The Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author for September 2018 is Diane Sahms-Guarnieri!

Welcome to the September 2018 Blue Heron Speaks Feature! This month, we shine a spotlight on BHR contributor, Diane Sahms-Guarnieri, who is a stunning wordsmith. In her collection, The Handheld Mirror of the Mind (Kelsay Books, 2018), we journey through themes of loss, grief, our shared humanity, and the complexities of the inner life. With great tenderness and lyricism, Guarnieri skillfully navigates these topics. Her graceful descriptions of the natural world provide a vivid magic, as if painting with words. While dealing with human struggles, this collection offers hope. Guarnieri invites us to honor all beings, all creatures, and all understandings of faith by joining together, “as global dreamers in coexistence.”

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Please visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page of our site to read 2 sample poems by Diane Sahms-Guarnieri from her latest book, and to learn more about her work.

Diane Sahms-Guarnieri, a native Philadelphian, is the author of four full-length poetry collections: Images of Being (Stone Garden Publishing, 2011), Lights Battered Edge (Anaphora Literary Press, 2015), Night Sweat (Red Dashboard Press, 2016) and The Handheld Mirror of the Mind (Kelsay Press, 2018). Her poems have appeared in a number of online and print publications.  She is poetry editor at North of Oxford.  Visit her at


Blue Heron Review Issue 10 Summer 2018 Just Released!

Welcome to the Blue Heron Review “Aspects of Love” Summer 2018 Issue!

I hope that you enjoy these poems and images, as much as I do! Love is at the core of everything we do (or at least it should be). This issue includes many different aspects of love: romantic love, the love of family, the love of a deep friendship, the love for a dear pet, the love of nature, the love and passion for one’s vocation, and the love for life itself.

With 42 poets and 11 visual artists represented from all over the world, this issue is literally a global feast for the heart and mind. Thank you to all of our talented contributors for making this magical issue possible. A special thank you to artist, Jocelyn Duke, who so graciously gave us permission to use her artwork, “Never Forget Your Song,” for our issue’s cover.

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(cover art by Jocelyn Duke “Never Forget Your Song”)

Ceó Ruaírc * Karla Linn Merrifield * Eileen Sateriale * David Kitchel * Ruth Hoberman * Anna Mark * Elisabeth Harrahy * Kirsty A Niven * Tobi Alfier * Neil Creighton * Mary Goehring * Mike Lewis-Beck * Julia Kennedy * James P Roberts * Joseph Murphy * Lynne Carol Austin * Christopher Stolle * Lynn White * Joe Cottonwood * Mary Beth Hines * Lois Roma-Deeley * Patricia Carney * Marjie G Giffin * Jim Landwehr * Tom Richter * Joseph Nardoni * Mikayla Davis * Jane-Marie Bahr * Susan Martell Huebner * Kenneth Pobo * Mary C McCarthy * Stephanie K Merrill * Laura Johnson * David B Prather * Joan Mazza * Keith MacNider * Rachel Dacus * Donna H DiCello * Liz Rhodebeck * Steve Bucher * Lynne Burnett * PD Lietz

Jocelyn Duke (cover artist) * Lou Nicksic * Gail Goepfert * Jon Baucom * Kurt J Huebner * Diana Creighton * Paul Holden * Anna May Shaffer * Karen A VandenBos * PD Lietz * David Seth Smith

Blue Heron Review Issue 10, Summer 2018 / “Aspects of Love”



Blue Heron Review Recent News

Happy Summer!


(photo credit: C. Norcross, 2018)

Our Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page will be on hiatus for the months of July and August. I hope that this is a creative time of dreaming, manifesting, and bringing in all forms of inspiration for future work.  We’ll be back in September 2018, with a new guest author, every month, for you to enjoy!

Don’t forget that our BHR Summer 2018 issue is due to be published soon!  The anticipated release date for our online issue, “ASPECTS OF LOVE,” will be mid-August (instead of late July), due to the record high volume of submissions received. We have an amazing issue, filled with beautiful, thoughtful verse and gorgeous visual art.

Stay tuned … more to come in August.

Summer is a time to reflect, relax, recharge your batteries, and open your heart to vast possibilities.  We are co-creating a new world, through the literary and visual arts.  Thank you for taking this journey with me!

Kindest thoughts,

Cristina M. R. Norcross
Founding Editor, BHR
Blue Heron Review

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:

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:

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!


DEADLINE: April 5th, 2018

• 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.

BHR Issue 9 Winter 2018 Cover image

(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.

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

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: