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)
NOTE: The Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page will be on a brief hiatus, for the holiday season (until January, 2019). Until then, please feel free to enjoy our beautiful array of past, featured poets. Their literary talents will delight and distract you this holiday season. While others are rushing around and generally busy, grab a nice cup of tea, sit in your favorite comfy chair, and browse our past authors. Each month, since 2013, we have been sharing the work of guest authors. We have plenty of reading material for you! See you in 2019. Thank you for your readership and support!
Warmest wishes from Blue Heron Review this holiday season. May you be surrounded by the love of family, friends, and neighbors. May you give and receive kindness. May you welcome others to your table and open your heart to those in need. May you find comfort and joy in the company of loved ones, and may you always reach out and lend a hand.
With kind wishes from all of us at Blue Heron Review,
Cristina M. R. Norcross, Editor
It is truly a labor of love to publish our 2 issues per year, and to feature a different author, each month, on the Blue Heron Review site. Being able to provide space for so many wondrous voices is something I cherish. When the time comes to nominate poets for these annual awards, it is always difficult, because I am so proud of all of our contributors. Choosing just 6, is quite hard. Please know that I am honored to include the work of all of our poets here at Blue Heron Review.
Below are the nominations for Blue Heron Review for the 2018 Pushcart Prize. Congratulations and good luck to all of our nominees!
From the Winter 2018 BHR Issue 9:
Nancy Jean Larson / “Medicine Walk”
Anne Anthony / “She Wants”
Mary C. Rowin / “Centering”
From the Summer 2018 BHR Issue 10:
Stephanie K. Merrill / “The Tao of Remembrance”
Kirsty A. Niven / “Left of Windyghoul Road”
Susan Martell Huebner / “A Gathering”
Cristina M. R. Norcross, Editor
Blue Heron Review
Welcome to the November edition of Blue Heron Speaks! Our featured poet this month is Olga García Echeverría, author of Falling Angeles: Cuentos y Poemas and the self-published chapbook Lovely Little Creatures. She is also a contributor to the anthology, Imaniman: Poets Writing in The Anzaldúan Borderlands. Olga shares with us stories of family and friendship with the rich, vivid details of tantalizing foods and the taste of freedom on one’s tongue, “baked camote smothered / in butter, cinnamon, and melted / piloncillo—the toughest brown sugar in the world.” These are poems of close bonds and relentless joy. They are poetic prayers for what binds us together in life. These images leave us with the belief that happiness is within our grasp, if we run and catch up with it, “… we ran / recklessly along the shore, our shrieks and cackles / permeating the sea.”
We are blessed to have Olga’s words grace these pages. Visit the Blue Heron Speaks page of our website, to read 3 poems by this gifted writer, and to learn more about her work.
(photo credit: Maritza Alvarez)
Olga García Echeverría is the author of Falling Angeles: Cuentos y Poemas, the self-published chapbook Lovely Little Creatures, and is a contributor to the anthology, Imaniman: Poets Writing in The Anzaldúan Borderlands. Her work is found in numerous literary spaces including Lavandería: A Mixed Load of Women, Wash and Words; The Sun; and Telling Tongues: A Latinx Anthology on Language. She has been an educator for over 20 years and is a Touching Lives Fellow, awarded by A Room of Her Own Foundation (AROHO) to women writers and artists who have made significant long-term contributions to students and teaching. García Echeverría holds a B.A. in Ethnic Studies from UC Santa Cruz, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Texas in El Paso, and an honorary degree in Code-switching from the Universidad Autónoma de Lenguas Desbordadas.
Congratulations to all of our Best of the Net nominees! Every year, it is always so difficult to choose just 6 poems from an array of beautiful selections. I am so proud of all of our BHR contributors. Please know that I take great care in reading and re-reading issues, before making choices. So thankful to have the opportunity to publish such remarkable work by poets from across North America and around the world.
BHR Issue 8 Summer 2017 (release date, end of July 2017)
1. Emily Bowles / “A Scale, My Fate”
2. Gail Tirone / “If Not for Grace”
3. Kristen Baum DeBeasi / “African Violets”
4. Kelsey Dean / “Paper Stars”
BHR Issue 9 Winter 2018 (release date, end of February 2018)
1. Prerna Bakshi / “Watching my father make paper boats”
2. Maryann Hurtt / “Born Again”
Cristina M. R. Norcross
Blue Heron Review
Welcome to the September 2018 Blue Heron Speaks Feature! This month, we shine a spotlight on BHR contributor, Diane Sahms-Guarnieri, who is a stunning wordsmith. In her collection, The Handheld Mirror of the Mind (Kelsay Books, 2018), we journey through themes of loss, grief, our shared humanity, and the complexities of the inner life. With great tenderness and lyricism, Guarnieri skillfully navigates these topics. Her graceful descriptions of the natural world provide a vivid magic, as if painting with words. While dealing with human struggles, this collection offers hope. Guarnieri invites us to honor all beings, all creatures, and all understandings of faith by joining together, “as global dreamers in coexistence.”
Please visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page of our site to read 2 sample poems by Diane Sahms-Guarnieri from her latest book, and to learn more about her work.
Diane Sahms-Guarnieri, a native Philadelphian, is the author of four full-length poetry collections: Images of Being (Stone Garden Publishing, 2011), Lights Battered Edge (Anaphora Literary Press, 2015), Night Sweat (Red Dashboard Press, 2016) and The Handheld Mirror of the Mind (Kelsay Press, 2018). Her poems have appeared in a number of online and print publications. She is poetry editor at North of Oxford. Visit her at http://www.dianesahms-guarnieri.com/
Welcome to the Blue Heron Review “Aspects of Love” Summer 2018 Issue!
I hope that you enjoy these poems and images, as much as I do! Love is at the core of everything we do (or at least it should be). This issue includes many different aspects of love: romantic love, the love of family, the love of a deep friendship, the love for a dear pet, the love of nature, the love and passion for one’s vocation, and the love for life itself.
With 42 poets and 11 visual artists represented from all over the world, this issue is literally a global feast for the heart and mind. Thank you to all of our talented contributors for making this magical issue possible. A special thank you to artist, Jocelyn Duke, who so graciously gave us permission to use her artwork, “Never Forget Your Song,” for our issue’s cover.
(cover art by Jocelyn Duke “Never Forget Your Song”)
Ceó Ruaírc * Karla Linn Merrifield * Eileen Sateriale * David Kitchel * Ruth Hoberman * Anna Mark * Elisabeth Harrahy * Kirsty A Niven * Tobi Alfier * Neil Creighton * Mary Goehring * Mike Lewis-Beck * Julia Kennedy * James P Roberts * Joseph Murphy * Lynne Carol Austin * Christopher Stolle * Lynn White * Joe Cottonwood * Mary Beth Hines * Lois Roma-Deeley * Patricia Carney * Marjie G Giffin * Jim Landwehr * Tom Richter * Joseph Nardoni * Mikayla Davis * Jane-Marie Bahr * Susan Martell Huebner * Kenneth Pobo * Mary C McCarthy * Stephanie K Merrill * Laura Johnson * David B Prather * Joan Mazza * Keith MacNider * Rachel Dacus * Donna H DiCello * Liz Rhodebeck * Steve Bucher * Lynne Burnett * PD Lietz
Jocelyn Duke (cover artist) * Lou Nicksic * Gail Goepfert * Jon Baucom * Kurt J Huebner * Diana Creighton * Paul Holden * Anna May Shaffer * Karen A VandenBos * PD Lietz * David Seth Smith
Blue Heron Review Issue 10, Summer 2018 / “Aspects of Love”
(photo credit: C. Norcross, 2018)
Our Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page will be on hiatus for the months of July and August. I hope that this is a creative time of dreaming, manifesting, and bringing in all forms of inspiration for future work. We’ll be back in September 2018, with a new guest author, every month, for you to enjoy!
Don’t forget that our BHR Summer 2018 issue is due to be published soon! The anticipated release date for our online issue, “ASPECTS OF LOVE,” will be mid-August (instead of late July), due to the record high volume of submissions received. We have an amazing issue, filled with beautiful, thoughtful verse and gorgeous visual art.
Stay tuned … more to come in August.
Summer is a time to reflect, relax, recharge your batteries, and open your heart to vast possibilities. We are co-creating a new world, through the literary and visual arts. Thank you for taking this journey with me!
Cristina M. R. Norcross
Founding Editor, BHR
Blue Heron Review
Welcome to the June 2018 edition of Blue Heron Speaks! This month, we are honored to share the very important work of author and editor, Darren C Demaree. Darren’s most recent collection is Two Towns Over (2018), which was selected by Trio House Press as the winner of the Louise Bogan Award. He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. In these poems of deep reflection about the loss of self, accompanying addiction, we see the curtain pulled back on how numbing life can take away any semblance of the life you once had, as in the lines, “the drugs can subtract / you forever.” These poems invite you to think about addiction with a sensitive heart and an awareness of how all-encompassing the hold can be on one’s spirit and direction. Darren compares the powerful nature of drugs to fierce animals, with these last lines, “They are wolves. / We’ve been raised by them.” Although we may sink during challenging times, there is always an opportunity to rise. Looking into the eyes of our own fears and sorrows will eventually lead us out of the dark, if we are offered compassion—if we have compassion for ourselves and for others.
Please visit the Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page of our site, to read 3 sample poems by Darren C Demaree from Two Towns Over, and to learn more about this author’s stunning work.
Darren C Demaree is the author of eight poetry collections, most recently Two Towns Over (2018), which was selected the winner of the Louise Bogan Award from Trio House Press. He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children. Learn more about this author at: https://darrencdemaree.com
Welcome to the May 2018 edition of Blue Heron Speaks! We are absolutely delighted and honored to share the work of our featured author this month, Diana Raab. Diana is a poet, memoirist, blogger, speaker, and award-winning author of nine books. Her latest book is Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Program for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life. This month is a slight departure from featuring a series of poems by an author. When I read Diana’s latest essay, “My Calling, Your Calling, Our Calling,” I knew that our Blue Heron Review readers and contributors would greatly benefit from soaking up the wisdom and insight of this piece. Diana shares her own journey with us in order to shed light on how writing can truly be a healing and transformative art form. In this thoughtful and powerful essay, Diana skillfully guides us to seek out our passions and our highest callings.
Please visit our Blue Heron Speaks Featured Author page to read Diana’s essay, “My Calling, Your Calling, Our Calling,” and to learn more about her books and the wonderful, soulful work she does with writers.
(Author photo by Melissa Musgrove)
Diana Raab, MFA, PhD, is a poet, memoirist, blogger, speaker, and award-winning author of nine books. Her work has been published and anthologized in more than 500 publications. She blogs for Psychology Today, Thrive Global, and Elephant Journal. She is the editor of two anthologies: Writers and Their Notebooks and Writers on the Edge; two memoirs: Regina’s Closet: Finding My Grandmother’s Secret Journal and Healing with Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey, as well as four poetry collections. Her latest book is Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Program for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life. Find out more about this author at: www.dianaraab.com