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Blue Honey 

Beth Copeland


Winner of the  2017 Dogfish Head Poetry Prize


"The Blue Honey that flows through Copeland’s collection by that name, through her parents’ flurry of furious wings--that flows through Japan, her siblings, an Alaskan airport, and The South, where a childhood was held by the ankles upside down and slapped--that flows through a marriage, torn and mended,  flows through it all with a fearless and loving spirit, with personality, humor, anger, and craft. Reader, I dare you to walk away from this elegy unmoved."

Roger Weingarten, author of Ethan Benjamin Boldt (Knopf), Ghost-wrestling (Godine), and The Four Gentlemen and Their Footmen (Longleaf, 2015). 


"Beth Copeland’s Blue Honey is a lyrical case study of loss and the ways in which it reverberates through a family’s center. . . Copeland is a master storyteller; she weaves each of these narratives seamlessly through the text, and her ear for language—not to mention her eye for the most delicate of details—is a veritable honey trap for the reader."

Destiny O. Birdsong, MFA, PhD, recipient, Academy of American Poets Prize


"The structure of Blue Honey . . . reenacts the circular journey that so many of us must make, from being cared for by our parents to ushering them through the mysterious borderland known as old age. Beth Copeland (writes) with breathtaking honesty . . . metaphorically fresh and formally inventive . . . Bravo to Copeland for not shying away from poetry’s most arduous and important task, which is to write about life in a way that makes us feel less alone."

Sue Ellen Thompson, editor The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry, and recipient of the 2010 Maryland Author Award


About Beth Copeland

The child of missionaries, Beth Copeland was born in Japan, where she spent her early childhood, as well as in India and the United States. Her first full-length poetry book Traveling through Glass received the 1999 Bright Hill Press Poetry Book Award. Her second book Transcendental Telemarketer was published by BlazeVOX in 2012. Her poems have appeared in literary journals and anthologies, including Aeolian HarpAtlanta Review, New Millennium Writings, The North American Review, Pedestal Magazine, Pirene’s Fountain, Poet’s Market, Rattle, The Southern Poetry Anthology, and Tar River Poetry and have been featured on the CBS NewsHour website. Beth received her MFA degree from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and teaches creative writing at her undergraduate alma mater, St. Andrews University. She lives with her husband Phil Rech and hound dog Kasey in a log cabin in North Carolina. 


FLUX Quanta

James Michael Robbins


James Michael Robbins, noted Austin poet and former Publisher of The Sulphur River Literary Review, has authored a new collection of work, FLUX Quanta (Broadkill Press, $10.95).

Richard Peabody, Publisher of Gargoyle Magazine, says “Robbins is a poet at play in the fields of economics and science,” and that these poems are “shot through the Large Hadron Collider into Bartleby’s wall...(Robbins) is not the first to intertwine language and science via exploratory poems, but he sure has a good time.”

Peabody’s assessment will not surprise anyone familiar with Robbins’ prior work, which melded his academic interest in Physics (BS in Physics, East Texas State) with his poetry. His previous chapbook of poems, Graviture, was published by Rancho Loco Press in 2001.

Lyn Lifshin notes that “Lostness and the unreal collide with creativity in a world where things keep disappearing. The poems move between mystery and enigma. Opposites flourish, action and inaction.”

Poet a. mclean appreciates how Robbins’ poems seem coaxed from “the intersection of the frontiers of physics and poetry,” suggesting that they reflect “what...NASA, the wild west, and Stephen Hawking have in common.”



Mary B.Moore




"Flicker is the work of a poet's poet, someone who captures the lyric moment with precision and careful prosody, and who loves language. as much for its malleability as for its sensuality.  These are poems that celebrate the sound of every word and the feel in the mouth when we say them. In these poems, M. B. Moore remakes the natural world in 'orderly/coats  of gloss and reverie,' reminding us that our most ardent prayer is founded in paying attention." 

Gerry LaFemina, author of Vanishing Horizon and Little Heretic


"The poetry of Mary Moore, with its lush vocabulary and soaring music, its historical intelligence and emotional risk, repeatedly -- relentlessly, in fact -- wakens readers to the power of verse to vivify the commonplace, quash the pompous, and locate the 'liquored vagaries' as well as the 'rifts brief cleavings and aversions' of our world. Flicker is a book that shimmers with invention, insight, and the 'jumpy translucence of flame.'" 

Gregory Fraser, author of Designed for Flight and Answering the Ruins


"The poet's imagination does not tamper with the Indigo bunting, 'the sun's/mutable spokes,' the 'premise' of rock near Alpine Lake, zinnia, larkspur, cloudscape, a hawk riding updrafts in Flicker.  Instead with fresh, nuanced language -- words and the sounds of word -- the poet affirms reality and creates something else, something familiar and entirely new."

Carol Frost, author of  Entwined: Three Lyric Sequences    


"In Flicker, M. B. Moore considers 'what holds us together.'  In doing so, she looks closely and unflinchingly at this world, its buzzing and its beauty.  These are poems full of color and light, startling imagery, and keen observation.  Flicker is a finely wrought book from a poet who deserves attention."

 Joseph Mills, author of Exit, Pursued by a Bear and The Miraculous Turning   




David McAleavey




It’s hard to describe the pleasure that comes from reading David McAleavey’s poetry, that wonderful, unstable union of the cerebral with the corporeal, the frisson present in every line. He says, “Yogis call it ‘Breath of Fire’: the spinal,/painful thrill bashing into brain/from tailbone, winging back down/and up again.” The poems follow the breath of fire that is consciousness itself. In Rock Taught, we wander through the poet’s life, follow him on his “daily route” to work, or into an abandoned house, or on his visits to a museum in Germany or a strip club in Harlem.

Always restless, he discovers in his poems a place within himself, where, as he says, “something shifts and shunts me / into the predicament of not knowing / how to praise, how to exclaim, / and a way appears.” His way is to confront the ordinary and let it prompt in him the unexpected exclamations that are these poems with their gift for feeling fully the inexplicable world around him. They breathe dark fire.

Dana Roeser




Lucy Simpson


It is a rare occurrence to find a poet of a high professional standard on an internet poetry forum; rarer still to share a literary journey with one such for over a decade. Lucy has a skillful command of her inner world and often employs classical mythological archetypes to paint that world in new and personal hues. Her insights and lyricism attract the reader on every level.  She is quite simply, a major, and magical poet.

Eric Ashford-Poet


Lucy Simpson has written a spellbinding collection of poetry, reminiscent of Anne Sexton’s Transformations; language brutal and poignant, reframing myths, legends and fairy tales with fearsome attention to detail. Many of the poems read like incantations, a reversal of curses, chock full of blood and gore and prescient beasts. Magic steps out from the crannies in the guise of angels, orphans and donkey daughters in this collection of poetry. I was totally bewitched.

Tori Grant Welhouse, Poet


Lucy Simpson’s poems are full of windows, and she takes her readers through these windows into worlds where a woodworker’s daughter plays a fiddle made from a branch of Eve’s tree and witches drink pennyroyal for whisky. Simpson’s poems retell and reinvent the tales we remember or half-remember, blending mythology, biblical heroes and demons, the Brothers Grimm and girls falling like brides in the Triangle Factory fire. Her poems transport us and guide us--both a heady bottle of “Drink me” and a map in a bottle. She leads us into and out of the dark woods, and to follow her Riding Hood still bloody in exodus from the wolf’s belly is to know the word wonderful.     Kelly Riggle Hower – Seattle Public Schools Teacher –  Poet – Winner of the Richard Hugo House Poetry of Place




Ellen Prentiss Campbell




Contents Under Pressure is a beautiful story collection by a writer whose wisdom and compassion illuminate every page.  Ellen Prentiss Campbell understands how her vividly drawn characters can love and hurt each other simultaneously, and she probes into the recesses of their hearts.  Altogether a pleasure to read.

Lynne Sharon Schwartz


Ellen Prentiss Campbell’s Contents Under Pressure is an aptly named book, indeed. These stories crackle with tension, delivered in language with the concision and precision of poetry. Never predictable, always insightful, and often breathtakingly acute, Campbell is a writer to watch. 

Rose Solari, author of  The Last Girl and A Secret Woman 


The strange and the unexpected play powerful roles in Ellen Prentiss Campbell’s haunting stories of transformation. The characters’ dilemmas—a foundering marriage, a child’s death, a father's madness—are not so much resolved at the story’s end as they are given surprising new forms. In one, an amazing tour de force, a young woman drawn to the underwater world is transformed into a mermaid. Campbell’s precise, elegant prose renders her gift for the uncanny both believable and a wonderful read.

Kate Blackwell, author of  You Won’t Remember This: Stories 



Faith Shearin


2015 Dogfish Head Poetry Prize Winner!


Faith Shearin’s elegant skitterings manage to be at the same time well-crafted and spontaneous, unself-conscious and acute, so that the reader is drawn to her lively spirit. I can’t think of anyone else who would write “The past demands /that you wear a hat,  that you
/eat your dead aunt's casserole” and achieve our delight in her surprising truth.

David R. Slavitt 


If Orpheus, Turning doesn’t make you ache with the love of poetry, please have your vital signs checked as soon as possible. Faith Shearin creates a reality of light and shadow, sweet textures of a sentient past, with respect for its impermanence and a vow to make it last. ‘Just beyond the ghost of the dog of childhood’ she writes. We believe in the passage of her time, and beneath its skin are set pieces of effortless beauty. She says, ‘The past wants you back,’ and I say, yes, we want to go there.

Grace Cavalieri

In Faith Shearin’s fifth collection, Orpheus,Turning, the sixty-one free-verse lyrics are often drawn from the dynamics of an American family. They convey both hope and sorrow in moving ways, and in language that delights when it offers jolts like this possum, “his face a triangle/ of albino dislike.” The power of memory sometimes over-rules the ravages of time, too, when remembered details flesh out events. Ms. Shearin can also stand reality on its head, as when some passengers on the Titanic, still down there in the ship’s hull, carry on as though no disaster occurred, or when the family dog educates itself by watching TV. Add to this some historical characters like Marie Curie and Amelia Earhart, some figures like Orpheus and Eurydice and the Pied Piper of Hamelin, and Orpheus, Turning is a heart-made view of how we live.

Brendan Galvin


Faith Shearin gives us a study of turning points, instants  where the world of the interior begins to swing back on a hinge of understanding or wonder. As we enter in that stillness, “listening to our low horn ask its one question,” we share in Orpheus's eagerness and his rue.  A stirring and scissors-sharp collection.

Jeremy Penna



W.M. Rivera


William Rivera is a master poet. He speaks of "imagination made flesh" in his stunning new book. Imagination also makes thought forms beautifully shaped and crafted with surprises coming in the side doors. Rivera writes of poetry, science, history, nature, art, travel, mythology, with knowledge and achievement; but being learned is not what wins the day in any poem -- it is Rivera's freedom of heart and generosity of feeling that expand the context. Of all the books you'll leaf through, sitting on your desk waiting, this is the one you'll rather read. I promise.

Grace Cavalieri  "The Poet and the Poem from The Library of Congress"


With a romantic's ear for lyricism, Rivera's poems explore our highs and lows, our lust for beauty and the folly of love. Driving to work, or checking out at the supermarket, lines in Noise keep coming back to you.

Scott Whitaker, Author,  Book Review Editor for The Broadkill Review, and Member, NBCC



Jim Bourey


Named Best Book of Verse 2015 Delaware Press Association


Silence often marks the absence of life, or it's pause, but in Bourey's poems of family, rural life, and work the world, is anything but silent, or paused. Bourey searches the darkness lurking at the edge of small towns, and searches the natural world around him to discover wise teachers in the birds, a fishing trip, and the veterans drinking at the bar. Bourey is after the truth, which is never silent.

Scott Whitaker, author of The Black Narrows


Jim Bourey’s Silence, Interrupted is a superb collection of poems that raise a cry/bringing others in/ to savor the wintry meal.  His poems resound with passion, compassion, inventiveness, and intelligence.  Jim reminds the reader, when spring’s melting/arrived there was less silence. /  Noise was welcomed.  These poems deliver noise.  Jim teases the reader, wants to hear/your poet’s voice as if we’re in/ the same room, drinking together with urgency.  These poems do not reminisce or drift in sentimental tides.  These poems listen to neighbors talking loudly at two-thirty in the morning.  But do not be misled, these poems are not white noise –  these poems break silence. 

Michael Blaine, author of  Brackish Water


Silence, Interrupted embraces the beauty and necessity of noise in our lives. In poems that take us from Vietnam to abandoned coal mines and the ocean boardwalk, Jim Bourey’s meditative and often ironic eye never flinches from the poet’s task of questioning and telling the truth, “no matter how it all plays out.” Fiercely attentive to the poetic line, he allows us to linger in the music of each moment as he explores themes of loss, guilt, and family legacy.  Bourey’s words are like “sparks generating fire”; his poems remind us to pay attention to our internal and external worlds, those noises both “silent and alive.”

Amanda Newell, author of   Fractured Light



J. T. Whitehead




NAMED WINNER OF THE 2015 Margaret Randall Poetry Prize, sponsored by The Mas Tequila Review 


“Whether being lighthearted as a helium balloon or serious as a hydrogen bomb, J. T. Whitehead seeks what is true and elemental about our lives. The spirit of Kurt Vonnegut lives on in this poetic romp through the periodic table by the editor of So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library.”

Julie Kane 


"Thank you so much for The Table of the Elements, which I'm enjoying more than any poetry I've seen in a long time.  (I'm on my second reading now.)  It's original, unselfconscious, deep, often very witty.  It's also sensuous and erudite.  If it isn't nice, I don't know what is. . . .There are poems in here that touch on things that have always been important to me, and some that jog my long, old memory in some ways I can't pin down yet. . . . I'm impressed and entertained."

James Alexander Thom 


"J.T. Whitehead's Table of the Elements is alchemy, boldly discovering and rediscovering the natural world. These poems recast the periodic table of elements, and raw natural resources such as salt and oil through the poetic eye. Whitehead reminds us that nothing is ever as it appears, that mankind may be gifted at naming elements, and wielding natural resources, but their stories, their histories, and their mythologies, personal and universal, transmute us all."

Scott Whitaker  Book Review Editor, The Broadkill Review,  and Member, National Book Critics Circle


"J. T. Whitehead brings to this monumental collection all the gifts we would expect of any poet worth his sodium:   Music, Imagery, Form (traditional and free), Sensitivity, Passion, Humanity, The World, The Self.  What he adds to those . . . what is lacking in so much of the mediocre volumes heaped upon us today . . . is INTELLIGENCE!  A World Class Intelligence.  That which envelops experience, orders and reorders it, penetrates and invades it, not eschewing syllogistic reasoning or immersion in the knowledge and wisdom of the great geniuses of the past, and the application of this great inquiry to the particularities of his life and ours.   What poets of permanent interest have possessed intelligence of such dimensions?  Eliot springs to mind.  John Donne.  Yeats.  Blake.  Dante. Joyce (in his great poem, Finnegans Wake). Shakespeare. Rilke. Whitman.  Horace.  Pope.  Homer.  There are others, but you get  the idea.  We are talking about Poets of DIMENSION.

"Do not be scared off by this.  All those I have mentioned have ultimately demonstrated the greatest clarity of vision and expression.   J.T. brings to language the quintessential precision and clarity of the Legal Mind,  enriched by the Poetic Imagination: a Bicameral Creativity.  Accept the challenge.  Prove yourself the equal of it.   "Buy the Fucking Book!"

Gerald Locklin


"J.T. Whitehead’s The Table of the Elements gives us proof that poetry is found in all things, and we are engulfed in it. His poetic vision takes our arrogant assumption of the inanimate world, and turns it on its head. This collection of poems declares to the reader: you and I do not master the elements, the elements master us. In a time when it becomes clear that mankind has done nothing to deserve a planet so full of wonder and grace, these poems remind us that we are nothing but the stuff we, ourselves, take for granted and waste. Here, poetry documents the folly and mayhem of our physical journey. While we squander our lives, Whitehead reminds us that the solids, gases, molecules and atoms of the universe patiently await our unavoidable return."

Richard Vargas, author of Guernica, revisited,  publisher/editor of The Más Tequila Review



Sid Gold

Sid Gold is a quintessential American poet. Unlike many of his contemporaries he is a pioneer, a conqueror, who keeps expanding his artistic universe. Read this book, read again his previous poetry collections and you will agree: Sid Gold is a master!

Lyubomir Nikolov, Author of Unreal Estate


Sid Gold’s poems are both streetwise and deeply compassionate. Going against the grain of our wish-fulfillment culture, they look to the unlovely and dilapidate; many of the characters we meet in them have survived setbacks, while some are on a collision course with reality. These are poems about coming to terms, and about finding—as we cast off ego and delusion—what will suffice: “the crisp leaves/of November stirring in the wind/the knife blade slicing through the day-old loaf.” Gold’s generosity of spirit recalls Whitman, William Carlos Williams and Gerald Stern; at the same time, the artistry and seductive elegance of his poems distinguishes him from most chroniclers of contemporary urban life. He is, as the book’s title suggests, “good with oranges.”

Robert Herschbach, Author of Loose Weather


Sid Gold’s Good with Oranges offers us an unflinching view of the world. The voice in these poems is as clear and direct as the truths they lay bare—truths spanning from our deepest individual desires to the public narrative of our shared human history. Often the two are present in a single moment, juxtaposed in such surprising ways that we are forced to reexamine what we thought we knew...and find ourselves changed in the process.

Holly Karapetkova, Author of Words We Might One Day Say


"J.T. Whitehead’s The Table of the Elements gives us proof that poetry is found in all things, and we are engulfed in it. His poetic vision takes our arrogant assumption of the inanimate world, and turns it on its head. This collection of poems declares to the reader: you and I do not master the elements, the elements master us. In a time when it becomes clear that mankind has done nothing to deserve a planet so full of wonder and grace, these poems remind us that we are nothing but the stuff we, ourselves, take for granted and waste. Here, poetry documents the folly and mayhem of our physical journey. While we squander our lives, Whitehead reminds us that the solids, gases, molecules and atoms of the universe patiently await our unavoidable return."

Richard Vargas, author of Guernica, revisited,  publisher/editor of The Más Tequila Review



Irene Fick


Best Book of Poetry 2014!  National Federation of Press Women


Best Book of Verse 2014!  Delaware Press Association


Irene Fick’s first book has stolen my heart with its clear sweet lines, and lack of artifice. Here’s poetry that doesn’t need to persuade, for its presence in the world emerges from a genuine source with immediate connectivity. The title of the book is straightforward, yet it’s rare to create the right story in the right form with themes laid out in a unified vision. Fick is a writer of observation, but more, of felt life. Once you enter her currents of thought, there’s no going back or stopping. To be able to show hard glimpses of reality with beauty and truth is a gift many poets have not achieved. As for fear, age, dementia, illness and death, Fick turns them over to the angels of language where they belong—and they could not do better. I am permanently touched by this book.

Grace Cavalieri, Producer/Host, “The Poet and the Poem from  the Library of Congress”


Fick focuses her journalist’s eyes on her childhood (in an imperfect Italian family in Brooklyn) and her adulthood as though she wanted to be sentimental, but instead nails down her observations with sharply delineated details. Entering the domain of poetry, she combines words in novel combinations, often juxtaposing one truth against another with fresh vision, originality, and regard for the innate music of good free verse. One sees ever the sense of discovery, uncovering truths without need for fancy phrases, pretty devices or four-letter words, because, poem after poem, the perceptions and combinations are right on target. 

Elisavietta Ritchie, Author of Tiger Upstairs on Connecticut Avenue



Lucian Mattison


Best Dogfish Head Poetry Prize Winner


Lucian Mattison writes poems that travel across continents and griefs, bi-cultural, speaking between languages, his is a broad geography from pool halls to the dim lights of Argentina, he brings us through the alleyways of lost loves and the bar tables where we count our losses, but always with some sense of hope, some far away music calling us as when he urges "hear my voice inhabit/a familiar melody, as if/ I’ve lived my entire life somewhere else/ in a second tongue."

 Sean Thomas Dougherty

In semi-documentary dramatic scenes, Lucian Mattison tells stories about a specific locale, a Peregrine Nation that I can think my way into, or sink into--an outlier’s view of Argentina. His scenes remain in the mind because each line of poetry, as Ezra Pound recommended, is written “at least as well as prose.” Mattison’s poetry masquerading as prose is generally straightforward but delivers sudden fillips that transpose the reader to another level. He is a scrupulous poet who will engage readers with his bright, spontaneous, clear, never-strained, uncluttered , new voice.

 Larry Woiwode

Lucian Mattison stamps our passports and welcomes us to the Peregrine Nation, a region in history both personal and shared. Although the poems take us all over Chile and Argentina, we never feel welcome in either. Rather the Peregrine Nation seems to be a kind of Nowhere Land for those "not completely gringo or Argentinian." By oscillating between poetic strategies, between shorter lyrics and more narrative poem, Mattison formally enacts this juxtaposition, creating a poetry that all outsiders will find welcoming.

Gerry LaFemina



Mary Ann Larkin


Exquisitely made, lyrical, yet unpretentious, Mary Ann Larkin’s On Gannon Street evokes the complexities of a black neighborhood and its relationship with a sole white resident, with all the poignance of a novel, but with a gifted poet’s miraculous economy. We know these characters, their dreams, frustrations, acts of ordinary kindness, in all four dimensions, but above it all there’s a visionary fifth dimension hovering, showing a wisdom and imagination of the highest order, making Gannon Street a place not to be missed in anyone’s tour of America.

Alan Feldman, Author of Immortality




Howard Gofreed


Nominated for the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award!


Howard Gofreed's Postcard from Bologna contains personal poems with both violence and ache at their center. Gofreed looks war, loneliness, and age in the face and dares to keep on going. There's courage in these poems, and humor too, and Gofreed doesn't back down from a fight. "There will always be hostages," he writes about Iran and his own health, and he's right; sometimes the hostages of our horrible acts are our loved ones, and our own damaged hearts.

Scott Whitaker, Author of The Black Narrows


Howard Gofreed’s voice is egalitarian and inviting, each poem an invitation to overhear a man reflect on his experiences – war, children divorce, lustings, the past, the everyday comings and goings – in a tone that is often wryly comic and sceptical but always empathic.

Merrill Leffler, Author of Mark the Music



H.A. Maxson


H.A. Maxson's Lemon Light is a resounding addition to an already fine body of work. There is many-angled and moving clarity here, a plain-spokenness shot through with illuminating nuance. Any one of these poems can have the reader saying, "Yes, this is it exactly."

Thomas Reiter Author of Catchment: Poems


Clear, lively, and often stunning in their language, the poems in H.A. Maxson’s LEMON LIGHT  surprise us with images like this: “I have held the ankles of the voracious upside-down man as he chewed through rock and root for the last time.” That’s a brand new look at a post-hole digger, and whether the subject is muskrats, King Croesus, or  Assateague ponies, Maxson’s particulars are exact and gratifying. He is that rare poet who lifts the world out of the commonplace for the reader’s astonishment.

Brendan Galvin  Author of Ocean Effects: Poems



Buck Downs


I don't know if Buck Downs leads a charmed life—literally—but there's something exceedingly lucky—felicitous—happy—about the way he lays down these poetic telegrams of twenty-first-century experience in Charmed Life. The reader swoops along on Downs's burst of coy and cunning language, "drifting like old- / fashioned / radio signals" through the perennial—but here freshly revivified—territories of love, sex, music, everyday living. These poems will charm your socks—hell, maybe even your pants—off: "don't change / your mind / for me, // not if / you grind / for me." 

Mark Scroggins. Author of Red Arcadia



Michael Blaine

In "Brackish Water" Michael Blaine's haiku often startle with a surprising jolt in line three. His ekphrastic poems peer  beneath the paint deep into the underlying metaphor. Whether he is celebrating being a father, a husband or a teacher, his images are hard and clear and they make his old, old subjects sparkle in new light. 


I like the voice of the teacher evident in this collection, a teacher aware he is walking with his children (and his readers) to points of growth which are also points of no return, moments when familiar realities feel fundamental and life-sustaining, though they also seem to usher each of us off into our own privacies. Often it’s the haiku in this collection that present these moments most magically; for instance, “Cicada shell/I find her college photos/in the trash can.” Or, “just noticing/the countless scratches –/wedding band.” Or, “only brown moths/around the last zinnia blooms/our breath visible.”

David McAleavey, Author of Holding Obsidian


In Brackish Water, Michael Blaine navigates the complicated habitats of desire, marriage, fatherhood, and loss. He reminds us that “[r]eal isn’t enough”—that something more must be “added to make/the eye believe.” Blaine’s poems, in effect, become a kind of tide themselves, carrying the reader from Rehoboth Bay to as far away as the Gulf of Mexico and Haiti. And yet, the spare imagery of these finely crafted poems—the silky muck, the tractor discs, the rock and shale—keeps us firmly rooted in the earth. Blaine’s remarkable collection affirms our shared consciousness, and in the end, he shows us it is possible to sift among the wreckage, “to pick up and rebuild/what [is] salvageable.”

Amanda Newell, Author of Fractured Light







Franetta McMillian


Franetta McMillian's poems are deliciously awash in the (often overlooked) inherent musicality found in the word, and in an infectious, riveting, and unabashedly singular vision. You cannot help but follow these rhythmic narrative journeys. You want to know where the poems are going -- what you will see, hear, and feel on the way. You'll also want to revisit each poem's questions and/or implications. I often found myself thinking of a line from another poet—Rainer Maria Rilke— "Love the questions like locked doors."Ms. Mc Millan's work is a reminder that there are still infinite linguistic songs to be sung—what Patti Smith dubbed "a sea of possibilities." Let this fine volume into your heart.

Reuben Jackson, Author, fingering the keys and Host of "Friday Night Jazz" Vermont Public Radio 


Franetta McMillian writes in a language both clear and meditative, tackling subject matter as wide ranging as the title of her work suggests. She evokes the imagery of everything from popular television shows to vehement bigotry, and each time provokes the readers to challenge their perceptions on the matter. This poetry is not preaching, nor is it pushing boundaries for the sake of it—McMillian engages in a deep exploration of her various subjects with each line, and that sort of depth can't do anything but force the audience to think in a new way. 

Joshua D. Isard, Director MFA Program in Creative Writing,  Arcadia University



Susanne Bostick


Long-time government writer Susanne Bostick Allen advises that “[r]ed is vital to our mission” and “[b]eige has practical applications”, but “the sentences are up to no good”. She chastens bureaucracy with understated humor, then escapes to clear-eyed remembrance of childhood visits to relatives in rural Alabama.Highway 78 cogently contrasts both ways of life to reveal a life well examined and honestly reported.

Howard Gofreed, author of Postcard from Bologna

From the rich bottom land of Alabama to the slick highways circumventing Washington D.C. ,  Susanne Bostick Allen takes us on a sojourn of unsentimental power with her skillfully balanced poetry. The subtext is a woman's identity, probing into corners with intelligent humor. Allen's calm observations become poetry as the rhythm of language governs narrative, and  we then enter an extended map of a poet's fine senses.

Grace Cavalieri,  Producer/Host "The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress."



Joy Gaines-Friedler


A beautiful collection of clear, grounded, surprising and moving poems about creating friendships and letting go loved ones, taking in whatever good there is to be had, and cutting out the damaged parts, and letting them go. Never over-poetic, simply graceful, smart, and necessary.

Heather Sellers, Author of Georgia Under Water



So fine to have Ms. Gaines-Friedler’s poems in the world — recording as they do with grace and proper gravitas the shift between generations, seasons, those watershed moments that move one day irretrievably into another.

Thomas Lynch, Author of Walking Papers


Like the bird that ‘curves its tiny bones around the twigs of wobbly branches,’ these poems adapt to and ride the most fierce and fragile of circumstances. Whether from the nursing home or the broken relationship — and with humor and forgiveness — the poems in Dutiful Heart bloom where they are planted. Joy Gaines-Friedler’s tender work reminds us to stay tethered, to keep refilling the feeder and always bring ‘something sweet for the table.’

Terry Blackhawk, Author of The Dropped Hand



Richard Peabody


Pulitzer Prize Nominee


Peabody's latest collection of poetry is a testament to the many facets of his career. Though Peabody is a writer, poet, publisher, editor and long-time literary maven who has dedicated a large part of his own life to promoting other writers, especially young and/or emerging writers, this one-time wunderkind of American letters’ own style has matured and his work has taken on a depth and complexity, and the richness of a fine vintage.

The Publishers



James C.L. Brown


Constructing Fiction is a gift to the young or would-be writers of short stories and novels. In plain, no-nonsense prose, Jamie Brown takes the reader for a walk through the world of fiction writing—avoiding the alleys and dead-end streets that so often lure new writers with promises of shortcuts. Here is advice that all writers—those young in the work, and old hands—can actually use.

H. A. Maxson


Constructing Fiction is a must for green writers looking to cut their teeth with short fiction, especially for those who over-think their prose, their process. From notes on character names to telling the author to trust the subconscious and “to get out of the way,” Brown, like Frank O'Hara, dares the writer to go “on your nerve.”

 Scott Whitaker (NBCC)



Sid Gold


Sid Gold is a teacher of writing, and a poet as well.  That Sid Gold should come to poetry is a remarkably apt occurrence, for few people are quite so excited by words and their meanings as is the Harlem-born, Bronx and Manhattan-raised Gold.  Words, words, words, words.  Sid talks, and there is a danger in talking for most poets – the danger that they will have given as deep a consideration for the verbal as they do to their written language.  In this, Gold is a sort of amphibian, able to breathe in two mediums…But where he may be, on the one hand, conversationally-speaking, broad-ranging and effusive, to say nothing of excitable and plangent, his poetry is finely-tuned, striking exactly the chord he seeks to strike with a minimum of effort.  It is as if all of the words that bubble out of him are part of the creative fermentation process, so much excess verbiage, and somehow, what is left (on the page) is high-octane language. Merrill Leffler (Dryad Press) calls him “an urban storyteller whose poems….ride the back of a rhythmic jazz-like line.  What may seem conversational is deceptively lyrical, nearly every poem a deliberate — and deliberative — riff in an assured, distinctive voice…”



Kelley Jean White


Kelley Jean White’s poetry crackles with electricity. There is science here, math, the bones of the dead, Bach, and the music of despair which is a radio filling a boxcar. White’s poems are tense, strong, full of big, jaunty, precise language that evoke the range of human loss, spiritual, emotional, sexual. Whether she writes about the loss of childhood memories or our mundane world of gasoline prices and nap-weary adults, White brings energy, immediacy and power.

S. Scott Whitaker (National Book Critics Circle)


The Homestead Poems

Gary Hanna

On the Occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the Founding of the Rehoboth Art League

“Tell me a tale / of days that have been, / but look to the stars / to get past the hours,” Gary Hannah writes in “Skating on Water.” These poems look through the lens of history—both personal and collective—by means of the immediate details of the present. The love for the exact charms me: the objects, seasons, beaches, towers, screen doors, birds, crabs, and flowers. It is the unseen, though, that finally holds me, the backdrop of the lonely human mind, the individual longing, both for the past and for what we wish and hope to understand and be in the present. These poems are lovers of life. They are a pleasure to read.

Fleda Brown


Sakura: A Cycle of Haiku

Jamie Brown

Named Best Book of Verse 2013 Delaware Press Association

Jamie Brown’s haiku cycle Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) reflects on the cycle of love from its first buds to full blossom to autumnal afterglow. Though each of love’s moments may be as evanescent as a cherry blossom, lifelong love, like a cherry tree, blooms many times. Sakura is a pleasure to read and reflect upon.

Howard Gofreed (author of Postcard from Bologna )




L'Heure bleu

David R. Slavitt

A Meditation on Clarice Lispector, the Brazilian Novelist (or maybe a novel)

 “David R Slavitt’s post-modern romp through Clarice Lispector’s world of Rio and her last novel, A Hora da estrela, will leave readers smiling at Slavitt’s breadth and wit. He posits that it is Lispector we are reading about, and her sophisticated world of Rio, but Slavitt, like the great Oz, remains behind the curtain pulling the strings, booming through the microphone, reminding us that, in literature not all is what it seems.”

Scott Whitaker (NBCC)


Domain of the Lower Air

Maryanne Khan

National Book Critics Circle Award Nominee

Maryanne Khan was born in Canberra, Australia, and has lived in Milan, Chicago, Brussels, Rome and Washington D.C., before returning to Australia. Her second home is in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. Her prose and poetry have been published in anthologies and literary journals in the United States and Australia. Her novel, Walking to Karachi, won a 2008 Varuna/HarperCollins Award.


“What if Clarice Lispector and Robert Walser spawned a love child obsessed with super-natural cargo cults? Would she step as lightly between good and evil as Maryann Khan does in these eight secular tales of faith, loss, death, disappointment, and lies? Herein, fear of change fuels naïve or shipwrecked characters (insurance cheats, veggie bitches, artists, ghosts, bad Santas, and other survivors), who inhabit exquisitely detailed ‘Our Towns’ in Italy, Australia, and the American South. Khan’s magical creations dance on the proverbial head of a pin, and they dance beautifully.”

Richard Peabody, Editor, Gargoyle Magazine



Exile at Sarzanna

Laura Brylawski-Miller

There is a firmly rooted sense of place in the poetry of Laura Brylawski-Miller, and the reader is likely to find him-or-herself in that place in their own head where similar images are locked away. That these are resonant places which fill each reader with a new way of seeing, a new perspective, is merely part of the mystery. That we are human and merely links in the long chain of human history are brought alive for us in her recalling of a line from Dante, armed with the just-purchased food for dinner, food, in Italy, such as Dante himself may have eaten, and thoughts which Dante himself expressed.

If they appear to be small poems – with few epic themes or grand emotional bombast, they are nonetheless poems that describe a frozen moment, a moment under the glass slide of the microscope and ready for her inspection, that define the human condition for her as clearly as a slice of the human heart does for a forensic biologist. So much poetry sits on the page, without breath, without life, words without price, lines that exact no cost – not so the poetry of Laura Brylawski-Miller. Grace Cavalieri says of her that “Poetry needs her, as she awakens the beauty in language and lifts it from sleep.” Galileo might also have added of her poetry, “E pur si muove.” "And yet it moves."




David P. Kozinski


Dogfish Head Poetry Prize Winner 2009


DAVID P. KOZINSKI’s poems have appeared in more than 20 literary publications in print and online and have earned him numerous national and regional awards. He has read his work at venues in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey and was the guest poet on Berks County (Pa.) Television's Poets' Pause program in June 2009. His poems have earned him nominations for the prestigious Pushcart Prize by both the Schuylkill Valley Journal and Mad Poets Review. Kozinski was one of ten poets selected by internationally-renowned poet Robert Bly for his work-shop sponsored by the American Poetry Review. His brother, internationally-acclaimed composer and conductor Stefan Kozinski, created a song cycle from five of his poems which debuted in Dessau, Germany in 2008. Kozinski has also read his poetry in conjunction with exhibitions of his visual art. In 2006, he unveiled 30 years’ worth of his abstract art at the Manayunk Art Center in Philadelphia and has since regularly staged exhibitions in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Kozinski's artwork now hangs in private collections in eight states. In 2007 he received the Dr. Eugene J. Szatkowski Achievement Award for his poetry and visual art. Kozinski lives in Wilmington, Del. with his wife, actress and journalist Patti Allis Mengers.


Necessary Myths

Grant Clauser

Dogfish Head Poetry Prize Winner 2013

Grant Clauser knows where the bodies are buried (or not buried). At times startling and unflinching, his poetry confronts the worst in us and along the way discovers language freshly marked by compassion. “Twitter loves a failure,” he writes with characteristic directness and wit. He finds sources of renewal in images of streams, rivers, and the “gossiping” of springs—and speaks up boldly, memorably, and disarmingly for the guilty and the innocent alike.

Lee Upton, author of Swallowing the Sea: On Writing & Ambition, Boredom, Purity & Secrecy


In "Necessary Myths" Grant Clauser focuses on little things that together gather energy to create a strong sense of place and drama. In his short poem, "Yin Garden," this: "And somewhere out in the yard/the dandelions wound their tails/around their neighbors’ throats/killing off the wild sage/then launching their feathery/seeds into the wind." This is what we experience in poem after poem, this energy, this changing, this launching

Harry Humes, author of Butterfly Effect and Underground Singing


Where Night Comes From

Shay Garvin

The neon night deceives us, sinners are saints, and the truth dim and getting dimmer in these poems from Shea Garvin. Internal states, without street signs, circle back to night thoughts, dreams, wanderings doing their dark mind-dance. Poet on the run from nothing travels through the night on foot, on train, on bus, in flight, nocturnal wisdom wrenched from the flickering light finds “dark twists / behind these symbols.”

Bernard Jankowski (Author of Radio in the Basement)



Sediment and Other Poems

Gary Hanna


Hanna’s poems bathe us in the exploration of emotion. Love is here and gone, feelings come and go, words impermanent, sounds and lives drift to the bottom. We find the etchings of road kill, the freeze frame moment of life before the end, how quickly a heartbeat ceases and the print it leaves behind. The passage of time and the elusiveness of connection are central here. We attempt to capture our lives and loves in paintings, words, memories, the poet sifts through the remnants.

Bernard Jankowski  (Author Radio in the Basement)



Sound Effects

Nina Bennet


If Nina Bennett’s well observed world doesn’t make you take deep breaths you’re only 10% alive. Her contemporary life is tugged by the irresistible forces of loss; and special bonds found in paradoxical places. The undercurrents are memory—the motive is love— the writing is flawless.

Grace Cavalieri: Producer “The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress.”




Taken Away

Carolyn Cecil


The clarity in Cecil’s work comes from a spare poetic conceit that surprises us with its power and substance. She’s a custodian of crystalline moments that provoke as they calm. Her understanding of human behavior is solid, and she forwards this to the world, gift wrapped in exactly the right language.

Grace Cavalieri: Producer “The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress.”



The Black Narrows

S. Scott Whitaker


S. Scott Whitaker's steam-punk met-history of a mythical eastern shore watertown.

With scraps of history and a thread of fiction, S. Scott Whitaker has stitched together a patchwork-quilt world. These are living poems that celebrate a long-dead place, drenched with images. These lines are muscular, masculine, and smell of the rich air on the cusp of land and water; they taste of clams and raw oysters.

H. A. Maxson