A Special Note from the Editor …

Thank you so much to everyone who submitted poetry for our upcoming summer issue of Blue Heron Review! We received an extraordinary, eclectic mix of very fine work.

Submissions are now temporarily CLOSED for Blue Heron Review. PLEASE NOTE: Our next open call for submissions will NOT be until March 20th through April 20th, 2017. *Due to the record high number of submissions for the summer 2016 issue, our winter 2017 issue is also NOW FULL. Open submissions will resume for our BHR8, Summer 2017 issue. Thank you for making Blue Heron such a successful, online poetry journal!

Please follow us to read a NEW featured poet EVERY month on our BLUE HERON SPEAKS FEATURED AUTHOR page. Our special features page will resume again in September 2016, with another line up of gorgeous work, by some of the most talented, contemporary poets writing today.

Please visit our ARCHIVES page to read and enjoy past issues. Stay tuned for our summer issue, BHR#6, due to be released at the very end of July, 2016!

With kind wishes for creativity and inspiration,
Cristina M. R. Norcross, Editor
Blue Heron Review


Blue Heron postcard image

(photo credit: Robert Lee Haycock)


The June 2016 Blue Heron Speaks Featured Authors are Jeanie Tomasko and Sharon Auberle!

Welcome to the June 2016 Blue Heron Speaks feature! This month, we have a very special double feature of authors, Jeanie Tomasko and Sharon Auberle. We usually only have one guest poet per month, but to kick off the summer, we are graced with this beautiful collaboration of poetry and art postcards. Jeanie and Sharon are both accomplished poets, and Blue Heron Review is so pleased to share their ekphrastic work with our BHR readers.

Tomasko author photo

(Jeanie Tomasko)


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(Sharon Auberle)

For this showcase, we are shining a spotlight on the poetry of Jeanie Tomasko and the artwork of Sharon Auberle. When two artists come together on a shared project, something almost magical happens. A fusion of ideas, images, and layers of interpretation come to life on the page, to produce a new creation. Please visit the Blue Heron Speaks page of our site, to view the splendor that is poetry and vision coming together!

Editor’s Note: After this special double feature, the Blue Heron Speaks page will be on summer vacation until September 2016, when we will be back with a new list of superb guest authors. Don’t forget that our summer issue is due to be launched at the end of July. Every issue is truly a joy to curate, as an editor. I hope to bring you the very best of contemplative and meditative verse at BHR. Now go read our June Blue Heron Speaks feature! It is a feast for the eyes!

Cristina M. R. Norcross
Editor, Blue Heron Review

The Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author for May is Tobi Alfier

Welcome to the May spotlight of the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page! Our featured poet this month is writer, editor, and publisher, Tobi Alfier.

Some poems engage the mind with quiet song, with imagery that flows seamlessly from one line to the next. Tobi Alfier does this, quite skillfully, in her writing. With each offering, we witness beautiful, languid paintings of verse – each line, a brushstroke. I hope you enjoy the narrative path of each of the 3 poems shared on the Blue Heron Speaks Page of our site. These are eloquent, evocative poems of reverie, love, and memory. Alfier reminds us that nature sings to us every day. These poems will call to you, and stay with you, long after the first reading.

Photo of Tobi alone

Tobi Alfier is a multiple Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee. Her poems have appeared in The Chaffin Journal, Gargoyle, Hawai’i Pacific Review, The Los Angeles Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Town Creek Poetry, and other print and online journals in the United States and overseas. Her most current chapbooks are The Coincidence of Castles, from Glass Lyre Press, and Romance and Rust, from Blue Horse Press. Down Anstruther Way is forthcoming from FutureCycle Press. Along with her husband, Jeffrey Alfier, she is the co-editor and co-publisher of San Pedro River Review. You may reach Tobi at sprreview@gmail.com.

Romance and Rust (Blue Horse Press, 2015)


The Coincidence of Castles (Glass Lyre Press, 2014)


The Blue Heron Speaks Featured Poet for April 2016 is Marianne Moore

Happy National Poetry Month!

In honor of our celebration of poetry this month, we wanted to feature a voice from the past ~ Marianne Moore. To be reminded of the artistry of words, which has come before us, is to honor a valuable source of inspiration, and to call forth the many muses who surround us every day. I do believe, that if you listen carefully when reading texts from the past, you will hear whispers. I invite you to enjoy this month’s selection of poems by Marianne Moore on the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author Page. Allow whatever messages you are meant to receive, to come through. Please visit our featured authors from past months, for an abundance of contemporary poetic voices, as well as a few poets from our rich history of letters.


(photo credit: George Platt Lynes / Poets.org)

The Poems of Marianne Moore (Penguin Classics, 2005)


Don’t forget that our current open call for submissions ends on April 20th, 2016. Visit our Submission Guidelines page for full details.

Submissions Now Open for Blue Heron Review / March 20th through April 20th, 2016!

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Artwork by Daniel Adams

Submissions now open for the SUMMER 2016 issue of Blue Heron Review from March 20th through April 20th!  Please read our Submission Guidelines Page for full details, and follow them carefully.  Some details have changed. We highly suggest that you read past issues before submitting work.  Looking forward to reading your best, meditative poems.  Go forth and write!

Send us your inspiration ~ your heart-centered words.
Cristina M. R. Norcross, Editor
Blue Heron Review


The Blue Heron Speaks Featured Poet for March 2016 is Trina Gaynon

Blue Heron Review is very pleased to feature the work of poet, Trina Gaynon, for the month of March! Please visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page of our site to read three of Trina Gaynon’s poems, and to learn more about both her latest chapbook, The Alphabet of Romance (Finishing Line Press, 2013), and her current project, an anthology of poems in tribute to Anna Akhmatova called, Leaving My Shadow. Trina has a gift for capturing the atmosphere and imagery of a poem, with close attention to detail. Ms. Gaynon also very adeptly encapsulates ideas and themes with spare, carefully chosen words. There is great beauty and inspiration in these poems.

author photo Trina G

We hope that you enjoy this month’s featured, guest poet. Additionally, our latest issue, BHR Winter 2016 was just released at the end of February. There is much to read, ponder, and savor on the Blue Heron Review site, as we prepare for winter’s departure.

Trina Gaynon is currently assembling an anthology of poems in tribute to Anna Akhmatova called, Leaving My Shadow. A literacy tutor and a past volunteer at WriteGirl, an organization in Los Angeles providing workshops and mentors for high school girls interested in writing, she entered the new millennium with a degree from the creative writing program at University of San Francisco. Her poems appear in: The Great Gatsby Anthology, The San Diego Poetry Annual, Saint Peter’s B-list: Contemporary Poems Inspired by the Saints, Obsession: Sestinas for the 21st Century, A Ritual to Read Together: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford, Phoenix Rising from the Ashes: Anthology of Sonnets of the Early Third Millennium, Bombshells: War Stories and Poems by Women on the Homefront, Knocking at the Door: Poems about Approaching the Other, several WriteGirl anthologies, and numerous journals. Her chapbook An Alphabet of Romance is available from Finishing Line Press and Amazon.

Find out more about this author at:

The Alphabet of Romance (Finishing Line Press, 2013)

Book Cover image

Blue Heron Review Issue 5 / Winter 2016 Released Today!

Welcome to our latest issue of Blue Heron Review!

Please visit the Blue Heron Review Issue 5/Winter 2016 page of our website to read and view all of the beautiful work in this collection.

BHR Winter 2016 cover design image

(Cover art by Sharon Auberle)


Ethel Mortenson Davis * Chris Abbate * Elizabeth J Mitchell * Martin Willitts Jr * Joan Mazza * Richard King Perkins II * Kenneth Pobo * Lila Hope-Simpson * Steven Bucher * Robert Lee Haycock * Terrence Sykes * Su Zi * Karissa Knox Sorrell * Heidi Hallett * Mary Carroll-Hackett * Devi S Laskar * Philip Dacey * Gary Jones * Zara Raab * Anne Higgins * David Anthony Sam * Nancy Ann Schaefer * Patricia Williams * Sarah Gilbert * Emily Harel * Maryann Hurtt * Julia Rice * Marilyn Zelke-Windau * Katy Phillips * Bauke Kamstra * Linda Aschbrenner * Erina Booker * Judy Wucherer * Daniel Birnbaum * Florence Weinberger * Melissa Fu * Pamela Ahlen * Gonzalinho da Costa * Marcia J Pradzinski * Keith MacNider * Cathryn Essinger * Cindy Rinne * Cindy Bousquet Harris * Donna H DiCello

Sharon Auberle * Phil Shepherd * Richard Havenga * Daniel Adams * David Kessler * Keith MacNider * Robert Lee Haycock

I hope you enjoy this stunning collection of poetry and photography. Each, unique creation offers up a rich tapestry of mindfulness and beauty for the reader.

With kind wishes,

Cristina M. R. Norcross, Editor
Blue Heron Review

The Blue Heron Speaks Featured Poet for February 2016 is Karla Van Vliet

Welcome to the February 2016 edition of Blue Heron Speaks! We are very pleased to share the gifts of poetry and artwork, by Karla Van Vliet. Her latest collection is, From the Book of Remembrance (Shanti Arts Publishing, 2015). These poems are lit from within. With an attention to the beauty of language and the embodiment of soul, these poems sing of core emotions, with a raw honesty. Pairings of abstract art and verse provide the reader with a close examination of the human heart, which we must explore by reading, and re-reading, each line. These poems are meant to be savored.

Please visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page of our site to experience the depth and beauty of 3 selections from Karla Van Vliet’s new book.


Karla Van Vliet Photo.taken by Sadie Newman copy

(photo credit: Sadie Newman)

Karla Van Vliet is a poet, artist and Integrative Dreamwork analyst. Her poems have appeared in such journals as Poet Lore, Blue Heron Review, The Tishman Review, Found Poetry Review and Green Mountain Review. Her most recent book From the Book of Remembrance (Shanti Arts, 2015) is a collection of poems and paintings. The River From My Mouth, her first book of poems, is being reissued by Shanti Arts this coming year. She is currently working on a full-length collection of poetry titled Iterate and a collection of poetic non-fiction pieces titled Beholding, which explore her deep relationship to the Vermont landscape she lives within. She is the co-founder and editor of deLuge, a literary and arts journal and is the administrator of the New England Young Writers’ Conference at Bread Loaf, Middlebury College. Find out more about this author at her website: www.vanvlietarts.com

From the Book of Remembrance (Shanti Arts Publishing, 2015)


Blue Heron Review at the Woodland Pattern Annual Poetry Marathon in Milwaukee on Saturday, January 30th, 2016 at 2pm

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Artwork by Daniel Adams

Blue Heron Review
​ is co-sponsoring the 2-3pm time slot of the Woodland Pattern 22nd Annual Poetry Marathon and Benefit on Sat. January 30th in Milwaukee!

“All of the money raised will support Woodland Pattern’s 2016 programming in literature and the arts, including our Lynden Sculpture Garden Writer-in-Residence and our Urban Youth Literary Arts Program.” (Woodland Pattern Book Center, 720 East Locust Street | Milwaukee, WI 53212)

Here is our featured poet line-up:

Cristina Norcross​
Susan Huebner
James Roberts
Fred Kreutz
Gail Goepfert
Ruth Bavetta
Martie Ingebretsen

Those who live locally, will be there in-person, and for our long-distance poets, we will be reading poems on their behalf. It will be a great reading! Hope to see you there!

The Blue Heron Speaks Featured Poet for January 2016 is Wallace Stevens

Welcome to the Blue Heron Speaks feature for January 2016! Take a brief break from writing up your New Year’s resolution list (or procrastinating creating a list), to breathe deeply, and read a few poems by Wallace Stevens (1879-1955). About twice a year, I like to offer samplings of work from past voices, whose writing still casts light in our world from the next realm. It gives me a little more time to line up the next 3 months of featured, contemporary poets, but it also allows for a time of reflection. Winter, for many of us, is a time of solitude, when the cold chill brings us inside the hearth a bit more. It is also a time to appreciate voices from the past, who may have some wisdom to share. I will let the poems of Wallace Stevens speak for themselves. Whether you remember studying Stevens previously, or if this is your initial foray into his verse, I invite you to stop, rest, and stay awhile. Perhaps, read a past issue of Blue Heron Review, while you’re here, too. Enjoy!

Visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page to read 3 poems by Wallace Stevens.

Happy New Year from Blue Heron Review!

Your presence makes a difference. What will you do with the beauty of words this year? Your participation in life is required.

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