• Third Place Poem in Poet’s Choice Category

    Third Place in Poet’s Choice: “The Ballad of Chaos Nightingale” by Charles Castle

    My name is Chaos Nightingale. My mother christened me,
    but it was my father’s song I followed here.
    Come with me. We begin as I’ve begun, and we’ll end no differently.

    I am bent by age in these somber times. My back is humped by life’s
    uneven weight. I don’t complain, I welcome it.
    I live in a house behind a church, a stone house in a field
    of standing stones. I live on a broth of flowers left for grief,
    my bread, a crust of loss.
    I spend my days as a poor man spends, little by little, close
    to nothing. But nothing, or close to it, is enough
    and my prayers are often for nothing.
    The hide on my feet is the leather of my coming and going.
    I go as ...

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  • Posted: November 2, 2020

    New Poetry book by Amelia Díaz Ettigner

    I am so happy to announce my new poetry book “Learning to Love A Western Sky.” This book was released and published by Airlie Press in September. More about this book and other Airlie titles can be found at http://www.airliepress.org/

    New Poetry book by Amelia Díaz Ettigner

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  • What She Was Wearing reviewed by Paul Telles

    Reviewed by Paul Telles

    What She Was Wearing by Shawn Aveningo Sanders
    The Poetry Box (November 5, 2019), 48 pp, $12
    ISBN #: 978-1-948461-32-0
    Available at: https://thepoetrybox.com/bookstore/what-she-was-wearing

    In What She Was Wearing, Portland poet Shawn Aveningo Sanders bravely reveals her experience as a rape victim. In a series of 29 muscular poems, Sanders recounts the horrific experience of being raped during a fraternity party in the 1980s. As well as offering a heart-rending description of the rape itself, the collection delves into the trauma’s influence on the rest of Sanders’ life, exploring its ramifications for her identity as a mother, a wife, and a woman.

    The 2019 chapbook uses its title as a refrain, repeatedly deploying the ...

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  • 2020 Spring Contest Winners: Poet’s Choice: 1st Place Winner

    June 3, 2020

    Baby, It’s Cold Outside

    (a Vivianne sonnet variation)

    Barbara Blanks

    As embryos we each explore the wall

    of womb that holds us. It’s the first place joy

    is felt—mom’s heartbeat like a lullaby.  

    Cocooned in touch, that’s how we interact.

    We’re chastised just as soon as we can crawl

    or walk. Just look! Hands off! That’s not a toy.

    We’re told to view, to listen, smell that, try

    a taste of this—but touch … and hands are smacked.

    And so begins our isolation. All

    those inhibitions finally destroy

    instinctive comfort found in touch, deny

    the core of who we are. Our lives contract.