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: chelseadingman.com.

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. (www.ucityreview.com)

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.