The May 2019 Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author is KB Ballentine!

Welcome to the May 2019 Blue Heron Speaks Feature! It is an honor and a delight to shine a spotlight on the work of poet, KB Ballentine, author of Almost Everything, Almost Nothing (Middle Creek Publishing, 2017), The Perfume of Leaving (Blue Light Press, 2016), What Comes of Waiting (Blue Light Press, 2013), and other titles. Ballentine’s sixth collection of poetry, The Light Tears Loose, will be released early autumn 2019 by Blue Light Press. There is music and dance in Ballentine’s words. There is color, vibrancy, and life in every line and every verse. The reader must pause, reflect, and re-visit each poem, in order to gather up every last petal of inspiration from the garden of ideas, which she so graciously gifts to us. This is especially apparent in these last lines (from the poem, “Recipe for Making the Color Gold”): “Sprinkle an echo of stars across the night, / and the light of a song will rise with the dawn.”

Please visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page of our site, to read 3 sample poems by KB Ballentine, and to learn more about her beautiful work!

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(author photo credit: Jim Canestrari)

KB Ballentine’s sixth collection of poetry, The Light Tears Loose, will be released early autumn 2019 by Blue Light Press.  Almost Everything, Almost Nothing was released in 2017 by Middle Creek Publishing. The 2016 Blue Light Press Book Award winner, KB’s fourth collection The Perfume of Leaving was preceded by What Comes of Waiting, also by Blue Light Press (2013). Published in many print and online journals such as Crab Orchard Review and Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, KB has two other collections of poetry, Fragments of Light (2009) and Gathering Stones (2008), published by Celtic Cat Publishing. Her work also appears in anthologies including In Plein Air (2017), Carrying the Branch: Poets in Search of Peace (2017), In God’s Hand (2017), River of Earth and Sky: Poems for the Twenty-first Century (2015), Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VI: Tennessee (2013) and Southern Light: Twelve Contemporary Southern Poets (2011).

Ballentine received her MFA in Poetry from Lesley University, Cambridge, MA. She currently teaches high school theatre and creative writing and adjuncts for a local college.

Learn more about KB Ballentine at



Happy New Year! The January 2019 Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author is William Stafford (1914-1993)

Welcome to the January edition of Blue Heron Speaks! It is our tradition to choose 2 months out of the year to honor a poetic voice from the past. I usually do this around the holidays and also during National Poetry Month in April. In keeping with that tradition, our very first featured author for 2019 is William Stafford (1914-1993), author of over 65 volumes of poetry and prose, and a much beloved U.S. Poet Laureate (1970).



There is something sacred about using gentle words when describing everyday life. William Stafford has a gift for reverently holding these details in the palm of his hand. Read every line slowly—carefully, for Stafford took great care in choosing each word and image. These poems are offerings. We are meant to taste them and not rush over the meaning.

Please visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page on our site, to read 3 sample poems by William Stafford, and to learn more about his poetic legacy. I am currently reading, You Must Revise Your Life, by William Stafford (The University of Michigan Press, 1986), which is part of the Poets on Poetry series. These words of advice from Stafford resonate with me, “In its essence, poetry, like other sustained human endeavors, is done best in a condition of humility and welcoming of what comes. The exploration of what the materials of life can yield to us, and the discovery of what is implicit in human experience, will work best for one who is turned outward, with trust, with courage, and with a ready yielding to what time brings into view.” (p.70)