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 Petertwal.com.


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. Kellygracethomas.com

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Grinding Up the Seed Corn, by Mara Adamitz Scrupe



Mara Adamitz Scrupe creates poetry, book arts, installation, and public art. She has authored two poetry collections, “Sky Pilot,” published by Finishing Line Press, and “BEAST,” winner of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies’ Stevens Manuscript Award.


Poet on the poem:
I live on an 18th century-era farm in Virginia where I do most of my writing surrounded by the stories and artifacts of history set amidst splendid and profoundly moving natural landscapes.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Carious Lesion Scale (Or, the classification of dental cavities), by Verity Sayles



Verity Sayles is an essayist from Massachusetts. She received her MFA in nonfiction from Oregon State University where she discovered a love of pine trees. Her work appears in Under the Gum Tree, Commonline Journal, Burningword Literary Journal, and Dark Matter Journal. She can be reached at
Veritysayles.com or @saylesteam.

Writer on the essay:
No stranger to the dentist’s chair, I wanted to write a piece that felt like a growing cavity, and engaged the paradoxical ratio of decreasing enamel with increased pain. “Carious Lesion Scale” developed from a prompt given to me by the fabulous poet, Jen Richter. I love writing within existing constraints, especially those of a medical nature, and trying to push the emotional weight of an essay into clinical boundaries.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Engine Crisis, by Janet Reed



Janet Reed teaches writing and literature for Crowder College in Missouri. She began giving her poems breath in the world over summer break a year ago and is pleased to have published in multiple journals. She is humbled to share this poem with Crab Creek Review.

Poet on the Poem:
This poem began as an exercise about a vivid memory from childhood. My dad could fix anything, and his garage was better organized than any chef’s kitchen. I had never seen him fail, and the anguish that hung in the air when he gave up has stayed with me. The poem took on some surprises for me as I revised and also made me feel tender toward a man who was both brilliant and fragile.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

De Melkmeid by Johannes Vermeer, by Rachel Rear



Rachel Rear is a teacher, writer, actor, and sometime aerialist living in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been published in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Off The Coast Poetry Journal, and Forage Poetry Journal. She is working on her first book. Follow her on Twitter
@RaeRear.

Poet on the Poem:
Vermeer’s De Melkmeid was on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2009, in its first US appearance since the 1939 World’s Fair. Painted circa 1657-1658, it is a pivotal work completed in what is considered the middle of Vermeer’s career.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Kalamazoo Visits Saint Francis’s Tomb, by Susan Blackwell Ramsey



Among other places, Susan Blackwell Ramsey’s work has appeared in The Southern Review, 32 Poems, Poetry Northwest and Best American Poetry 2009. Her book, A Mind Like This, won the Prairie Schooner Poetry Book Prize. She lives in Kalamazoo and still can’t break herself of spacing twice after a period.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Gardening, by Connie Post (2016 Crab Creek Poetry Prize winner)



Connie Post served as Poet Laureate of Livermore, CA (2005-2009). Her work has appeared in Calyx, Crab Creek Review, Comstock Review, Slipstream, Spoon River Poetry Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and Verse Daily. Her first full-length book, Floodwater (Glass Lyre Press 2014), won the Lyrebird Award.

Poet on the Poem:
The poem, “Gardening,” was dormant in the back of my mind for many years. I saw the image, I lived with the image, but it never became a poem until this year. As many poems happen, they stay in our conscious and subconscious for years, and they tell us when it’s time to be born. I am pleased I listened to the poem’s voice, and was patient with its blooming.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Moon, by Kelly Michels



Kelly Michels received her MFA from North Carolina State University. She is the author of two chapbooks, the most recent entitled Disquiet, published by Jacar Press. Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, Green Mountains Review, Nimrod, Connotation Press, One, Redivider, Reed Magazine, and Barely South Review, among others.

Poet on the Poem:
I wrote this poem for Betty Adcock and Claudia Emerson, whose poetic friendship was deep and enduring. The poem was inspired by a moment in which I stopped to look at the moon after spending an evening discussing one of Claudia’s poems at Betty’s house. Soon after, Claudia passed away, and I sent Betty the poem, knowing I had very little to offer in the face of such grief. It was the only thing I could do after the loss of such a brilliant voice.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Junior Partner, by Nilla Larsen



Nilla Larsen holds a MFA in poetry from UNC-Wilmington. Her poems are featured in or forthcoming in Asheville Poetry Review, North Carolina Literary Review, Slippery Elm, and elsewhere. She is the winner of the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing First Place Poetry Fellowship. Follow her on Twitter @nillalarsen.

Poet on the Poem:
“Junior Partner” is the most slash-full poem I’ve written so far, but the slashes were not part of the early drafts. What jumpstarted the poem were the similes in stanza one, which challenged me to find the resonant qualities in mundane, inanimate objects. The narrative is inspired by two lines from Jenny Hval’s song ‘That Battle is Over’: “So are we loving ourselves now? Are we mothering ourselves?”

Monday, January 16, 2017

Amazing Grace, by Jennifer Jean



Jennifer Jean’s debut collection is The Fool. Her writing has appeared in: Rattle, Waxwing, Drunken Boat, Solstice, Green Mountains Review, and more. Jennifer is Poetry Editor for The Mom Egg, Managing Editor of Talking Writing, and Co-director of Morning Garden Artist Retreats. She teaches Free2Write poetry workshops to sex-trafficking survivors.

Poet on the Poem: 
This poem is from my manuscript exploring objectification, and sex-trafficking—which is modern-day slavery. It’s based on the famous hymn which has become an anthem against all kinds of social injustice. Included is an excerpt from this D.W. Winnicott quote about the human condition: “It is a joy to be hidden and a disaster not to be found.” Shame often keeps us hidden when we need to be found—seen, and known—to be healed.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

this is my da Vinci face, by Dennis Hinrichsen



Dennis Hinrichsen’s most recent collection is Skin Music, co-winner of the 2014 Michael Waters Poetry Prize from Southern Indiana Review Press. His previous books have won the Akron, FIELD, and Tampa Poetry Prizes. He has also received a 2014 Best of the Net Award and the 2016 Third Coast Poetry Prize.

Poet on the Poem:
I wrote this poem after having a couple of negative blood tests post prostate surgery via the Da Vinci Surgical System, so I felt a little saved, as if I had been re-birthed, painted, re-painted by da Vinci himself. Hence, the opening lines and then the run toward figuring out what to do next with that saved life.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Bulrushes, by Alec Hershman



Alec Hershman lives in Michigan. He has received awards from the Kimmel-Harding-Nelson Center for the Arts, The Jentel Foundation, and the Institute for Sustainable Living, Art, and Natural Design. Other poems of his appear in recent issues of Denver Quarterly, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Cimarron Review, Western Humanities Review, Bodega, Posit, Puerto del Sol, and elsewhere. You can find out more at Alechershmanpoetry.com.

Poet on the Poem:
I initially thought to publish “Bulrushes” online accompanied by a video of my googly-eyed hand in drag—big garish “mouth” reading the poem somberly aloud before uncurling itself at the end, but the editors and I couldn’t agree about the video, and so this poem had to go back into its fascicle for a couple years until it could behave or further insist to me its video cause. Here it makes its print debut, along with its chaperone poem, “Is to Cowardice, Is to Grace.”