create a Deep Image
montage within the rhetorical framework of an intimate admonishment—
with the ultimate aim that the reader would construct meaning from it as if
looking into a mirror, rather than having a controlled meaning dictated to
her. Intentionally glib, it also toys with enjambment to, I hope, come across as
something like a MadLib: as irreverent toward itself as toward its subject matter.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Mysteries of the Corn, by Kyle Potvin

Kyle Potvin’s first poetry collection, Sound Travels on Water (Finishing Line
Press), won the 2014 Jean Pedrick Chapbook Award. She was a finalist for the
2008 Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award. Her poems have appeared in The New
York Times, Measure, The Huffington Post, JAMA, Able Muse and others.

About the poem:

Each fall, my husband and I hang the same decorative corn on our door that we
have displayed since we moved to our home 20 years ago. The copper-colored
ribbon has frayed; the husk is dry. Yet, we hang it, an inside joke. One day, either
the corn or the door will be gone. Loss gnaws at me.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

If These Are Eggs, By Kate Murr

Kate Murr writes from the Ozarks and holds an MFA from Warren Wilson
College. Her work has appeared in Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Pencil Box Press,
and Elder Mountain.

About the poem:

I wrote this poem in December 2016, when I was thinking about the vitality
and fragility of individual connections within a culture that seemed intent on
intensifying the ways in which we “other.” I was thinking, too, about the complexity
of group insulation and the time-tied, cumulative effects of ignoring or excluding
outgroup voices. This poem is a wish for attention, for ingroup-egg transcendence,
for paradoxical inclusion.