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.

 

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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.

2017 Pushcart Prize Nominations from Blue Heron Review

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We are very honored at Blue Heron Review to have the opportunity to nominate the work of our poets for the annual Pushcart Prize anthology. Selections were made from our 2 issues published during the 2017 calendar year. Having to choose only 6 poems is always a difficult decision, as we are so proud to feature the work of all of our contributors. Please join me in celebrating the nominations of the following Blue Heron poets listed below. To read each poem in full, simply click on the link to the issue in which their work appears and scroll down, or do a search and find (command/f) for their names. As always, all of our issues are available to read and enjoy online at any time, at no cost to our readers.

Pushcart Prize Nominations:

From Blue Heron Review Issue #7, Winter 2017

• Martie Odell Ingebretsen (“Night Window”)
• Yvette Viets Flaten (“Rose Morning”)

From Blue Heron Review Issue #8, Summer 2017

• Michael Hettich (“This Yearning”)
• Rachel Dacus (“Always Speaking”)
• Diane Sahms-Guarnieri (“Let Memories Awaken”)
• Cathryn Cofell (“Red Rover”)

Congratulations to all of our 2017 Pushcart nominees!

The November Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author is Marguerite Guzmán Bouvard!

Welcome to the November 2017 edition of Blue Heron Speaks! We are delighted and honored to feature the work of Marguerite Guzmán Bouvard, author of 8 poetry books and many non-fiction books including, The Unpredictability of Light (WordTech Communications, 2009) and The Light That Shines Inside Us (Diálogos, 2013). Bouvard transports us to a world of beauty and awe with her reverence for nature. We also see in these poems that she is a gifted healer through her words. We are invited to become one with, “a richness of spirit that rises above / our shadows, our petty quarrels, our hunger / for power and material wealth …” Bouvard encourages us to look beyond our current world and seek the wisdom of what lies beyond, as in the lines, “the soft violet-mauve this dusk that speaks / of tranquility in our shadowed world.” These are poems that elegantly sing and leave a lasting echo of tenderness.

Please visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page of our site to read sample poems by Marguerite Guzmán Bouvard and to learn more about her books. These are poems meant to be savored and revisited many times.

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Marguerite Guzmán Bouvard is the author of 8 poetry books, two of which have won awards. The Unpredictability of Light (WordTech Communications, 2009) won the MAssBook Award for Poetry. She has also published many non-fiction books. Her latest, Social Justice and the Power of Compassion (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2016), came out this year. Her books cover human rights, grief, illness, and women’s rights. She is a former professor of Political Science and Poetry and is currently a Resident Scholar of the Women’s Studies Program at Brandeis University. Marguerite’s most recent poetry book, The Light That Shines Inside Us (Diálogos, 2013), is on Amazon. Her website is www.MargueriteGBouvard.com

The October 2017 Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author is Prerna Bakshi!

Welcome to the October 2017 edition of Blue Heron Speaks. Our featured author this month is the very talented and insightful poet, Prerna Bakshi, author of Burnt Roti, With Love (Les Éditions du Zaporogue, Denmark, 2016). In these poems about identity and belonging, we are asked to reflect on how important our stories are. Our family history lives on, each time we share them. Bakshi also examines the struggles of discrimination faced when leaving one’s country of origin and how important it is to never forget our roots. In one poem, the familiar sound of one’s mother tongue provides great comfort to the speaker’s baby. Sometimes the greatest gift is honoring memory and celebrating where we came from. When we keep our stories alive, this bond crosses generations and honors our love for family. In the end, our stories are what matter, they are at our core, and no one can take that away from us, as the author writes, “…on the road to Patel Nagar—the road/ to his heart,/ the shortest route there was.”

Visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page of our site, to read 3 poems by Prerna Bakshi and to learn more about her work.

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Prerna Bakshi is a writer, poet and activist of Indian origin, currently based in Macao. Described by Catch News as a “fiery feminist,” she is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of the full-length poetry collection, Burnt Rotis, With Love (Les Éditions du Zaporogue, Denmark, 2016). Her book was long-listed for the 2015 Erbacce – Press Poetry Award in the UK and was cited as one of the “9 Poetry Collections That Will Change The Way You See The World” by Bustle magazine in the US. Her work has been published in over 100 literary journals, magazines, media, and newspapers, including The Huffington PostThe Kashmir MonitorChiron Review and TRIVIA: Voices of Feminism, as well as anthologized in several collections, most recently in A Shadow Map: An Anthology by Survivors of Sexual Assault by Civil Coping Mechanisms (2017). She tweets at @bprerna. For more information: http://prernabakshi.strikingly.com/

2017 Best of the Net Nominations from Blue Heron Review

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Every year, online journals are invited to nominate individual poems for the Best of the Net Anthology, published by Sundress Publications. The poem, story, or essay must have been first published or appeared on the web between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017. Blue Heron Review is delighted to announce our nominations this year. To read each poem, in full, simply click on the issue and scroll to find individual poets. Congratulations and good luck to all of our nominees. We are so very proud and honored to publish the work of all of our contributors.  Six choices are never enough.

From Blue Heron Review Issue #6 Summer (July) 2016

• Elise Hempel (“Night Exposure”)
• Karla Van Vliet (“My Blessing”)
• Lynne Burnett (“Clear Night Over Treadwell Bay”)

From Blue Heron Review Issue #7 Winter (Feb) 2017

• Timothy Walsh (“Following the Sound of a Bell into Silence”)
• Janet Reed (“Sock Widow Empathy”)
• Marie Loeffler (“Blue”)