Welcome to the April edition of Blue Heron Speaks. Our featured author this month is the British poet, Edith Sitwell (1887–1964). Twice a year, I like to shine a spotlight on voices from the past. National Poetry Month is a wonderful time to ask ourselves, as writers and readers, “What can we learn from the idea makers who have come before us?” And also, “In what ways are we still asking ourselves the same questions about life and existence, today?” The way we see ourselves, our purpose, the world around us, our relationships with others—these are universal, philosophical ponderings. The artists of our time, and all other times, have always served as sage guides. We look to those who devote their lives to expression and deep reflection, to at least point us in the direction of the answers we seek. Perhaps, it is simply about the seeking itself.
Please visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page of our site to read sample poems by Edith Sitwell and to learn more about her work.
“At the time I began to write, a change in the direction, imagery and rhythms in poetry had become necessary, owing to the rhythmical flaccidity, the verbal deadness, the dead and expected patterns, of some of the poetry immediately preceding us.” (—from Edith Sitwell’s introduction to The Canticle of the Rose, Vanguard Press, 1949)
“Dame Edith always insisted that she was no eccentric: ‘It’s just that I am more alive than most people.’” (—from poetryfoundation.org)
(Cover art by Lou Nicksic)
Linda M Fischer * Don Pomerantz * Cynthia McCain * Laurie Kolp * Alina Borger * Barbara Johnstone * Margaret DeRitter * Linda Whitesitt * Sharon Foley * Ed Higgins * Jackie Langetieg * Linda Wallin * M J Iuppa * Jan Chronister * Andrée Graveley * Nixi Schroeder * Shawn Aveningo Sanders * Robert Cole * Karla Huston * Sylvia Cavanaugh * Lisa Vihos * Bruce Taylor * Kathleen Phillips * Caroline Collins * Adria L Libolt * Olga García Echeverría * KB Ballentine * Kersten Christianson * Chris Daleiden * Phil Huffy * Laurel Devitt * Simon Perchik * Gary Glauber * Nancy Jean Larson * Diana Woodcock * Dawn Hogue * Yvette Viets Flaten * Alexis Brown
Lou Nicksic (cover artist) * Jason Iffert * Carol Tahir * Paula Lietz * Derik Hawley * James Curley * Jennifer S. J. Peña * Karen A VandenBos * Fiona Capuano * Jeannie E Roberts * Alexis Brown
*Please visit the BHR 11 Winter 2019 page of our site, to read and view our full collection of poetry and visual art!
Welcome to the March 2019 edition of Blue Heron Speaks! Our featured author this month is Lois Roma-Deeley, author of The Short List of Certainties, as well as Rules of Hunger, northSight and High Notes.
In Lois Roma-Deeley’s poems, she connects us to “something unnamed and unknowable from another world,” through vivid imagery, exquisite language, and details that only someone innately intuitive could translate onto the page for us. She invites us to step outside of ourselves, in order to dig deep, with questions such as, whether “… it’s at all possible / for anyone to slip into the holy nothingness of now?” We want to know more about the people in her poems. We want to know where they come from and where they are going, because ultimately, we are all searching for answers to the unknowable. These poems are mini, time-traveler sessions. I encourage you to read and re-read them. Each time, you may just journey to new places within the mind.
Please visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page of our site, to read 3 sample poems, and to learn more about Lois Roma-Deeley’s books.
(photo credit: Erin Deeley)
Lois Roma-Deeley’s most recent full-length book of poetry is The Short List of Certainties, winner of the Jacopone da Todi Book Prize (Franciscan University Press). She is the author of three previous collections of poetry: Rules of Hunger, northSight and High Notes—a Paterson Poetry Prize Finalist. Roma-Deeley’s poems have been featured in numerous literary journals and anthologies, nationally and internationally. She’s the recipient of numerous awards and honors for her poetry including an Arizona Commission on the Arts grant, Lawrence Epstein Visiting Writer Award, New Millennium Writing (finalist), Ragdale Residency Fellowship and many others. She’s taught creative writing at the graduate, undergraduate levels for many years. Roma-Deeley was named U.S. Professor of the Year, Community College, by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and CASE, 2012-2013. She is the first national winner of this award that Arizona has ever had in any category. Currently, Roma-Deeley is the Associate Editor of the international poetry journal Presence. www.loisroma-deeley.com
A quick note to our valued Blue Heron Review readers and contributors:
Our Winter 2019 issue (BHR #11) will be delayed. We are expecting an early March release. Thank you for your patience. It will be worth the wait!
With kind wishes,
Cristina M. R. Norcross, Founding Editor
Blue Heron Review
It is with a very heavy heart that I share the news of the passing of one of our beloved contributing artists for Blue Heron Review, Leilani Carroll. Leilani was the cover artist for Blue Heron Issue 6 and was also a contributing photographer for issues 7 and 8. Leilani was one of the kindest, gentlest people I knew. We developed a treasured friendship over the past few years, and I will miss her dearly. When I heard the news today that Leilani was no longer with us, I wanted to pay tribute to her memory, her bright spirit, and the light of kindness which she shared with others. In this special post for Blue Heron Review, I would like to share Leilani’s work from our magazine with our readers, as well as her biography. May her light keep shining—for all of us still finding our way.
Leilani Carroll had an appreciation for all things “nature” for as long as she could remember, but birds of all species were her passion. Leilani was a retired RN who adapted her photography around the limitations of living many years with young onset Parkinson’s Disease. Despite her disability, she thought “outside the box” to find ways to capture many of her images. Always using the opportunity to give credit to our Creator for the beauty that can be found in everyday life. Leilani lived in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, Gary, with the good fortune to have a small lake in back and a neighborhood that adjoins a 10,000 acre state park. She was delighted when any of her photos could spotlight “Alabama the beautiful” and the treasures it holds for those who look, listen, and linger.
Welcome to the February 2019 edition of Blue Heron Speaks! Our featured author this month is poet Kersten Christianson, author of What Caught Raven’s Eye (Petroglyph Press, 2018) and Something Yet to Be Named (Aldrich Press, 2017). These are breathtaking poems of music, light, and nature’s dance. Words float and flicker across the page, as we breathe in these notes on life, filled with sumptuous details. You will want to read, savor, and re-read these poems. A delight to the eyes, ears, and heart—these poems truly sing!
Please visit the Blue Heron Speaks page of our site to read 3 sample poems by Kersten Christianson and to learn more about her work.
Kersten Christianson is a raven-watching, moon-gazing, Alaskan. When not exploring the summer lands and dark winter of the Yukon, she lives in Sitka, Alaska. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing (University of Alaska Anchorage). Kersten has authored two books of poetry: What Caught Raven’s Eye (Petroglyph Press, 2018) and Something Yet to Be Named (Aldrich Press, 2017). She is also the poetry editor of the quarterly journal, Alaska Women Speak. Blog: www.kerstenchristianson.com Twitter: @kerstenak
Welcome to the January edition of Blue Heron Speaks! It is our tradition to choose 2 months out of the year to honor a poetic voice from the past. I usually do this around the holidays and also during National Poetry Month in April. In keeping with that tradition, our very first featured author for 2019 is William Stafford (1914-1993), author of over 65 volumes of poetry and prose, and a much beloved U.S. Poet Laureate (1970).
There is something sacred about using gentle words when describing everyday life. William Stafford has a gift for reverently holding these details in the palm of his hand. Read every line slowly—carefully, for Stafford took great care in choosing each word and image. These poems are offerings. We are meant to taste them and not rush over the meaning.
Please visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page on our site, to read 3 sample poems by William Stafford, and to learn more about his poetic legacy. I am currently reading, You Must Revise Your Life, by William Stafford (The University of Michigan Press, 1986), which is part of the Poets on Poetry series. These words of advice from Stafford resonate with me, “In its essence, poetry, like other sustained human endeavors, is done best in a condition of humility and welcoming of what comes. The exploration of what the materials of life can yield to us, and the discovery of what is implicit in human experience, will work best for one who is turned outward, with trust, with courage, and with a ready yielding to what time brings into view.” (p.70)
NOTE: The Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page will be on a brief hiatus, for the holiday season (until January, 2019). Until then, please feel free to enjoy our beautiful array of past, featured poets. Their literary talents will delight and distract you this holiday season. While others are rushing around and generally busy, grab a nice cup of tea, sit in your favorite comfy chair, and browse our past authors. Each month, since 2013, we have been sharing the work of guest authors. We have plenty of reading material for you! See you in 2019. Thank you for your readership and support!
Warmest wishes from Blue Heron Review this holiday season. May you be surrounded by the love of family, friends, and neighbors. May you give and receive kindness. May you welcome others to your table and open your heart to those in need. May you find comfort and joy in the company of loved ones, and may you always reach out and lend a hand.
With kind wishes from all of us at Blue Heron Review,
Cristina M. R. Norcross, Editor
It is truly a labor of love to publish our 2 issues per year, and to feature a different author, each month, on the Blue Heron Review site. Being able to provide space for so many wondrous voices is something I cherish. When the time comes to nominate poets for these annual awards, it is always difficult, because I am so proud of all of our contributors. Choosing just 6, is quite hard. Please know that I am honored to include the work of all of our poets here at Blue Heron Review.
Below are the nominations for Blue Heron Review for the 2018 Pushcart Prize. Congratulations and good luck to all of our nominees!
From the Winter 2018 BHR Issue 9:
Nancy Jean Larson / “Medicine Walk”
Anne Anthony / “She Wants”
Mary C. Rowin / “Centering”
From the Summer 2018 BHR Issue 10:
Stephanie K. Merrill / “The Tao of Remembrance”
Kirsty A. Niven / “Left of Windyghoul Road”
Susan Martell Huebner / “A Gathering”
Cristina M. R. Norcross, Editor
Blue Heron Review
Welcome to the November edition of Blue Heron Speaks! Our featured poet this month is Olga García Echeverría, author of Falling Angeles: Cuentos y Poemas and the self-published chapbook Lovely Little Creatures. She is also a contributor to the anthology, Imaniman: Poets Writing in The Anzaldúan Borderlands. Olga shares with us stories of family and friendship with the rich, vivid details of tantalizing foods and the taste of freedom on one’s tongue, “baked camote smothered / in butter, cinnamon, and melted / piloncillo—the toughest brown sugar in the world.” These are poems of close bonds and relentless joy. They are poetic prayers for what binds us together in life. These images leave us with the belief that happiness is within our grasp, if we run and catch up with it, “… we ran / recklessly along the shore, our shrieks and cackles / permeating the sea.”
We are blessed to have Olga’s words grace these pages. Visit the Blue Heron Speaks page of our website, to read 3 poems by this gifted writer, and to learn more about her work.
(photo credit: Maritza Alvarez)
Olga García Echeverría is the author of Falling Angeles: Cuentos y Poemas, the self-published chapbook Lovely Little Creatures, and is a contributor to the anthology, Imaniman: Poets Writing in The Anzaldúan Borderlands. Her work is found in numerous literary spaces including Lavandería: A Mixed Load of Women, Wash and Words; The Sun; and Telling Tongues: A Latinx Anthology on Language. She has been an educator for over 20 years and is a Touching Lives Fellow, awarded by A Room of Her Own Foundation (AROHO) to women writers and artists who have made significant long-term contributions to students and teaching. García Echeverría holds a B.A. in Ethnic Studies from UC Santa Cruz, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Texas in El Paso, and an honorary degree in Code-switching from the Universidad Autónoma de Lenguas Desbordadas.