Category Archives: Blog

Poetry Contest Winners 2022 by Sharon Ackerman

seven autumn leaves hung on a wire

What an impressive turnout this year! We received such a broad spectrum of poetry this go-round, such an interesting blend of sestinas, free verse, couplets and some that made skilled use of rhyme. As always, I am an apologist for contests; the talent level is great and the funnel is much too small. But maybe in some way, contests challenge us to bring our work to a level that surprises us and win or lose, we are left with that gain. Without further delay, here are the winners and editors’ (myself and co-editor Frederick Wilbur) … Continue reading Poetry Contest Winners 2022 by Sharon Ackerman

The Silence of No-One’s Land by Alex Joyner

Photo of the blue ridge mountains

‘The silence gathered and struck me. It bashed me broadside from nowhere, as if I’d been hit by a plank. It dropped from the heavens above me like yard goods; ten acres of fallen, invisible sky choked the field. . . . But the silent fields were the real world’ —Annie Dillard, “A Field of Silence”   I was born in a forest in the foothills of Virginia. My birth certificate notes a hospital as my place of birth, but we know how trivial that is. Birth for me was waiting in the trees. Through … Continue reading The Silence of No-One’s Land by Alex Joyner

Stormy Weather: Photographs by Debra Frech

Photo of sunset behind clouds

    The first photo I took, when I was twelve years old, was of treetops. I’ve always loved nature. My subjects over time have not changed—I still take pictures of nature even when I’ve traveled overseas. I shoot at all times of the day as you can’t really determine when something striking will appear. I love color and appreciate it for the drama it brings. In Duck, N.C., 2020, a nor’easter was approaching. Albemarle Sound doesn’t normally kick up so. My seascapes/storm photos were shot in Duck, N.C., Hilton Head, S.C., Ocean View, Norfolk, … Continue reading Stormy Weather: Photographs by Debra Frech

A Modest Proposal by Erika Raskin

Photo of someone with a sheet over them waiving

I have a touch of prosopagnosia (that’s Latin for: oh shit), which is an inability to recognize faces. For me it’s always been a transient condition, hitting without warning. Certain situations are predictably hard. Cocktail parties for instance. I can have a very pleasant conversation with somebody scooping hummus onto crudite’ (that’s a nod to New Jersian, Dr. Oz) then step into the bathroom, come back out and re-introduce myself to the same person now standing by the drinks table. It can also happen in less stressful arenas. One time I glanced up at the … Continue reading A Modest Proposal by Erika Raskin

An Incident On the Red Line by Miles Fowler

Black and white photo of people in a subway car

I would describe what I witnessed that day as a meeting of the mundane and the spiritual. I was a young man living in Boston, Mass., in the late 1970s, when I saw something that made an indelible impression on me. It was one unexpected gesture made by someone from whom I should have expected it, but I might have been too jaded. Besides, at the time, I was preoccupied by my own disquiet at seeing another’s ill fortune. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, locally known as “the T,” still deploys four color-designated rail lines. … Continue reading An Incident On the Red Line by Miles Fowler

Treatise on a Bad Dog by Faye Satterly

Photo of small white dog with blue fabric around his neck

The first time I saw Bad Dog Ollie, he gave me the stink eye. He was in a large pen with a flock of adorable puppies, who ran and tumbled and played in a group. He stood to the side, staring up at me with his black eyes. “Isn’t he adorable,” the breeder cooed. “Isn’t he the cutest? And he looks so smart.” Smart, perhaps. Wily, for sure, devious and willfully ill-behaved, definitely. A little dog with six-inch legs who could somehow climb onto the kitchen table, pull down my purse and chew up its … Continue reading Treatise on a Bad Dog by Faye Satterly

Effects by Erika Raskin


More than half a century ago (wtaf) when I was five, my parents bought a DC row house that came furnished (an estate sale? someone walking away from their whole life?) with lots of heavy dark furniture and scary art. Much of it stayed. Which, when you think about it, is a little like committing to the headshots of other peoples’ kids encased in the new frames you’ve just gotten from Pottery Barn. While there may have been a certain amount of effort-conservation involved (something, as the World’s Laziest Person, I’m all about) it meant … Continue reading Effects by Erika Raskin

Writing Appalachia by Sharon Ackerman

railroad tracks, fog at the end

Mountains Fall Away When there is nothing left to say I will stare out to limestone cliffs risen from salt, the hawk’s sway born of an old sea’s shimmy and drift of continents. I’ll know my grandmother’s gaze like a captain’s wife sighting nests of eagles from her porch, her gray eye, my brown one, skirting a crest of pine, its wilderness where psalms swim the waters. When words cease, dry banks will spread open their palms, our silence found in the creases of creekbed valley and cleft— Listening, finally, will be what is left. … Continue reading Writing Appalachia by Sharon Ackerman

Submissions Etiquette by Fred Wilbur

Photo of sunset between two buildings

Sending simultaneous submissions is a fact of a poet’s life whether you practice the strategy or not. How such a maneuver began may be one of those mysteries of history, but it is acceptable to most literary venues these days. It may have come about by the eagerness and impatience of poets frustrated by the often long waits and by thinking that someone out there would just love their work. I suppose the more complicated recordkeeping of this doubling (tripling) up has been taken care of by sophisticated spreadsheet programs. Simultaneous submissions is a strategy … Continue reading Submissions Etiquette by Fred Wilbur

Succor by Brett Ann Stanchiu

Photo of bald eagle against blue sky

When the pandemic first shut down our world in the spring of 2020, my fifteen-year-old daughter and I were at home, every day, all day. I had been a sugarmaker for years, and the month of March and I were old friends. Well, maybe not friends, but certainly long-time acquaintances. I knew the fickleness of March, how this month can stretch into heaps of snow, or afternoons of blinding sun, or days-long, freezing drizzle. By the end of the pandemic, I sold the property where my family lived and sugared and bought a house in … Continue reading Succor by Brett Ann Stanchiu