Wednesday, June 20, 2018

NEW RELEASE: Living in Nature by Ruth Gooley

The title of the work is Living in Nature, which is a collection of 24 poems about the close kinship Ruth Gooley feels with nature. The poems range in subject from the desert to the sea, with many featuring the Santa Monica mountains, where she currently lives.  These poems are mostly reflections on nature, her moods, and her vital importance for our psyche.


“In Living in Nature, Ruth Gooley investigates “brooding over a scattering/of spring-fed hopes” (“Waiting for April”), creating sensual, vivid poems. She sings appealing, evocative songs, absorbed in waiting, watching, listening and exploring the rain, spiders, oak trees, falling leaves and so much more, inviting the reader to taste and see such earthly delights.”

~ Stanford J. Searl. Searl lives in Culver City, California and has published Quaker Poems: The Heart Opened and Homage to the Lady with the Dirty Feet and other Vermont Poems. His most recent book, Songs for Diana, a poetry chapbook, will be published by Kelsay Books in 2019.

“On the surface, Ruth Gooley’s nature poetry provides the opposite of Wordsworthian communion. Her alliterative, onomatopoetic, consonant-rich lines emphasize Nature’s asperities over its comforts. But no poet has so empathetically observed or energetically portrayed the faunal and floral life-force of these scrubby California vistas.”

~ I. Goldfarb, author of Commedia

Ruth Gooley has published many poems in journals such as Red Poppy Review, vox poetica, Your Daily Poem, Ibbetson Street Press, and NatureWriting. She also published her dissertation, The Image of the Kiss in Renaissance Poetry. She currently resides in a small cabin in the Santa Monica mountains, where she lives in harmony with nature and all things wild.

42 pages, 24 poems

Saturday, June 2, 2018

NEW RELEASE: Two Thirds Water by Rodger LeGrand

Two Thirds Water extends naturally from LeGrand’s previous collection, Seeds.  The title, Two Thirds Water, establishes a series of parallels—the planet and body are two thirds water, and water in various phases appears in two thirds of this collection.  Without water, a seed can’t grow.  Transitions are often difficult.  The growing in this collection is revealed through inverse relationships.  These poems imagine the “Sea Without Water”, setting aside unfulfilled dreams in “Sleepwalking”, and the negation of self in “Spilled Moon”.  Seeds is a collection about embarking upon transitions.  This collection, Two Thirds Water, is about how we try to find our way while in transition.


“Poetry fans will sink happily into this exquisite new collection by Rodger LeGrand, where sleepwalking lovers wake alone, where desolate parrots pluck out their feathers, and where water continues to poison a community. But here too, snowflakes and memories in the lovely quiet hours have their own distinct shape, basic math demonstrates how—despite our presumed busy-ness—the universe goes on with or without us, and “moonlight spills through the blinds like milk.” Each word is deliciously chosen; each poem, a glorious triumph.”

~Robin Stratton, Editor-in-Chief, Boston Literary Magazine

“Many of the 16 poems in Rodger LeGrand's latest collection, Two Thirds Water, are like sweet liquid disguising bitter medicine—until the aftertaste kicks in. As he picks his way along the narrow and treacherous boundary separating acceptance from surrender, LeGrand adds rich imagery and clever metaphor to that currently popular disclaimer, "It is what it is." Put another way, his work grafts the Oriental philosophy that informs his world view onto the rock-bed American sensibility of his origins. For all its beauty, however, the world that LeGrand views is often unkind.  In "Baby Elephant," he begins with the practice of securing a chain around a baby elephant's leg, there to remain even as the flesh grows around it. Like that elephant, he writes, human beings often grow up with ‘the sense of being trapped inside, chained to memories. That is how we live.’ Some of his one-liners go right to the bone. ‘One person always loves the other more. Love is not equal.’  ‘Age makes its move every day, in a race we've been losing from go.’ And, in ‘DIY’, he describes a man carving his own tombstone: ‘Hard work, but some things are better done yourself.’”

~Darrell Laurant, The Kudzu Kid, Inspiration Street, Snowflakes in a Blizzard


Rodger LeGrand studied writing at Sarah Lawrence College and the State University of New York at Oswego. He is a lecturer in Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has five collections of poetry in print—Seeds (2017)Millions of Ravenous Creatures (2016)Hope and Compulsion (2009), Waking Up On a Sinking Boat (2008), and Various Ways of Thinking About the Universe (2005). You can reach him at

24 pages, 16 poems

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

NEW RELEASE: Sun Burns by Fernando Izaguirre

Sun Burns is a chapbook of poems about loss, hope, and happiness romantic relationships gives us. Each poem offers the reader insight into the speaker’s troubled and painful relationships he has with different women until he encounters the beloved that gives him the happiness and comfort he has been searching for.


"This is a wonderful chapbook of poems about loves lost and found, the complications of memory, and the immediacy of desire. Fernando Izaguirre writes with honesty, passion and urgency and his poems are a delight to read."

--Kevin Prufer, poet, author of Churches   

"Fernando Izaguirre’s poetry is filled with tenderness, intelligence, and well-chosen words (see: “buttered / her feet,” “tingling strings,” “fresh pine perfume”). He creates dazzling portraits of personalities, whether a lover, a deported father, or children playing “muddy and wet as dirt” on the shore. Izaguirre evokes the Gulf Coast in surprising and fresh ways--driving past refineries at night, “dancing bachata beneath / the streetlights on Texas Avenue,” “enchiladas con arroz y frijoles,” “a deep channel full of cargo ships,” and those ever present seagulls. Imagery and metaphor are this collection’s strengths, often combined into musical phrases, as when seagulls “arrow themselves into the sea” or lips travel on skin “like a river carries a canoe.” In his poem “Hurricane in a Tea Shop,” Izaguirre beautifully renders the phrase, “You looked at me as if / I was the sea.” Later, he writes of how “the words would not leave / the deck of my mouth.” Izaguirre’s poetry is an assured schooner navigating from the earthly, solid shore into the lush, bountiful sea."

--Ericka Jo Brown, poet, author of I'm Your Huckleberry

"Fernando Izaguirre is a poet of great promise, a young writer whose voice is weighted with the wisdom often gained later in life. The settings in his poems range from urban to natural to dreams at times; sincere compositions that explore identity, love and the earthy textures of Mexican ancestry, reflections of the psyche and soul of an emerging artist at the beginning of a winding, thrilling adventure called life."

--Charlie Vazquez, author of Buzz and Israel (2004), Business and Unusual (2007), and Contraband (2010). 


Fernando Rafael Izaguirre Jr., is currently a senior at the University of Houston majoring in creative writing. He plans on attending graduate school to receive his MFA and pursue a career in teaching or as an editor for a literary journal. His poems have been published in various print and online journals such as the Rio Grande Review, The Ofi Press, The Merida Review, Glass Mountain, and Metaphor. His first book of poetry Eloquence was published by Editorial Trance in 2014. He volunteers as a poetry editor for an online journal called Red Fez. He currently lives with his wife in Baytown, Texas.

24 pages, 13 poems

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

NEW RELEASE: Mix Tape by Nina Bennett

Rock and roll serves as the muse for this collection. Music, especially classic rock, has been an integral part of Nina Bennett’s life. Music and poetry are so entwined that she can’t imagine one without the other. Nina lives by the motto: No music, No life. Know music, know life.


“In "Mix Tape," Nina Bennett has written a love song to Memory Lane that works nostalgia into a grey chorus of old wounds healed, or not, by the raucous melodies of youth.

~ Danny Earl Simmons, author of The Allness of Everything

“Nina Bennett’s collection Mix Tape captures the sound track from a life of a music devotee with an attuned auditory channel. On this sensory journey, we remember hard rock through a 12-string Rickenbacker and the ethereal harmonies of a Hammond organ. Through her poems we come to believe that music saves lives, in the poem “Saturday Night Fever” she works the beat of the song with its “103 beats a minute,/verse after verse, until the paramedics arrive.” Populated with precise detail and emotionally packed prose it will reacquaint you with the powerhouse musicians that span generations. I suggest listening to tracks on YouTube while reading this well put together book. Her words will rock you, and might even save your life.”

~ Julene Tripp Weaver, author of truth be bold: Serenading Life & Death in the Age of AIDS

“Nina Bennett is a consummate storyteller. Her largely narrative poems in Mix Tape tell closely observed, crystallized stories of rock music, of growing up in the sixties, and of the difficult lives of her social work clients. As a fellow boomer, I identified closely with many of her poems. Anyone who loves music and their fellow human beings will, regardless of their age. In “Habitual Offender,” she tells of being let off the hook for driving around with her radio on too loud by a fellow rock-fan judge. Turn your radio up, reader, and enjoy this concert of musical, nostalgic and social justice poetry.”

~ Jan Steckel, author of The Horizontal Poet


Delaware native Nina Bennett is the author of Sound Effects (2013, Broadkill Press Key Poetry Series), and The House of Yearning, forthcoming in 2018 from Kelsay Books. Her poetry has been nominated for Best of the Net and is widely published and anthologized. Awards include 2014 Northern Liberties Review Poetry Prize and second-place in poetry book category from the Delaware Press Association (2014). Healthcare provider by day, classic rock band chick by night, Nina is proud to be the poet laureate of Club Phred. She is a founding member of the writing group TransCanal Writers. (Five Bridges: A Literary Anthology.)

44 pages, 32 poems

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Friday, March 23, 2018

NEW RELEASE: Child of Appalachia by Luther Kirk

This collection of poems is replete with autobiographical glimpses into one Appalachian boy’s childhood. Its pages resonate with coming of age stories, reflections of dreams deferred, innocence, beginnings as well as endings, and remembrances of things past. It highlights the strength of family and the power of nurture over nature. 


“In these poems, Luther Kirk works his magic with a distinct Southern voice and vigorous, refreshing language.  We hear screened door slaps, the clank of cowbells, the rattle of a death breath.  These poems explore with honesty the intricacies of family and place— where we’re from, where we’re going.  Child of Appalachia is a superb book indeed.  What makes this book so superb is Luther Kirk's clear head and open heart.  He is a powerful storyteller.”
~ Judy Goldman, author of Losing My Sister: A Memoir

“In Child of Appalachia, Luther Kirk is once again a watchful guardian of time, place, and people at an unpretentious table he so artfully, personally, honestly sets. A forgotten trunk, a hissing pressure cooker, a father’s last breath are his memories. Yet his poetry lifts him into my life, invites me to his table, leaves me thinking. Absorbing. Grateful for his insight, grateful for each moment. If you’re open, and lucky, you too will pull up a chair and partake.”

~ Dawn Shamp, author of On Account of Conspicuous Women

“In language pure to the mountains and hollers of Southern Appalachia, Luther Kirk clearly speaks to memories and soul-searing love and loss in the beautifully wrought book, Child of Appalachia. Kirk catalogues images of where he is from, where “men herd bout trucks in the shade” and “women cluster in clutches on porches” seductively inviting readers to search their own childhood memories. We mourn with the young boy who “on a warmish Sunday afternoon” faces the death of his father. Kirk’s poetry reveals the intimate give and take of conversation with his mother about being “needy” in his finely detailed list of all they do have juxtaposed with her insight of “money/don’t never feed ever need of the human heart.” Throughout these vignettes of his childhood in Appalachia, Kirk delights the reader with melodic lines such as “late-night/cathedral hemlocks” and “tufted great horned owls,” each poem a discovery through authentic language about growing up in a time of hardships and loss, yet tremendous love and spirited reverence for home and place and family.”

~ Sue Weaver Dunlap, author of The Story Tender and Knead


"The eleventh of twelve children born and raised in the mountains of Southwest Virginia, military service bore me far from home but opened doors to a career in education--teacher, principal, and professor. Upon retirement, I decided to try my hand at creatively writing about my people--the Appalachians. I have two children Andrew and Maggie, a wonderful daughter-in-law Lauren and son-in-law Kevin, and two handsome grandsons, Grayson Luke and Sullivan Jack. I currently reside in Virginia with my wife of forty years Katy and my Cairn Terrier, Bessie Rose." 

32 pages, 24 poems

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Bartok in Winter by Paul Ilechko

This collection does not have a specific theme, other than the poems are intended to be lyrical and strongly image driven. The author, Paul Ilechko, does have certain recurring themes in his work, in that he frequently refers to issues related to aging, a sense of place, and the arts. However, he also thinks that the story of the poet will evolve from his work over time, and that is sufficient. 


Paul Ilechko has always lived by a river, although he sometimes dreams of forests and mountains. He was born and raised in the north of England, but currently lives in Lambertville, NJ with his girlfriend and a cat. Paul has had poetry accepted/published recently by Oberon Magazine, Dash Literary Journal, Stickman Review, MockingHeart Review and Saint Katherine Review, among others. 

32 pages, 27 poems

Friday, February 9, 2018

The Violence Within by Courtney LeBlanc

This collection of poems focuses on violence, mostly toward women both from external forces - abusive partners, society - and internal forces - the violence women do to ourselves to fit the roles society has insisted upon. 


“These poems – vulnerable, resilient, graceful – are a testament to the power of poetry. We are given violence here, yes, but more importantly, perhaps, we are given strength in the aftermath of violence, the resolve to make out of language a new home. Courtney’s work is an act of rebuilding – the poet in the wreckage, each line another wall plastered back together, another shingle for the roof. Poem by poem, she builds this house. When she is done, we stand in it together, surviving, breathing. We don’t deserve this generosity, but Courtney delivers it, each poem “a gentle reminder of how / we could break one another.” Read it. Carry it each day like the weather.” 

- Devin Kelly, author of In This Quiet Church of Night I Say Amen (CCM Press, 2017)

““I knew we would both be broken”, Courtney LeBlanc writes in her new chapbook, The Violence Within. And we are broken – LeBlanc’s speaker, her readers, her subjects, all of us. This stunning collection chronicles that brokenness, guides us from the cracking of plaster and glass to the shattering of bones and hearts, and it does so unflinchingly. In these poems, LeBlanc has woven a sequence that walks deep into the abyss of abuse, where every kiss is a gun about to fire, where every page in a journal is about to be torn in pieces, where every star is a catalog necessary to fight against forgetting and excusing. But what is remarkable about these poems isn’t the careful details of violence (though those are remarkable). What is remarkable is how these poems change and are changed by their creation. And what is admirable is how we are changed by reading. This collection truly is a gorgeous gift.”
- Anthony Frame, author of Where Wind Meets Wing (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2018)


Courtney LeBlanc is the author of the chapbook All in the Family (Bottlecap Press) and is an MFA candidate at Queens University of Charlotte. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in Public Pool, Rising Phoenix Review, The Legendary, Germ Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Brain Mill Press, and others. She loves nail polish, wine, and tattoos. Read her blog at, follow her on twitter:, or find her on facebook:

34 pages, 23 poems