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.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Up In the Air, by Sean Kelbley

A 2017 Best of the Net nominee, Sean Kelbley lives on a farm in
southeastern Ohio with his husband, in a house they built themselves.
He works as an elementary school counselor. Recent poems are at Poets
Reading the News, Rise Up Review, and Tuck Magazine.

About the poem:
This, in its way, is a love poem to everyone who’s affected by the ongoing attempts
to “fix” healthcare in America, and specifically to those I love in my home,
Appalachia. It’s also a pretty accurate pastiche of surrealistic nightmares I’ve
been having since this past summer. There’s a little bit of regional fatalism to
it, perhaps. And I suppose it could be read as “uppity,” but that’s not the intent.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Observations, by Ashton Kamburoff

Ashton Kamburoff currently serves as the 2017-2018 L.D. and LaVerne
Harrell-Clark Writer in Residence. He lives in central Texas.

Monday, August 6, 2018

On Dissolution, by Margot Kahn

Margot Kahn is the author of the biography, Horses That Buck, and coeditor
of the anthology, This Is the Place: Women Writing About Home. She
holds an MFA from Columbia University.

About the poem:

There’s a little desk in my bedroom where I like to write poems. The view looks out
to our old barn that’s in the process of falling down in the way that old barns do. I
have complicated feelings about the barn and the fact that it was built by people
who made their lives here, people I will never know. This year there has been an
unusually large flock of swallows in our fields and, as I try to make sense of my
place on this land, in this world, with so many things around me out of my control,
I watch them.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Do You Consider Yourself A Nature Poet?, by Kathryn Hunt

Kathryn Hunt lives on the coast of the Salish Sea. Her poetry collection,
Long Way Through Ruin, was published by Blue Begonia Press. She’s
worked as a waitress, shipscaler, short-order cook, bookseller, food bank
coordinator, filmmaker, and freelance writer.

About the poem:
When I’m asked what kind of poems I write I’m always stumped. Long, short, lyrical,
narrative? I usually meet curiosity with a shrug—I don’t know—only that it’s pure
joy when one shows up in my notebook. I write that kind of poem: flabbergasted,
beholden, full of questions. Someone asked once if I wrote nature poems. I sat with
that a while and this poem was the upshot.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

As Wife to the Protagonist, by Kathleen Hellen

Kathleen Hellen is the author of the award-winning collection Umberto’s
Night and two chapbooks, The Girl Who Loved Mothra and Pentimento.
Nominated for the Pushcart and Best of the Net, and featured on Poetry
Daily, her poems have been awarded prizes from the H.O.W. Journal and
Washington Square Review.

About the poem:
“As Wife to the Protagonist” is a meditation on the mythic resonance in domestic life.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Two Cedars, by Jordan Hartt

Jordan Hartt is a reader, writer, and writing retreat leader who facilitates
retreats in Kaua’i, Maui, Jamaica, Las Vegas, and the Big Island of Hawai’i.
He also facilitates the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference. Work has
appeared in about forty literary magazines: a collection of narrative
poems, Leap, appeared in 2015.

About the poem:

“Two Cedars” is the final poem of a poem sequence called “Driftwood.” The poem’s
conceit is that a white drifter has found an old typewriter and is tapping out the
story of his life in a darkness barely lit by candlelight.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Chris Maccini and Julia Hands join Crab Creek Review!

Crab Creek Review is pleased to welcome Associate Editor Julia Hands, and Interim Fiction Editor Chris Maccini to our editorial team. You may have met Julia at a recent Crab Creek Review event-- she's our event organizer and social media editor. Chris Maccini is a former managing editor of Willow Springs, and will be editing fiction for the journal this fall. We are excited to work with these talented and energetic writer-editors! Please join us in welcoming Julia and Chris to Crab Creek Review. Our open reading period begins September 15, 2018; we hope you'll consider sending us some stories, poems, and essays this fall.

Chris Maccini holds an MFA in fiction from Eastern Washington University and a BA in Economics from Colgate University. He previously served as Managing Editor of Willow Springs and his fiction has appeared in Fugue. Chris lives in his hometown, Spokane, Washington where he enjoys getting outside in all seasons with friends and family. His interests in fiction include realism, humor, family narratives, and explorations of the uncanny.

Julia Hands is a fiction writer and poet based out of Seattle. Since 2015, she has worked on a variety of literary magazines, including The Bellingham Review, 5x5 and now Crab Creek. In the summers, she works as the Assistant Program Manager at the Centrum Port Townsend Writers Conference, and the rest of the year co-organizes the Write Our Democracy Quarterly Reader Series. She also currently works with Lit Crawl: Seattle as the Marketing and Logistics Coordinator. You can find her prose in Blink-Ink and 5x5, The Evansville Review and The Dime Show Review.

At the Iron Bear, by Brett Hanley

Brett Hanley currently attends the MFA program at McNeese State
University and is the Poetry Editor for The McNeese Review. Her poetry has
been published in North American Review, Hotel Amerika, apt, and elsewhere.

About the poem:
“At the Iron Bear” was inspired by a raucous night with good friends at a bear bar
in Austin, Texas, a night that in some ways was healing and regenerative for me
as I was dealing with some difficult re-shuffling in my life. It was also inspired and
influenced by Terrance Hayes’s wonderful “At Pegasus.”

Friday, July 27, 2018

Mom Takes Us to Chester, by Andrew Hahn

Andrew Hahn is a current MFA in Writing candidate at Vermont College
of Fine Arts. His work has been featured in Lamp Literary Journal, R.kv.r.y
Quarterly, Lavender Bluegrass: LGBT Writers on the South, Past-ten, and is
forthcoming in Lunch.

About the essay:
Since I was a teenager, my mom told me her life would make a best-selling story,
so I started to write about my childhood with her. Writing about our relationship
from the perspective of my eleven-year-old self became a way to understand my
mom and ultimately forgive her.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Ghazal for a Sea Journey, by Jessica Goodfellow

Jessica Goodfellow’s books are Whiteout (University of Alaska Press,
2017), Mendeleev’s Mandala (2015), and The Insomniac’s Weather Report
(2014). She’s had work in Best New Poets, The Writer’s Almanac, Verse Daily,
and Motionpoems. Last summer she was a writer-in-residence at Denali
National Park and Preserve.

About the poem:
I wanted to write a ghazal because I never had before. I loved the idea of internal
rhyme in each stanza, so I played with that, and eventually a seafaring theme

Monday, July 23, 2018

Gilgamesh Alone, by Steve Gehrke

Steve Gehrke has published three books of poetry, most recently Michelangelo’s Seizure, selected for the National Poetry Series. New poems have appeared or are forthcoming at Poetry, Kenyon Review, Yale Review and others. He teaches at University of Nevada-Reno.

About the poem:
I’ve read and taught Gilgamesh many times over the last half-dozen years or
so, and I’m always most moved by those middle-passages when Gilgamesh has
abandoned his kingdom and is on his own and how frantic and weak this once
powerful character becomes when faced with his own mortality. Given that
Gilgamesh’s fear of death demolishes not only his love for Enkidu, but seemingly
all his worldly ambitions, one has to wonder: how solid would even our most
deeply held convictions be when “truly” faced with the fact of our own mortality.
The poem doesn’t have an answer to that, but it thinks it’s an interesting question
worth asking.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

It’s Possible Sex is Elegy, by Chelsea Dingman

Chelsea Dingman’s first book, Thaw, was chosen by Allison Joseph to win
the National Poetry Series (University of Georgia Press, 2017). In 2016-17,
she also won The Southeast Review’s Gearhart Poetry Prize, The Sycamore
Review’s Wabash Prize, and Water-stone Review’s Jane Kenyon Poetry Prize.
Visit her website:

About the poem:
This poem originated from a conversation with a colleague as to what the sonnet
form can be after reading a series of Terrance Hayes’ new sonnets. I wrote it the
week that the #metoo campaign exploded online & I used this form as a sort of cage
for the content. Breaking the traditional form, even slightly, feels like the smallest
act of resistance for this speaker.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Taxonomy, by Emma Croker

Emma Croker is an ornithologist and writer who can be found among
mountains in New South Wales, Australia. She feels better about her
species when she reads poetry.

About the poem:
I want to know the names of everything: birds, insects, plants, people. This quest
is enjoyable, but it has its pitfalls; I don’t know when or how to stop. In this poem
I am attempting to find some space between the classifications I (involuntarily
and mostly inaccurately) prescribe to the world around me. I am exploring the
taxonomy of my own judgements and accepting that things cannot (and should
not) be so easily classified.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Little Rock Explains How We Are Addicted to Sadness, by Andrew Cox

(BlazeVOX [Books] 2010), the chapbook, FORTUNE COOKIES (2RIVER VIEW,
2009) and the hypertext chapbook, COMPANY X (Word Virtual). He edits
UCity Review. (

About the poem:
This poem is one in a series I am writing that embraces autobiography by turning
three cities—Birmingham, Alabama; Hot Springs, Arkansas; and Little Rock,
Arkansas—into major characters. Each of these three cities played a prominent
role in my growing up.

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
Elisávet 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.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

I Was Happy as an Ant, by Andrew Shattuck McBride

Andrew Shattuck McBride is a Bellingham, WA based writer with work
in Connecticut River Review, Mud Season Review, Cirque: A Journal for the North
Pacific Rim, The Raven Chronicles, Perfume River Poetry Review, and Clover, A
Literary Rag. He edits novels, memoirs, poetry collections and chapbooks.

About the poem:

I read John Ciardi’s translation of Dante’s Inferno, and came across the mention of
Aeacus’s prayer to Zeus to turn ants into men. I was so intrigued I used it as a poem

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Flagrance, by Sylvia Byrne Pollack

Sylvia Byrne Pollack’s work has appeared in Floating Bridge Review, Crab
Creek Review, Clover, and Antiphon among other print and online journals.
A Pushcart nominee, she received the 2013 Mason’s Road Winter Literary
Award for her poem “Gregory” and was a finalist for the 2014 inaugural
Russell Prize.

About the poem:

“Flagrance” began life as “Cherries,” a ten line riff on a dying tree. This year’s
anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake led me to revisit “Cherries.” Through seven
revisions (more florid, then less; personified cherry blossoms; varied details of the
earthquake), I ultimately sought a lean, restrained, shibui telling of the story. And I
got to conflate fragrance and flagrant!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

After, by Tyler Kline

Tyler Kline is the author of the chapbook As Men Do Around Knives (ELJ
Editions, 2016). He lives in Pennsylvania where he teaches middle school
English and works on a vegetable farm in the summer. Visit him at

About the poem:

I wanted to write a poem that addressed the unfortunate stigma attached to mental
health conditions; namely, those who take prescribed medications. I was interested
in describing my own experience and how sadly these conversations about mental
health occur behind closed doors when we should, as a society, be working to create
safe spaces for these types of discussions.

Friday, March 16, 2018

23andMe Says My Body Is A Sanctuary City, by Jen Karetnick

Jen Karetnick has published seven poetry collections, including American
Sentencing (Winter Goose Publishing, May 2016), long-listed for the 2017
Julie Suk Award and the 2017 Lascaux Prize, and The Treasures That Prevail
(Whitepoint Press, September 2016), finalist for the 2017 Poetry Society of
Virginia Book Award. She co-directs the reading series, SWWIM (Supporting
Women Writers in Miami).

About the poem:

This poem is about the DNA/mitochondria tracing of Ashkenazi Jews, who if you go
back far enough have many similarities to other reviled ethnic groups. The subtext
is that while certain traits may or may not reveal themselves in any given person,
the intergenerational trauma of always being “othered” and exiled is what’s truly
passed down. I wrote it on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, when #45’s
administration failed to mention anything regarding Jews in its cursory address
about the day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Calling Out the Muse at 37th and Sixth, by Nancy Keating

Nancy Keating is a candidate for an MFA at Stony Brook University. Her
work has been published in New Letters, the Southampton Review, Tar River
Review and elsewhere. She lives on Long Island, NY.

About the poem:
I had a writing assignment to draw on my impressions of the Garment District in
New York City, and for some reason thought about how poets in antiquity would
begin with a prayer to the muse.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Blue Reminds Me of the Truth, by Elizabeth Jacobson

Elizabeth Jacobson's second book, Not into the Blossoms and Not into the Air, winner of the 2017 New Measure Poetry Prize, is forthcoming from Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press, Fall, 2018. A chapbook, Are the Children Make Believe?, is just out from dancing girl press.

About the poem:

Although desire may let us know we are alive, in a sense keeps us alive, I am always
looking for what is outside wanting. Exploring the natural world, which includes
humans, is compelling to me.

Monday, February 26, 2018

To Have Lived Long Enough To Be Allowed To Return, by Henry Israeli

Henry Israeli’s poetry collections are, god’s breath hovering across the waters,
(Four Way Books: 2016), Praying to the Black Cat (Del Sol: 2010), and New
Messiahs (Four Way Books: 2002). He is also the translator of three books
by Albanian poet Luljeta Lleshanaku. Henry Israeli is also the founder and
editor of Saturnalia Books.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

By the way he plants his wheat, you see the country of his origin, by Laura Haynes

Laura Haynes is a former screenwriter and 2012 graduate of the Bennington
Writing Workshops. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in McSweeney’s,
Crab Orchard Review, Prime Number Magazine (2014 Poetry Prize) and Measure.
She lives in Santa Barbara.

About the poem:

“By The Way He Plants His Wheat, You See The Country Of His Origin:” I love the
brevity and directness of the sonnet, and often lean towards this form. This poem
would have been 14 lines, if I split the title into two lines, but I liked the way the long
title drew attention to itself and how that allowed it the poem to pay off better at
the end. Also, fracturing the form better reflected the ‘fracture’ I was writing about.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Escapeful, by Lea Graham

Lea Graham is the author of the forthcoming, From the Hotel Vernon (Salmon
Press, 2019); the chapbook, This End of the World: Notes to Robert Kroetsch (Apt.
9 Press, 2016) and Hough & Helix & Where & Here & You, You, You (No Tell Books,
2011). She is an associate professor at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY.

About the poem:

“Escapeful” comes out of my manuscript in-progress, The O. E. D. Odes. The poem
uses the dictionary entry form and explores the word through sound, denotation
and my own connotations. The use of this form was inspired by A. Van Jordan’s
book, M*A*C*N*O*L*I*A, a book about spelling bees and racial injustice. While
“Escapeful” is autobiographical in its yearnings to adventure, Bonnie and Clyde were
serendipitously discovered when I began to research the town I lived in.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Pronounced, by Carlos Andrés Gómez

Carlos Andrés Gómez is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet who is pursuing
his MFA at Warren Wilson College. Winner of the 2015 Lucille Clifton Poetry
Prize, his work has appeared in the North American Review, RATTLE, Beloit
Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. He lives in New York City.

About the poem:

This poem is inspired by my childhood: growing up feeling pulled between languages,
identities, and worlds. And, in particular, this poem’s genesis can be traced back to
a comment from my best friend in fifth grade at a sleepover one night, casually said
while we were brushing our teeth.

Friday, February 16, 2018

If Cowboys Were Cancer Cells, by D. G. Geis

D. G. Geis is the author of Fire Sale (Tupelo Press/Leapfolio) and “Mockumentary”
(Main Street Rag). Among other places, his poetry has appeared in The Irish
Times, Fjords, Skylight 47 (Ireland), A New Ulster Review (N. Ireland), Crannog
Magazine (Ireland), The Moth, (Ireland), The Tishman Review, and Poetry Scotland
(Open Mouse).

About the poem:
This is one of those rare poems that simply appeared. It doesn’t happen very often, but it
occurred to me that life, like writing poetry, is very much like pulling things out of a hat.
I may have an idea where I want to begin, but the poem usually works its way around
me and my idea of what it should be. In that sense poetry is more a form of self-erasure,
a vanishing act.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Love Note, by Keetje Kuipers

Valentine Bokeh Heart Shaped Light Background

Keetje Kuipers is a former Stegner Fellow, Pushcart Prize winner, and the
author of two collections of poetry. Previously a tenured Associate Professor
at Auburn University, she now lives and writes in Seattle, where she teaches
at Hugo House and is an associate editor at Poetry Northwest.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Hemming Twice to Show the Strength, by Hannah Craig

2017 Crab Creek Review Poetry Prize winning poem, Hemming Twice to Show the Strength, by Hannah Craig. Selected by Diane Seuss.

Hannah Craig is the author of This History That Just Happened (Parlor Press,
2017) which was the winner of the New Measure Poetry Prize. Her work has
appeared in Fence, Mississippi Review, the North American Review, Prairie Schooner,
Smartish Pace and other publications. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA.

About the poem:
My sisters and I used to play this kind of game when we were young. My grandmother,
who was a seamstress, gave us these huge bridal pattern books and we’d just page
through them, picking our doppelgangers. I guess I always thought it was pretty awful,
as an adult and a feminist, looking back. But when I actually unpacked it a bit, I
ended up seeing things as a little more complex.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Nocturne with Supermoon & MS Relapse, by Emily Rose Cole

Emily Rose Cole is the author of Love and a Loaded Gun, a persona chapbook from
Minerva Rising Press. She has received awards from Jabberwock Review, Ruminate
Magazine, and the Academy of American Poets, and her poetry has appeared or
is forthcoming in Nimrod, The Pinch, and Southern Indiana Review, among others.

Editors note:  Nocturne with Supermoon & MS Relapse was published in Crab Creek Review in October, 2017, and was reprinted in November 2017 at Flyway , along with another outstanding poem by Emily. Go read it!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Cow Disembarks from the Ark, 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 and works as a software engineer in the
aviation industry. Dare to visit

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Living, by Shevaun Brannigan

Shevaun Brannigan is a graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars, as
well as The Jiménez-Porter Writers’ House at The University of Maryland.
Her poems have appeared in such journals as Best New Poets, Rhino, Redivider,
and Crab Orchard Review. She is a 2015 recipient of a Barbara Deming
Memorial Fund grant. Her work can be found at

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Self-Portrait as Seven Deadly Sins, by Carol Berg

Carol Berg’s poems are forthcoming or in DMQ Review, Sou’wester, The
Journal, Spillway, Redactions, Radar Poetry, Verse Wisconsin, and in the
anthology Forgotten Women. Her most recent chapbook, The Johnson Girls, is
available from dancing girl press. She was a recipient of a grant from the
Massachusetts Cultural Council.

About the poem:
This poem was inspired by a prompt (thanks Jannie Dresser!) about the seven deadly
sins of Catholic doctrine. I gathered a word bank and used my journal to find images
I liked. I then used the phrase “I travel” to keep a coherence to the poem. The prompt
provided Latin terms and I used the ones that felt most sonic to me. I got positive
feedback from the group so decided to keep the poem.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Benign, and Other Words for This Kind of Reprieve, by Carolee Bennett

Carolee Bennett is an artist and poet living in Upstate New York, where she
has fun saying she has been the “almost” poet laureate of Smitty’s Tavern.
She has an MFA in creative writing (poetry) from Ashland University in
Ohio and works full-time as a writer in social media marketing.

About the poem:
My mom died of colon cancer when she was 56. Often, I’m convinced I have the
disease, too. Although screening procedures are intended to alleviate fear, they’re
burdened by the unavoidable fretting and so many odd humiliations. Expecting bad
news after my first screening, it was somehow more surreal to learn that I was
perfectly healthy.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Golden Torch, by Cynthia Anderson

Cynthia Anderson lives in the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree National
Park. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, and she is the author
of seven poetry collections, the most recent being Waking Life. She coedited
the anthology A Bird Black As the Sun: California Poets on Crows & Ravens.

About the poem:
For over 25 years I lived on California’s Central Coast, where I indulged in my love of
the desert by amassing a large collection of cacti and succulents. The annual bloom
of the golden torch was a much-anticipated event. My husband and I retired to the
Mojave Desert in 2009.

Monday, January 22, 2018

A Conversation with Rheea Mukherjee, author of "Transit for Beginners"

A conversation between Sayantani Dasgupta (author of Fire Girl: Essays on India, America, and the In-Between, Two Sylvias Press) and Rheea Mukherjee (Transit for Beginners, Kitaab International). First published in the 2017 Fall issue of Crab Creek Review.

Rheea Mukherjee 

Sayantani Dasgupta

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Heroic Penetrates the Quotidian, by Diane Seuss

Today's poem is by Diane Seuss, from her forthcoming collection Still Life with Two Peacocks and a Girl (Graywolf Press, 2018).