The Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author for June 2018 is Darren C Demaree!

Welcome to the June 2018 edition of Blue Heron Speaks! This month, we are honored to share the very important work of author and editor, Darren C Demaree. Darren’s most recent collection is Two Towns Over (2018), which was selected by Trio House Press as the winner of the Louise Bogan Award. He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. In these poems of deep reflection about the loss of self, accompanying addiction, we see the curtain pulled back on how numbing life can take away any semblance of the life you once had, as in the lines, “the drugs can subtract / you forever.” These poems invite you to think about addiction with a sensitive heart and an awareness of how all-encompassing the hold can be on one’s spirit and direction. Darren compares the powerful nature of drugs to fierce animals, with these last lines, “They are wolves. / We’ve been raised by them.” Although we may sink during challenging times, there is always an opportunity to rise. Looking into the eyes of our own fears and sorrows will eventually lead us out of the dark, if we are offered compassion—if we have compassion for ourselves and for others.

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Please visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page of our site, to read 3 sample poems by Darren C Demaree from Two Towns Over, and to learn more about this author’s stunning work.

Darren C Demaree is the author of eight poetry collections, most recently Two Towns Over (2018), which was selected the winner of the Louise Bogan Award from Trio House Press. He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.  Learn more about this author at:  https://darrencdemaree.com

The Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author for May 2018 Is Diana Raab!

Welcome to the May 2018 edition of Blue Heron Speaks! We are absolutely delighted and honored to share the work of our featured author this month, Diana Raab. Diana is a poet, memoirist, blogger, speaker, and award-winning author of nine books. Her latest book is Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Program for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life. This month is a slight departure from featuring a series of poems by an author. When I read Diana’s latest essay, “My Calling, Your Calling, Our Calling,” I knew that our Blue Heron Review readers and contributors would greatly benefit from soaking up the wisdom and insight of this piece. Diana shares her own journey with us in order to shed light on how writing can truly be a healing and transformative art form. In this thoughtful and powerful essay, Diana skillfully guides us to seek out our passions and our highest callings.

Please visit our Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page to read Diana’s essay, “My Calling, Your Calling, Our Calling,” and to learn more about her books and the wonderful, soulful work she does with writers.

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(Author photo by Melissa Musgrove)

Diana Raab, MFA, PhD, is a poet, memoirist, blogger, speaker, and award-winning author of nine books. Her work has been published and anthologized in more than 500 publications. She blogs for Psychology Today, Thrive Global, and Elephant Journal. She is the editor of two anthologies: Writers and Their Notebooks and Writers on the Edge; two memoirs: Regina’s Closet: Finding My Grandmother’s Secret Journal and Healing with Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey, as well as four poetry collections. Her latest book is Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Program for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life. Find out more about this author at: www.dianaraab.com

Happy National Poetry Month! The April 2018 Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author is Lucille Clifton

Happy National Poetry Month! It is our Blue Heron Review tradition to choose a voice from the past for the month of April. I hope that you will enjoy these poems by renowned poet, Lucille Clifton. As we celebrate National Poetry Month, search for voices which you either haven’t heard for awhile, or voices which are new to you. There are many treasures to be found. This April, on our Blue Heron Speaks page, we are shining a bright light on the work of Lucille Clifton, who speaks of sadness and truth. She speaks of celebrating the fullness of our wondrous selves—our bodies and our bold, brave spirits. Clifton dares to entice the reader with what is known and felt in the hearts of all beings, and yet, she gloriously speaks of her own, unique existence in ways which light up the sky with both her pain and her love of life. When reading Lucille Clifton’s poetry, something breaks open in the reader. What hidden depths and unspoken truths will you harvest in your own life, after reading these offerings from our featured author this month?

Please visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page of our site to read 4 sample poems by Lucille Clifton, and to learn more about her life’s work and books.

Listen to Lucille Clifton’s own words in this powerful VIDEO: “Poetry Breaks: Lucille Clifton on What Poetry Is”

 

The mistake teachers sometimes make is that they think art and poetry—they think that’s about answers, and it’s not about that, it’s about questions. So you come to poetry not out of what you know, but out of what you wonder.  —Lucille Clifton

Submissions Now Open for Blue Heron Review!

 

SUBMISSIONS OPEN
DEADLINE: April 5th, 2018
THEMED ISSUE: “ASPECTS OF LOVE”
(FOR OUR SUMMER 2018 ISSUE)

• The unifying power of love
• Love is love … honoring all love
• Romantic love
• The love of friendship
• Love for family
• Love for one’s calling or vocation in life
• The healing power of love

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(artist credit: Daniel Adams)

Please read our Submission Guidelines carefully. We recommend that you read past issues in our ARCHIVES before submitting, to get a feel for the style of writing we tend to publish.

Welcome! We look forward to reading your beautiful, insightful offerings from the heart.

Kind wishes,
Founding Editor,
Cristina M. R. Norcross

The Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author for March 2018 is Rosalie Sanara Petrouske!

Welcome to the March 2018 edition of Blue Heron Speaks. Blue Heron Review is thrilled to share the poetry of author Rosalie Sanara Petrouske (What We Keep, Finishing Line Press, 2016). These are sumptuous, life-affirming poems with imagery so vivid, that the senses are infused with every drop of juice from an orange slice and the pure joy of touching a red bowl. We live inside the experiences of each poem, “—tongue to snow, to rain, / to the curves of a lover’s back, and essences to inhale.” After reading these poems, I hope that you will take Rosalie’s advice in the poem, “My Daughter Learns,” when she writes, “Yes, daughter, take great gulps of the world.” We should all be so lucky to witness each day—each experience—with a sense of wonder and reverence. To live life with the wholeness of the self should be our endeavor. In her poems, Petrouske takes us on journeys both grand and small and makes each one momentous.

Please visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page of our site to read 4 sample poems by Rosalie Sanara Petrouske, and to learn more about her work.

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Rosalie Sanara Petrouske believes that “poetry saved her.” When she was sixteen years old, she lost her father, who spent many hours walking through the woods with her, teaching her about the natural world. She began writing about her loss and the improbability of life mingled with images of sky, forest, and the big lakes, Michigan and Superior, where she has lived on both shores during different seasons. Since then, her publications include Passages North, the Southern Poetry Review, Red Rock Review, American Nature Writing, Lunch Ticket, and numerous others. In 2015, the Michigan Poet featured her poem, “New Year’s Day,” in a broadside. She has two poetry chapbooks, the most recent, What We Keep, from Finishing Line Press in 2016. You can find out more about Rosalie’s work on her Facebook author page. She also has a writers’ group page and an Amazon author page. A video of her poem, “Before Leaving,” is available to watch on YouTube.

What We Keep (Finishing Line Press, 2016)

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Blue Heron Review Issue 9 Winter 2018 JUST RELEASED!

Blue Heron Review is proud to announce the online publication of our latest issue: BHR 9 Winter 2018! We have a beautiful collection of poems and visual art for you to enjoy. Although we are still deeply nestled in the winter months, you may spot a few glimmers of spring energy shining through in this issue.

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(Cover art by David Seth Smith)

Thank you to all of our contributors for making this issue another spectacular union of words and images! Visit the Blue Heron Review Issue 9 Winter 2018 page of our site to read the full issue, and to learn more about our authors and artists.

CONTRIBUTORS:
Poets:
Richard Greene * Neil David Mitchell * Jessica Moser * Jonel Abellanosa * Erina Booker * Rosalie Sanara Petrouske * Nikolai Sebastian * Jan Bosman * Jenni Gribble * Robert Lee Brewer * Darren C Demaree * Katy Phillips * Alice Mills * Keith MacNider * Prerna Bakshi * Jeannie E Roberts * Nick Hale * Timothy Pettet * Neil Creighton * Steve Bucher * Ethel Mortenson Davis * Karen Warinsky * Faye Adams * Maryann Hurtt * Mary Jo Balistreri * Mary C Rowin * Kristina Mullenix * Victoria Lindsay * Erika Goodrich * Anne Anthony * Eileen Mattmann * Mark Danowsky * Diana Randolph * Nancy Jean Larson * Kai Coggin * Colleen June Glatzel * Paula Schulz * Jacqueline Martindale

Artists:
David Seth Smith (Cover Artist) * Kurt John Huebner * Jeannie E Roberts * Karen A VandenBos (Featured Photographer) * Devi S Laskar * Bobbie Lee Lovell * Kai Coggin * Anna May Shaffer

I hope that you will return to these pages again and again, when you need some respite and food for thought. May these poems nourish your spirit and provide inspiration for your day.

Read on!

Cristina M. R. Norcross
Founding Editor
Blue Heron Review

The February 2018 Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author is Yvonne Stephens!

Welcome to the February edition of Blue Heron Speaks. It is an honor and a true pleasure to showcase the work of author Yvonne Stephens (The Salt Before It Shakes, Hidden Timber Books, 2017). With grace and skill, Stephens draws the reader in by approaching difficult topics with tenderness, but also a raw vulnerability. There is great sensitivity in all of her poems, as she deals with life themes such as loss, parenthood, family, and change in her new collection. Stephens reaches out and brings the natural world to us in magical ways, whether it is gathering and wearing rays of light, “Lined them up / around the base of my neck / and wore the sun,” or bearing witness to the sacredness of both the life of a tomato and the life of a hornworm. Intricate details are held with great care, like examining a needle and a thread. The world slows down in these poems, and the reader slows down with them, in awe and appreciation.

Visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author Page of our site, to read 3 sample poems by Yvonne Stephens from her new book, The Salt Before It Shakes, and to learn how you can order your own copy of this thoughtful, engaging collection!

 

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Yvonne Stephens lives with her husband and two children in Northwest Lower Michigan. She has worked as an assistant in the fields of mycology, forestry, and neurology research, volunteered for two years in the AmeriCorps, and most recently was an Artist Residency Coordinator for the Crosshatch Center for Art and Ecology. An award-winning poet, Yvonne was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2015, and her poems have appeared in the Dunes Review, the LAND Creative Writing Journal, and Family Stories from the Attic.  She is the author of The Salt Before It Shakes (Hidden Timber Books, 2017).  Find out more about this author:  http://www.poetwith40eyes.com/

 

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Submissions will be open again from March 15th through April 5th, 2018 for our Summer Blue Heron Review Issue!

Sharpen your pencils and open your hearts. Our next BLUE HERON REVIEW call for submissions (for the SUMMER/2018 issue) is March 15th through April 5th, 2018.  This will be a themed issue—ASPECTS OF LOVE. I am sharing these dates, in advance, to give writers a chance to create new work for this issue. Our submission period is short now (only 3 weeks), due to the very high volume of submissions we receive, so take this next month to write some truly meaningful poems to send us. Can’t wait to read all of your musings on the power of love—in all of its various forms!

THEMED ISSUE: “ASPECTS OF LOVE”
• The unifying power of love
• Love is love … honoring all love
• Romantic love
• The love of friendship
• Love for family
• Love for one’s calling or vocation in life
• The healing power of love

*Please visit our Submission Guidelines page for a full list of instructions, and read them carefully. We highly recommend that writers read sample issues first, to get a feel for the kind of poetry we publish.

Happy creating!
With kind thoughts,
Cristina M. R. Norcross, Founding Editor
Blue Heron Review

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(postcard image / artist credit: Robert Lee Haycock)

 

The January 2018 Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author is Michael Hettich!

Welcome to the January 2018 edition of Blue Heron Speaks. We begin the journey of a new year with our featured poet, Michael Hettich, author of over a dozen books and chapbooks of poetry, including Systems of Vanishing (University of Tampa Press, 2014), The Animals Beyond Us (New Rivers Press, 2011), and Like Happiness (Anhinga Press, 2010). His latest book is The Frozen Harbor (Red Dragonfly Press, 2017). There is a surreal magic to Michael Hettich’s poems. We enter worlds where everyday moments and elements become extraordinary and mysterious. While becoming one with the imagination of his work, we too, feel like birds who, “swirl themselves up into the unencumbered sky.” There is a fluidity between the natural world and the world of humans in these poems. We are left pondering our inner lives as birds, dogs, or shells, and we are reminded of the fragility of life itself. We view the world through Hettich’s gifted, unique voice as he beckons us to, “Just imagine/the vast forests of lives, the near-infinity of forms/brought to a halt with a simple conversation.”

Visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page of our site to read 3 sample poems by Michael Hettich, and to learn more about his books. We are honored to feature the work of Michael Hettich, and we know that our readers will truly enjoy his poetry. These are poems meant to be savored.

 

Michael Hettich author photo

Michael Hettich has published over a dozen books and chapbooks of poetry, including Systems of Vanishing (winner of the Tampa Review Prize, 2014), The Animals Beyond Us (New Rivers, 2011), and Like Happiness (Anhinga, 2010). His new book, The Frozen Harbor, won the David Martinson/Meadowhawk Prize and was published this summer by Red Dragonfly Press. In addition to Blue Heron Review, his work has appeared in such journals as Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Alaska Quarterly Review, Orion, Poetry East, and TriQuarterly. He lives in Miami, where he regularly collaborates with visual artists, musicians, and other writers. His website is michaelhettich.com

The December 2017 Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author is Chris Abbate!

Welcome to the December 2017 edition of our monthly Blue Heron Speaks Feature! We are absolutely delighted to shine a spotlight on the poetry of author, Chris Abbate. In Chris Abbate’s new collection, Talk About God (Main Street Rag, September 2017), we find a depth of faith in everyday moments. It is found in family conversations over dinner and in thankfulness for small things, “Ma thanked Jesus/when she found her keys/or remembered the right amount of flour.” These poems remind us of how miraculous our lives are. Abbate shows us that every, breathing moment offers gifts, “the sunlight in her kitchen,/her husband’s head on the pillow.” Through memory and beautiful, detailed images, Chris Abbate makes the world new again for us, and we are replenished.

Visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page of our site to read 3 sample poems and to learn more about Chris Abbate’s new collection.

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Chris Abbate’s poetry has appeared in Chagrin River Review, Blue Heron Review, and Comstock Review, among other journals. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Net award, and has received awards in several poetry contests. Chris’ debut book of poetry, Talk About God, (Main Street Rag, September 2017) pays tribute to growing up and to family, while exploring the gray areas and ragged edges of religious experience. He has a B.A. in English from Gordon College (Wenham, MA) and an M.A. in English from Southern Connecticut State University. A native of Hartford, CT, Chris resides in Holly Springs, NC with his wife and their papillon, Louis. He works as a programmer analyst for clinical trials and volunteers coaching youth in The First Tee golf program. For more information and to order Talk About God, visit www.chrisabbate.com.