Thank You for Over Six Wonderful Years of Blue Heron Review!

A Tender Goodbye from Blue Heron Review

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(*Blue Heron logo image by artist Daniel Adams)

This is a gentle closing of things and a joyful welcoming of new beginnings and new creative paths emerging. Thank you to everyone who has joined me on the journey that has been Blue Heron Review for the past 6 ½ years! Without our extensive list of contributing poets and artists, as well as our kind readers, there would be no Blue Heron Review. Last spring, I made the decision to discontinue our 2 issue per year format, but I made a commitment to keep showcasing a new featured author every month. I have made the decision to create more space for myself, in order to have more time to devote to other journeys. As of May 2020, we will say goodbye, with great love, to Blue Heron Review. It has truly been an honor and a privilege (as well as a labor of love) to curate and produce Blue Heron Review for over 6 years. I have made deep connections with fellow creatives over the years. I know that these will last a lifetime. Please know that I am cheering you on in all of your future, artistic dreams! Keep sharing your triumphs and joys with me. If you have a new book coming out, you can still write to me at the Blue Heron gmail address, and I will proudly share your news and links on social media. Thank you for trusting me with your work, your creative offerings, and your hopes for poetry. I have enjoyed shining a bright light on your unique talents. Keep shining, and know that I think you are all wonderful! The world is a more loving, expansive, and joyful place, because your art — your poetry is in it!

With kind thoughts always,
Cristina M. R. Norcross, Founding Editor
Blue Heron Review

Happy National Poetry Month from Blue Heron Review!

While everyone is staying safe at home during Covid-19 restrictions, I hope that writers are finding the online resources and communities they need, in order to find solace through the arts. I am sharing some links on our homepage, starting with a writing prompt group on Facebook, which I founded 2 weeks ago.

Connection and Creativity in Challenging Times:
Online Writing Prompts (for adults and teens)
(*On Facebook and Instagram)

 

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I hope you’ll join us on weekdays (Mon-Fri) for family-friendly writing prompts and inspiration. This is a FREE creative arts offering, which I would like to provide everyone, while they are working from home or doing on-line learning through the schools. This group is open to ALL ages. All genres of writing welcome. This is meant to be fun, therapeutic, healing, and helpful. We’re here to lift each other up through the creative arts! *For those who prefer Instagram, I will be sharing the same, daily writing prompts and visuals there, as well. Feel free to follow me @cristinamrnorcross

The Poets.org site (The Academy of American Poets) has an amazing listing of offerings and links to help everyone celebrate National Poetry Month! (Shelter in Poems, Poem in Your Pocket Day, 2020 National Poetry Month Poster, 30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month in the Virtual Classroom, and many others)

Author, editor, and Blue Heron Review contributor, Robert Lee Brewer, at Writer’s Digest is hosting the 2020 PAD (Poem a Day) challenge (plus many other offerings for National Poetry Month). Need some incentive to write your next chapbook? Visit the Poem a Day page.

Blue Heron Review poet Kai Coggin is hosting a weekly, virtual, poetry open mic on Facebook through the Wednesday Night Poetry series! This is a fantastic group to be a part of and listen to! Community, poetry, and solidarity at a time when we all need nourishment for the soul.  WPN Virtual Open Mic, Poetry Through the Pandemic

Looking for some reading material? Blue Heron Review has over 6 years, 11 issues, and too many featured authors to count, for you to enjoy in the peace and comfort of your home. Every issue has an array of contemporary poetic voices, as well as gorgeous, fine art photography and other art offerings. Have a browse through our archives of issues, and scroll through our Blue Heron Review Featured Author page for some of the most extraordinary voices in poetry today! Just as a teaser, here is a link to one of my favorite, themed issues — The Healing Issue. Have a look, rest awhile, pull up a chair and a cup of tea — and enjoy!  BHR Issue 8 / Summer 2017

Sponsored by Local Gems Press, Bard Con Virtual (March 31-April 7th) is a virtual writing conference experience! Audio recordings of poetry readings (both individual and group readings from anthologies), interviews, audio writing workshops, and so many literary goodies are available to enjoy! A virtual gathering, with resources galore for writers and readers.

One of my audio writing workshops is included on the Bard Con Virtual page (“Coping Strategies Through Creativity: Writing Prompts with author Cristina Norcross” / 15 min.) A BIG thank you to Local Gems Press, and editors James Paul Wagner and Nick Hale, for creating this virtual space of creativity and community!

The online journal Visual Verse provides a new visual prompt on the 1st of every month. The deadline is usually the 15th. Submissions are published on a rolling basis, but you won’t receive an e-mail response. You need to check the site, and scroll to see if your poem is included. Poems are published up until the last day of the month. Word yoga! Try it! 50-500 words / submit your work within 1 hour.  This is such an inspiring practice.

The Globe Theatre in London is streaming a FREE Shakespeare play every fortnight! Need a break from writing, but still want some inspiration? This is just the thing!

Stay safe everyone, and make time to create!
Kind thoughts always,

—Cristina M. R. Norcross, Editor of Blue Heron Review, author of Beauty in the Broken Places (Kelsay Books, 2019) and many other titles

The March 2020 Blue Heron Review Featured Author is Lorette C. Luzajic!

Welcome to the March edition of our Blue Heron Review Featured Author spotlight! Honored to share the work of multi-talented, mixed media artist and poet, Lorette C. Luzajic, who is also the founding editor of The Ekphrastic Review. This happens to be a very special feature. In addition to sharing two prose poems from Lorette C. Luzajic’s latest collection, Pretty Time Machine, we are also including a wonderful book review, written by Mary McCarthy. Luzajic’s poems are hauntingly beautiful and fiercely authentic. Steeped in rich imagery, you can see into the life of things, when reading her poems. She has a gift for painting with words—images jumping off the page in a wondrous dance of color and movement.

Please visit the Blue Heron Review Featured Author page of our site, to read the full feature, and to learn more about both writers.

Lorette C Author Photo March 2020

Lorette C. Luzajic is an award-winning mixed media artist whose collage paintings are collected internationally. She is also a widely published poet, twice nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. She also writes a column about pairing Wine and Art for Good Food Revolution. She is the founder and editor of The Ekphrastic Review, a journal devoted to writing inspired by art. Visit her at www.mixedupmedia.ca

 

Random Acts of Poetry and Art Day is on February 20th! (Founded in 2012)

 

JPG version of RAPA Day poster 2020

Join us to spread inspiration on February 20th every year! Random Acts of Poetry & Art Day is an international day of inspiration and giving, founded in 2012. As an artistic pay-it-forward movement, our purpose is to spread the joy of the creative process. Wherever you live, please join us in creating gifts of visual art and poetry, to help brighten someone else’s day. It’s up to you what you do!

A Few Examples:
* Leave behind free poetry cards or quotes at coffee houses, cafés, and libraries.
* Give away mini works of art / handmade jewelry / pottery / knitted scarves or hats to hospitals, shelters, schools, or nursing homes.
* Donate art prints and poetry books to non-profit organizations.
* Mail an unexpected, handmade gift to someone who is coping with an illness, a challenging time, or recovering from surgery.

Create, be inspired, and share photos of your Random Acts of Poetry & Art on our Facebook page sharing thread. Who knows? You could change someone’s day in an instant, with the gift of art and poetry!

*Find RAPA on Facebook and Twitter

Our RAPA Day organizers include: Cristina M. R. Norcross (WI), Sonya S. Sinha (NY), and Jennifer S. J. Peña (NJ).

RAPA Day 2020 new logo for Twitter by James V2

“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.”
—Amelia Earhart

 

 

 

The January 2020 Blue Heron Review Featured Author is Josephine Jacobsen / Happy New Year from BHR!

Welcome to the January 2020 Blue Heron Featured Author spotlight! And, also, Happy New Year to all of our readers! We are honored to share the work of poet, fiction writer, and critic Josephine Jacobsen (1908-2003), who was born in Ontario, Canada. Jacobsen served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in the early 1970s.

Twice a year, I try to include a voice from the past on our featured author page. It provides an opportunity to reflect on our rich history of poetry from past decades/centuries. It is important to pause and truly appreciate the influence of past authors on our own voices, as writers. Everything we create comes from our unique heart source, but we must also acknowledge that none of us would be the writers we are today, without the many, many trailblazers who came before us.

Please visit the Blue Heron Review Featured Author page of our site, to read 3 sample poems by Jospehine Jacobsen and to learn more about her literary legacy.

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(photo credit: The Poetry Foundation)

“Poet, fiction writer, and critic Josephine Jacobsen [1908-2003] was born in Ontario, Canada, to American parents on vacation. Her father died when she was five, and afterward she and her mother moved around frequently, while Jacobsen was taught by private tutors. They settled in Maryland when Jacobsen was 14, and she would live there until her death almost 80 years later. She received the Shelley Memorial Award and the prestigious Robert Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America and served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in the early 1970s.” (*excerpted from The Poetry Foundation site)

 

The December 2019 Blue Heron Review Featured Author is Jonel Abellanosa

Welcome to the December 2019 Blue Heron Review Feature! Our spotlight poet this month is the very talented, Blue Heron contributor and author, Jonel Abellanosa. His latest collections include, Songs from My Mind’s Tree / 2018 and Multiverse / 2019 (Clare Songbirds Publishing House), as well as, Pan’s Saxophone (Weasel Press, 2019). There is a dream-like, graceful quality to Abellanosa’s work. The reader can’t help but be drawn into the lush imagery and flowing narrative of his poems. Abellanosa reminds us that, “We are all born of light,” and we whole-heartedly believe the energy of these words when experiencing his beautiful, sumptuous verse. These poems are a banquet — a literary feast for the senses. You will want to return to these offerings again and again.

Please visit the Blue Heron Review Featured Author page of our site to read 2 sample poems by Jonel Abellanosa and to learn more about his books.

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Jonel Abellanosa lives in Cebu City, the Philippines. His poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including That Literary Review, Poetry Kanto, The Lyric, Blue Heron Review, The McNeese Review, Rust+Moth and Star*Line, nominated for the Pushcart, Best of the Net and Dwarf Stars awards. His poetry collections include, Meditations (Alien Buddha Press) Songs from My Mind’s Tree and Multiverse (Clare Songbirds Publishing House), 50 Acrostic Poems, (Cyberwit, India), and his politically-progressive collection, In the Donald’s Time (Poetic Justice Books and Art). His first speculative poetry collection, Pan’s Saxophone, is available from Weasel Press.

The November 2019 Blue Heron Review Featured Author is Kenneth Pobo!

Welcome to the November 2019 Blue Heron Review Featured Author spot. This month, we are delighted to shine a light on the talents of one of our treasured contributors, Kenneth Pobo, author of the recently released collection, The Antlantis Hit Parade (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, 2019), as well as Dindi Expecting Snow (Duck Lake Books, 2019).

The two poems featured are prose poems — each having great depth. We learn about expectations and being true to the self. We learn about hiding behind a curtain and then stepping out into the world with one’s whole being. These are open, honest, courageous poems about acceptance and how to find this within. What journey will you take of your own, after reading these poems? What part of yourself needs nurturing and celebrating? Pobo wants us to look bravely at ourselves, with a loving and compassionate heart. These poems sing of truth, and the freedom that comes from walking into the open field of — I AM.

Please visit the Blue Heron Review Featured Author page of our site, to read 2 poems by Kenneth Pobo and to learn more about his work.

Kenneth Pobo author photo

Kenneth Pobo has a new book, prose poetry, out from Clare Songbirds Publishing House called, The Antlantis Hit Parade (2019). He also has another recent release published by Duck Lake Books, Dindi Expecting Snow (2019). In addition to Blue Heron Review, his work has appeared in: Hawaii Review, Amsterdam Review, Nimrod, Mudfish, Atlanta Review, The Queer South Anthology, and elsewhere. He and his husband and two cats live in Pennsylvania. He teaches English and creative writing at Widener University. He began writing at age fifteen and (by November) is 65.

 

The October 2019 Blue Heron Review Featured Author is Marjorie Power

Welcome to the October 2019 Blue Heron Review Feature. We are honored to share the work of poet, Marjorie Power, this month! We will be focusing on her powerful collection, Oncoming Halos (Kelsay Books, 2018).  Delighted to share the news that Power’s latest chapbook,  Refuses to Suffocate, has just been released by Blue Lyra Press.

With beautiful imagery, Power invites us to explore inner worlds and also to pay close attention to everything unfolding in this glorious life. There are things we can see and things we cannot see. With thoughtfulness and carefully chosen words, Power invites us to look deeper into both. We have an inner knowing that walks with us in life. Whether it is nature that shines a light on this, a doctor’s gaze, or the shadows behind the blooms, the wise voice speaks to us in whispers. Power reminds us that “love is a circuit / that runs from each to each,” and we must honor these connections.

Please visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page of our site to read three poems by Marjorie Power and a book review by Margaret Saine. You will want to return to these stunning poems again and again!

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Marjorie Power’s chapbook, Refuses to Suffocate, has just been released by Blue Lyra Press. Her collections, Oncoming Halos and Seven Parts Woman appeared in 2018 and 2016, respectively. She has six chapbooks out from Main Street Rag, Pudding House and other small presses. Journals that have recently used her work include Southern Poetry Review, The Comstock Review, Slant and others. She lives in Denver, Colorado after many years in the Northwest and can be found at www.marjoriepowerpoet.com.

 

In Memory of Judy Wucherer (1939-2019), Blue Heron Review Contributor

It is with a heavy heart that I share the sad news that we have lost one of our beloved Blue Heron Review contributors and friends, Judy Wucherer, on September 13th, 2019. I wanted to post a special tribute to Judy and her loving, supportive spirit, in honor of her contributions to the literary community. I first met Judy, when she was a contributing poet for the One Vision project, sponsored by the Pewaukee Area Arts Council. She was a poet on the project in 2010 for her poem, “Wild Imaginings” (paired with artwork by Ann Kummrow), and also in 2011 for her poem, “In the Window” (paired with photography by Susan Foley). For the 2011 show at the Oconomowoc Arts Center, Judy and Susan’s collaboration was chosen for a special performance, with music and interpretive dance, on the main stage at the OAC.

Judy Wucherer’s work appeared in Blue Heron Review, Verse Wisconsin, Echoes Poetry Journal, The Avocet: A Journal of Nature Poetry (online and print), the Pewaukee Area Arts Council project, One Vision: A Fusion of Art and Poetry, and WI Fellowship of Poets’ museletters and calendars. She was a life-long resident of Wisconsin, though her muse was often elsewhere. Judy was a loving mother and grandmother. She had a career as an antiques dealer, while also being an avid writer, artist, and supporter of the arts.

Judy was a beloved friend and will be greatly missed. I was personally so blessed to know Judy for almost 10 years.

Known for her Haikus, below are some of Judy Wucherer’s poems, previously published in Blue Heron Review. I hope you enjoy them.

Blue Heron Review Issue 6 (Summer 2016)
(1 poem)

shaken and stirred
summer sensations ignite
blame it on the moon

 

Blue Heron Review Issue 5 (Winter 2016)
(2 poems)

the egret rises
a soft white feathered prayer
of grace – ascending

***

a slight blue s-curve
heron catches light
effortlessly

The September 2019 Blue Heron Review Featured Author is Kai Coggin!

Welcome to the September 2019 Blue Heron Review Featured Author spotlight! We are honored and proud to share the luminous work of author, poet, and teacher, Kai Coggin. Kai’s latest poetry book is Incandescent (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2019). Kai is a past contributor to issues of Blue Heron Review, and she was one of our featured authors in 2016. Delighted to share her wisdom and healing energy, again, this month.

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(photo credit: David Yerby)

“Incandescent, Kai’s third and most recent bold collection, shines a blazing FIRE on the injustices of the world, on the darkness of the political sphere, and on the beautiful hearth of the home. It offers the reader a bit of hope through the chaos, a spark of revolution, a call to rise up and stand as warriors against the unraveling of our collective principles of good. It is a spark, a flame, a fire, an ember of truth that will not be silenced. Incandescent is a clarion call that burns like a phoenix rising from the ash.”

Please visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author Page on our site, to read 4 sample poems from Kai’s new book, and to learn more about her inspiring work!

Kai Coggin is a poet, author, and teaching artist living in the valley of a small mountain in Hot Springs National Park, AR. She holds a B.A. in English, Poetry, and Creative Writing from Texas A&M University. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Entropy, Sinister Wisdom, Assaracus, Calamus Journal, Lavender Review, The Rise Up Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, Luna Luna, Blue Heron Review, Hoctok, Yes, Poetry and elsewhere.

Coggin is the author of three full-length collections, Periscope Heart (Swimming with Elephants, 2014), Wingspan (Golden Dragonfly Press, 2016), and Incandescent (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2019), as well as a spoken word album called Silhouette (2017). Her poetry has been nominated three times for The Pushcart Prize, as well as Bettering American Poetry 2015, and Best of the Net 2016 and 2018. Kai teaches an adult creative writing class called Words & Wine, and is also a Teaching Artist with the Arkansas Arts Council and Arkansas Learning Through the Arts, specializing in bringing poetry and creative writing to youth around the state. www.kaicoggin.com