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

 

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.

Author Photo USE THIS Jonel A

 

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!

Author Photo Marjorie P

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

 

 

The June 2019 Blue Heron Review Featured Author is Shawn Aveningo Sanders!

Welcome to the June 2019 Blue Heron Review Feature! We are delighted to shine a spotlight on the work of author Shawn Aveningo Sanders, this month. Sanders is the co-founder of The Poetry Box® press, as well as managing editor for The Poeming Pigeon. Her forthcoming chapbook is, What She Was Wearing.

Shawn Aveningo Sanders shares with us poems of depth, vulnerability, and courage. She manages to skillfully, and with great sensitivity, approach topics of loss and pain, with a gentle touch. Through beautiful, honest details, we see into the life of things and the human struggles faced every day.

Please visit the Blue Heron Review Featured Author page of our site, to read 3 sample poems by Shawn Aveningo Sanders, and to learn more about her wonderful work in the poetry community!

Shawn Aveningo Sanders started out as show-me girl from Missouri and after a bit of globetrotting finally landed in Portland, Oregon, where she miraculously overcame her fear of birds upon meeting two baby juncos in her backyard. Shawn’s work has appeared in over 140 literary journals and anthologies. She’s a Pushcart nominee (2015), Best of the Net nominee (2017), co-founder of The Poetry Box® press, as well as managing editor for The Poeming Pigeon. She was named Best Female Poet-Performer in Sacramento News & Review Reader Poll (2009) and was winner of the first poetry slam in Placerville, California (2012). Shawn is a proud mother of three amazing adults, and she shares the creative life with her husband. You can learn more about her at RedShoePoet.com.

 

Format Changes for Blue Heron Review as of May 2019 — PLEASE READ

BLUE HERON REVIEW NEWS: There are changes in the works at Blue Heron Review. I hope that you will welcome the energy of this new format with me, in the coming months. BHR will still be providing a space for contemporary, poetic voices on our Featured Author Page of the website, but we will no longer be publishing online issues, and we will no longer be having an open call for submissions. (*All past issues will remain available to read online, indefinitely.) After almost 6 years of existence, 11 issues, and countless featured authors, we will be changing our format. At some point in the future, we may shift back to a one-issue, per year schedule, but for now, we will gently offer a beautiful feature each month, about an author of my choosing. I will mostly likely be choosing to feature authors who have been past contributors. July and August will remain months of rest for me, as editor. Twice a year, I will still shine a light on voices from the past—and the wisdom they have to share with us, as readers and writers.

Thank you for your continued readership, and for joining us on this journey of Blue Heron Review! This is a continuation, in a slightly different form, so please stay with us. We will keep raising awareness for meditative, heart-centered poetry and the importance of this energy in our modern day lives. May we all strive to raise the vibration of this earth, together. Your presence is requested. Let us all lift each other up through art and poetry!

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

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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 www.kbballentine.com.