Friday, August 31, 2018

from California Building, by Teresa K. Miller

A graduate of the Mills College MFA program and two-time National
Poetry Series finalist, Teresa K. Miller is the author of sped (Sidebrow)
and Forever No Lo (Tarpaulin Sky) as well as co-editor of Food First: Selected
Writings from 40 Years of Movement Building. She lives near Portland, Oregon.

About the poem:

This piece is excerpted from a book-length manuscript titled California Building,
composed of three serial poems reflecting on, among other subjects, the significance
of family lineage and procreation against the backdrop of human-induced
environmental catastrophe. The italicized text comes from Brenda Hillman’s “El
Niño Orgonon” and “Half the Half-Nocturnes.”

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

An Anti-Lyric, by Devon Miller-Duggan

Devon Miller-Duggan has published poems in Rattle, Shenandoah, Margie,
Christianity and Literature, Gargoyle. She teaches Creative Writing at the
University of Delaware. Her books include Pinning the Bird to the Wall (Tres
Chicas Books, 2008), Neither Prayer, Nor Bird (Finishing Line Press, 2013),
Alphabet Year, (Wipf & Stock, 2017).

About the poem:

The poem’s made of bits and pieces that have been kicking around in my head for
decades, mostly about my first year in grad school (also the first year of marriage
and the first year after my grandfather died). The guy who came up with “pogo
stick” and wrote the sestina with “Apollinaire” as an end word got to be kind of a
big gun, so I might have been right to be impressed.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Monster, by Michael Mercurio

Michael Mercurio is a recent graduate of Lesley University’s low-residency
MFA program. His work has appeared in the Indianapolis Review and poems2go.
He lives in Northampton, MA, with his wife and two Miniature Schnauzers.
He can also be found online at

About the poem:

“Monster” is a loving tribute to the first-born son of my best friends, and a
recognition that everything about our relationship has changed.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Your Life at Apogee and Mine Descending, by Diane K. Martin

Diane K. Martin’s work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Field,
Kenyon Review, Harvard Review, New England Review, and many other
journals and anthologies, including Best New Poets, and has received a Pushcart
Special Mention. Her collection, Conjugated Visits, a National Poetry Series
finalist, was published in 2010 by Dream Horse Press.

About the poem:

I am a late developer and, in my late 60s, am just beginning to feel accomplished—
or know what I want to accomplish—in my work. “Your Life At Apogee and Mine
Descending,” is my rather peevish accompaniment to my pride in my son’s, nieces’,
and nephews’ successes.  “Silent Night” is a description of an oversensitive, introverted teenager that
resembles some version of my past self. (ed. note: "Silent Night" is available in the 2018 Spring issue of Crab Creek Review)

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Flying After the Election, by Gail Martin

Gail Martin is the author of two books, Begin Empty-Handed (Perugia Press)
and The Hourglass Heart (New Issues). A Michigan native, she has roots in
both northern and southern Michigan. She works as a psychotherapist
in private practice in Kalamazoo, MI.

About the poem:

Both poems reflect my experience of our world during what are inarguably dark
times. I flew to Massachusetts the day after the election and this small incident
seemed to enlarge. I was seeing events through a new lens. "Crave" is about
shadowboxing with despair, and how the past takes on a certain rosy luster when
the present tense and future don’t look very heartening.
(ed. note: Readers can find "Crave" in the 2018 spring issue of Crab Creek Review)

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Inside the Story of My Brother, by Erin Malone

Erin Malone is the author of Hover (Tebot Bach Press, 2015) and a
chapbook, What Sound Does It Make (Concrete Wolf Press, 2008). Her new
poems appear in Cimarron Review, Okey-Panky, Radar Poetry, and,
among other places, and she is editor of Poetry Northwest. Her website is

About the poem:

In order to tell a story, one has to reach inside that story and examine all of the
others contained there. I often think of memory as a set of nesting dolls. Discovery
is the kernel-sized doll, the heart.

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.