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

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:

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”)

The September 2017 Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author is Rachel Dacus!

Welcome to the September edition of Blue Heron Speaks! We are so delighted and blessed to feature the work of poet, Rachel Dacus, this month. Author of Gods of Water and Air (Aldrich Press, 2014), Earth Lessons (Bellowing Ark Press, 1998), and Femme au chapeau (WordTech Communications, 2005), Rachel Dacus allows us to float on her lyrical river of words and images, as if the reader is part of her poetic choreography. Dream-like and magical, her poems invite us to enter a new space in which to exist. Dacus speaks to us of our loved ones murmuring advice and hope from the other side: “On the other side, just there, I see the gone ones/ digging in unearthly ground, planting/ the seeds of the future.” What if we were to quiet our lives and listen more? What if we could reach that beauty with an arabesque? Join me in celebrating these beautiful poems. Dacus beckons us to “begin fresh” and to help create “a world as heavenly as it always/ meant to be …”

Visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page of our site, to read sample poems by Rachel Dacus, and to learn more about her books.

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Rachel Dacus is the author of Gods of Water and Air, a collection of poetry, prose, and drama, and the poetry collections Earth Lessons and Femme au chapeau. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Atlanta Review, Boulevard, Prairie Schooner, The Pedestal, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. The Renaissance Club, her time travel novel involving the great Italian sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini, is forthcoming in January 2018 from Fiery Seas Publishing. Her fourth poetry collection, Arabesque, is forthcoming in August 2018 from FutureCycle Press. Read more at

Blue Heron Review Issue 8 / Summer 2017 “The Healing Issue” Is Now Available to Read Online!

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(Cover art by Pd Lietz)

Nina Bannett, Michael Hettich, Gary Jones, M J Iuppa, Catherine Stearns, Karla Huston, Joan Mazza, Jan Chronister, Charlene Langfur, Rachel Dacus, M A H Hinton, Cathryn Cofell, Guy Thorvaldsen, Emily Bowles, Tricia Knoll, Marguerite G Bouvard, Cliff Wedgbury, Lawrence William Berggoetz, Ruth McArthur, Gail Tirone, Kathy Lohrum Cotton, Claire Joysmith, Sheryl Slocum, Tori Grant Welhouse, Kersten Christianson, Roseann St Aubin, Annie Blake, Priscilla Atkins, Janet McCann, Michael Jack O’Brien, Jessica Moser, Jackie Langetieg, Jim Landwehr, Lynne Burnett, Susan Twiggs, Laura Johnson, Mary Strong Jackson, Diane Sahms-Guarnieri, Jonel Abellanosa, Kevin Shyne, Ronnie Hess, Susie Foster Hale, Jodi Andrews, Lorraine Caputo, Kristen Baum DeBeasi, Sandra Lindow, James Dott, Chelsea Comeau, Joanne M Clarkson, Janet Taliaferro, Prerna Bakshi, Jude Goodwin, Karla Van Vliet, Susan Martell Huebner, Laurel Devitt, Kelsey Dean, Martin Willitts Jr, Bobbie Lee Lovell

Pd Lietz (Cover Artist), Jason Iffert, Devi S Laskar, Robina Anstey, Kurt John Huebner, Leilani Carroll, Fiona Capuano, Karen VandenBos, Melodie Past

Welcome to the SUMMER 2017 HEALING ISSUE of Blue Heron Review!

This is our first, themed issue for Blue Heron, and we had a record high number of submissions. So many writers connected with the need for healing in our lives on many different levels. This theme was open to topics of physical healing, emotional healing, the healing of our environment, spiritual healing, etc. Poets from across the US, Canada, and abroad showed up in our in-box with deeply personal, poetic narratives about their own experiences of healing. Each poem in this collection is a sacred offering to our readers. I hope that you will be present for yourself, for these extraordinary artists who have shared their stories, and for the future we hold so dear. Within these creations exists a glorious hope for what our world could be, if we listen to each other with love, compassion, and grace.

Please click on the tab for Blue Heron Review Issue 8 Summer 2017 to read the full collection.

There is much to explore and savor here. I hope that you enjoy reading these poems and viewing the artwork, as much as I have enjoyed creating a space for these beautifully rich offerings!

With kind wishes for summer,
Cristina M. R. Norcross, Founding Editor
Blue Heron Review

The June 2017 Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author is Tom Montag!

Welcome to the JUNE 2017 edition of Blue Heron Speaks! We are delighted to shine a spotlight on the work of poet, Tom Montag, author of In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013 (MWPH Books, 2014), This Wrecked World (Bitterzoet Press, 2016), The Miles No One Wants (Otata’s Bookshelf, 2016), and The Big Book of Ben Zen (MWPH Books, 2003), among others. There is a spartan beauty to Tom Montag’s poetry, which offers us a window, a door, and a pathway to understanding the world. Through the lens of nature as philosopher and the guidance of a deep inner knowing, we enter into a vast space, where we can openly seek answers. Tom Montag generously provides us with a quiet pause to reflect. After all, we cannot rush life’s wisdom.

Visit the Blue Heron Speaks page of our site to read 3 sample poems by Tom Montag, and to learn more about his books.


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(photo by Geri Burk)

Tom Montag
, most recently the author of In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013 (MWPH Books, 2014), This Wrecked World (Bitterzoet Press, 2016), and The Miles No One Wants (Otata’s Bookshelf, 2016), has been a featured poet at Atticus ReviewContemporary American VoicesHouseboat, and Basil O’Flaherty Review, and has received Pushcart Prize nominations from Provo Canyon ReviewBlue Heron Review, and The Lake. Montag’s poem “Lecturing My Daughter in Her First Fall Rain” was incorporated into the design of Milwaukee’s Wisconsin Convention Center; read the poem and see a photo HERE. Peter Stephens has given thorough attention to Montag’s The Big Book of Ben Zen and In This Place at Slow Reads. Your One Phone Call did a lengthy interview with Montag. Montag blogs as The Middlewesterner. With David Graham, he is currently editing an anthology of poetry about small town America.  Montag’s favorite comment about his work comes from a Turkish writer who said: “Tom, you are my favorite Chinese poet.”

The May 2017 Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author is Hedy Habra

Welcome to the May 2017 edition of Blue Heron Speaks! We are delighted to feature the work of poet, Hedy Habra this month, author of Under Brushstrokes (Press 53, 2015), Tea in Heliopolis (Press 53, 2013), and Flying Carpets (Interlink, 2013). With polished pearl language, Habra invites us to walk with her into the forest to collect insights, create connections, and develop a greater awareness of ourselves and the natural world. Her narratives are dream-like and rich with detail. These are poems which transport the reader to different realms. Open the door to each poem and discover for yourself.

Please visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page of our site to read 3 sample poems by Hedy Habra and to learn more about her books.

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Hedy Habra has authored two poetry collections, Under Brushstrokes, finalist for the USA Best Book Award and the International Poetry Book Award, and Tea in Heliopolis, winner of the USA Best Book Award and finalist for the International Poetry Book Award. Her story collection, Flying Carpets, won the Arab American National Book Award’s Honorable Mention and was finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award. A recipient of the Nazim Hikmet Poetry Awards, she was a six-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her work appears in Cimarron Review, The Bitter Oleander, Blue Fifth Review, Cider Press ReviewDrunken Boat, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Gargoyle, Nimrod, Poet Lore, World Literature Today, and Verse Daily. Habra has a passion for painting and teaches Spanish at Western Michigan University. Her website is


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Artwork by Daniel Adams

Submissions for the summer HEALING issue of Blue Heron Review are NOW CLOSED
. All submissions will be read with great care and attention. Response time is approximately 8-10 weeks from the date the submission was received. Thank you for the wonderful offerings sent for this special issue! Our online launch will be at the end of July 2017. Looking forward to curating another beautiful collection of poetry and visual art!

With kindest wishes for your creative journey!
Cristina M. R. Norcross, Founding Editor
Blue Heron Review

The April 2017 Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author is Gwendolyn Brooks

Happy National Poetry Month! Welcome to the April edition of Blue Heron Speaks. In honor of National Poetry Month, we always shine a spotlight on a voice from the past – someone who can enter our current world and offer up some wisdom through verse. Our featured author this month is renowned poet, Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000).


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(photo credit: The Poetry Foundation)

There exists in words many doors, many roads, and many fields leading to the open terrain of the human heart. In Gwendolyn Brooks’s poems, we find inner pathways, leading to places of longing, regret, captured reflections, and raw truth. The reader may wander in knowingly, but will never leave unchanged by Ms. Brooks’s ability to leap into what is most difficult – the workings of the mind. She reveals the depths of shadows, which we must all face. Don’t forget the lamplight, which Gwendolyn Brooks leaves on for us. There is light. There is always light.

Visit the Blue Heron Speaks page of our site to read 3 sample poems by Gwendolyn Brooks, and to learn more about her legacy.

“We are each other’s magnitude and bond.”
~Gwendolyn Brooks

Submissions Now Open for Blue Heron Review! Deadline: April 20th, 2017

The CURRENT call for submissions for Blue Heron Review is from March 20th through April 20th, 2017.


This will be our first THEMED ISSUE. As always, we welcome all meditative, reflective, and metaphysical poetry. This will be for our SUMMER 2017 BHR issue (due to be released online at the end of July, 2017). We are looking specifically for poems about HEALING. This can take any form you wish: physical healing, emotional healing, spiritual healing, environmental healing, etc.

Please visit the Blue Heron Review Submission Guidelines page on our site for full details. We strongly suggest that you read past issues of Blue Heron Review (which can be found on our ARCHIVES page) before submitting.

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(photo credit: Jason Iffert)