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Beautiful Obstacles by Diane Averill

"These are deeply felt poems with traces of the soul all through them. It does my heart good to know the book, these poems, are in the world. They bless the reader who comes upon them. Vivid, startling, committed, these poems are gifts Diane has received and in turn gave to us." – Li-Young Lee  Amazon order info

   

The Perfume of Leaving, by KB Ballentine
Winner of the 2016 Blue Light Book Award.

In Celtic spirituality thin places are where the physical and spiritual, the visible and invisible, merge. Ballentine's work is full of such places.  Her writing weaves sensual beauty, transparent emotions, and language that sings - poems running wild in the landscape of the heart. author's site  Amazon order

 

What Comes of Waiting, by KB Ballentine

KB Ballentine weaves an astounding tenderness in vision and voice. Her poems are elegant jewels, with a powerful sense of place in the Appalachian mountains. Her vision is sometimes devastating, and always full of a sensual beauty, transparent emotions, and language that sings. Her poems will call you to you see the world in a different way. author's site  Amazon order

 

The Scent of Water, by Patricia Barone

The Scent of Water has the memorable imagery, engaging perceptions, and heightened language we have a right to expect in genuine poetry. Patricia Barone has united poems of the personal with poems that engage the larger world and its chaos. This is a book of water, especially the Mississippi and the lives it nourishes.   Amazon order

 

Schooled Lives – Poems By Two Brothers, by Barry Benson and Steve Benson

"The Benson brothers have put together not only a fine book of poems well worth keeping close but also a strong testament of faith in those subtleties of blood that can elevate the ordinary into song." Gary Gildner . . . "This is what poetry was meant to be, neither overly-sentimental nor veiled in obscure imagery. The poems read like music you have discovered as you search across the radio dial. Once found you stay tuned, turning the pages for more. This is adult poetry with risky passion, psychological pain, sensual thirst and the ache of longing."  Amazon order info

 

Poems by the Skunk River Valley Boys, by Barry Benson and Steve Benson

The joy of reading Poems By The Skunk River Valley Boys by Barry and Steve Benson is to watch grown men pay such careful attention to the world. At once flirty, funny, and philosophical... these two brothers play a brisk poetic ping-pong across the margins and gutters of their outstanding new book.  Amazon order info

 

Oracles for Night-Blooming Eccentrics, by Nancy Berg
Winner of the 2009 Blue Light Book Award.

"Right out of the headlines, participant in, on and of the edges of the dangerous and 'bejeweled' world, listener of sages ubiquitous, public radio opinionated, cable tv hysterical, spinning on the deck of the luxury liner of night itself . . . and a penchant for small dogs and oracular insomnia, this is Nancy Berg's poetry, seeking its soulmate inside an emerald and unlike anything else being written, 'crackling like early electricity,' heavy with art . . . abundant with literary grace and charm." – Rustin Larson  author's site  Amazon order

 

The Return of the Bees, by Marianne Betterly

Marianne Betterly is an award-winning poet who writes about nature, love, loss, the streets of San Francisco, fairy tales and the synchronicity of events. A believer in auguries, old and new, she loves to discover hidden meaning floating on a double latte, in a swarm of bees or in a murder of crows.  Amazon order info

   

Weavings, by Mary Ellen Branan
Winner, 2011 Peace Corps Writers Poetry Award

Mary Ellen Branan served with the Peace Corps in Poland from 1994 to 1996. Her poems "return again and again to test what stands between us, never quite giving up on what might connect us. They cherish contact as well as the possibility of genuine sympathy, proving the tender spot between the self and the other, either human or animal. Weavings is a quiet, important book of poems." - Richard Lyons. "Mary Branan's work chronicles life ... with a warmth and sophistication that only time and artistic sensitivity can bring." - Karla K. Morton, Texas Poet Laureate  Amazon order info

 

This Moment's Daughter, by June Rachuy Brindell

June Rachuy Brindel, beloved author of Ariadne and Phaedra, was a prolific poet. She collaborated on songs with her husband, composer Bernard Brindel. She had numerous poems published in literary magazines, and this is her first full-length collection of poems. The wise woman voice of her novels sings on every page.  Amazon order info

 

Flying Backbone, by Christopher Buckley

Flying Backbone collects Christopher Buckley's poems from 1979 through 2007 responding to the life and paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe. Buckley explains that he was compelled by "The vitality she found in everything-from bones in the desert to skyscrapers in Manhattan – the way the work suggests a practical cast, one that cherishes the earth and praises the strength of the human spirit as it endures here." "He has an exquisite ear for language... – Library Journal  Amazon order info

   

The Holy Trinity of Chiles, by Scott Caputo

"Join Scott Caputo on a pilgrimage where we are offered nothing less than the full measure of being human. Accessible, these poems are made from the whole cloth of experience. Caputo never shies away from his religion or the marketplace. Astonishment lies down with humor. In Holy Trinity of Chiles the wanderer and the word-lover find nourishment." -Kit Kennedy   author's site  Amazon order

   

When I Pick Up My Wings from the Dry Cleaners, by Lisa Cihlar

Winner of the 2013 Blue Light Poetry Prize, Cihlar's poetry is full of muscle and sinew, power and verve, a voice so undeniable that it wraps itself around your synaptic connections and becomes indelible, essential. This is poetry of the highest order. Her music will carpe diem your mind; her characters, larger than life ... A new poetic powerhouse is in town.  Amazon order info

   

Dreams and Dreamers, by Lynn Cohen

“Lynn Cohen’s poems are tender elegies for lost youth, passion and ease. Graceful and economical, these lyrics offer bright glimpses of city and country, travel and remembered haunts. They are stories in miniature, deftly moving back and forth in time, lit with flashes of insight. Childhood anticipates future scars; middle age looks back to simpler ardor. Cohen uses a compact, elegant style to create a lucid world of longing.” - Martha Hollander, Winner of the Whitman Award under W. S. Merwin.  Amazon order info

   

The Zen of Falling Leaves, by Angel Collier

"Angel Collier's poems are exotic butterflies. Lovely language, vision, beauty, a spiritual connection with the land, the birds, and the trees. Her poems reveal a divine tenderness, an honest telling, an open diary of her life and soul. Her language sings and shines."  Amazon order info

   

The Long and the Short of It, by David Connor

David Connor's gutsy collection of poems is a compendium of the 20th century American life as seen through the unflinching eye of a dedicated physician and investigator into the mysteries of body and soul.  Amazon order info

 

Gimme Five, by Philip Dacey

Dacey’s twelfth book demonstrates in poem after poem how the restriction of five stanzas of five lines each is like gravity to a dancer: it frees the artist. His poetry offers “fine turns of language...amazing knots tied and untied” – Louis McKee. And according to the San Francisco Review of Books, ”Dacey’s work never fails to amaze.”  Amazon order info

 

Dreaming of Sunflowers: Museum Poems, by Lucille Lang Day

The Muse of Museums has found her poet in Lucille Lang Day. She has a painter's eyes, a scientist's mind and an alchemist's soul. In her museum poems, she describes the world we enter with scientific precision, paints it with colorful words, then throws in a tincture of wild imagination, memory, a drop of ancestral spirit and proclaims: "Let there be magic!." Read these poems and you too will be touched by magic.”  Amazon order info

 

Rumors of Shore, by Paul Fisher

The wildness of the natural world, and of the spirit, just barely contained; the elemental and the ephemeral; a primal darkness full of stars; fistfuls of tart black fruit-this is the stuff out of which Paul Fisher makes his poems, poems that are mysterious and musical and often terrifyingly beautiful, carved out of the strange light of this world "into luck, luminosities, pearls." – Cecilia Woloch. His is a soft, evocative, welcoming voice, resonant with a deep humility toward this world.  author's site  Amazon order

 

A Split Second of Light, by Stewart Florsheim

"Stewart Florsheim is one of those rare poets who has it all: chillingly beautiful language that draws the reader into myriad worlds of “riveting silence” and “prayer bells”; great courage to face the darkness, and the strength and wisdom to see that death and life are inextricably intertwined. This is an extraordinary book." – Louise Nayer, author of Burned: A Memoir  author's site  Amazon order

 

The Short Fall from Grace, by Stewart Florsheim

"Stewart Florsheim has written a Moebius strip of a book, starting with the nearly unspeakable grief of being the child of ill-matched parents, and proceeding by turns into the amorous education of a young man, the perspicuity of a middle-aged aesthete (many of the poems here take their cue from great paintings), and finally marriage and fatherhood, which loop back with irony and insight to the beginning of Florsheim's narrative arc. The Short Fall From Grace, then, doesn't occur so much in a straight line—the way an actual fall might—as it does in a circular fashion, owing its trajectory not to gravity but to the irresistible pull of time." –Thomas Centolella  author's site  Amazon order

 

River of Earth and Sky, anthology selected by Diane Frank

More than 100 poets in this impressive collection of poems and poets! River of Earth and Sky: Poems for the 21st Century mixes the best voices of our generation with the grass roots. In these pages, you will find poets who have won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, along with lesser known poets who also deserve to be read. Jane Hirshfield praises this book: "Congratulations on this fantastic coming together of voices."   editor's site   Amazon order

 

Yoga of the Impossible, a novel by Diane Frank

“In Yoga of the Impossible, a series of journeys of the mind, the heart, and the whole spirit dance, punctuated by the most amazing imagery. At some place in this picaresque work, the reader will stand up and cheer. I guarantee it.” —Mary Norbert Korte, author of The Persephone Poems  author's site   Amazon order

 

Swan Light, by Diane Frank

"These poems of love returning to love, and light returning to light, are a heart gone supernova. Page by page Frank burns a path to her readers' hearts. The alignments are profound, the connections electric – from heart to bone, from marrow to star. These are radiant poems, where we earthbound creatures may find simultaneous escape and renewal." – George Wallace, Walt Whitman Birthplace Writer in Residence  author's site  review  Amazon order

 

Entering the Word Temple, by Diane Frank

"Diane Frank can enter, at will, that region where visions reveal themselves like snapshots. She transcribes these as jewel-like images on the page, through a vocabulary steeped in the natural world and the insistent predilections of the human heart." – Nancy Berg "Diane Frank crafts more than words, she brews word medicine. I feel her syllables like salve penetrate my skin to heal deeply hidden wounds." – Robin Lim   author's site  Amazon order

   

Blackberries in the Dream House, a novel by Diane Frank

Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Blackberries in the Dream House is the forbidden love story of a geisha and a Buddhist monk in Kyoto, 150 years ago, in the genre of magical realism. Praised for the beauty of its language, this novel is deeply feminine, erotic and metaphysical.   author's site  Amazon order

   

The Winter Life of Shooting Stars, by Diane Frank

"Tomas Transtromer once said that his poems are meeting places for souls. In this world where one does not always feel entirely at home, it is with a sense of recognition that one enters a Diane Frank poem, with all its exotic quirks, and rather than feel it to be strange, feel it to be a habitable, companionable place of kindred spirits." – Tom Centolella "What stays with me is that the poet depends on touch rather than vision to 'see' the real world. The narrators use their fingers and fingertips to make sure of reality; often the eyes are used to look beyond reality." – Daniel Langton  author's site  Amazon order

   

Rhododendron Shedding Its Skin, by Diane Frank

"In Diane Frank's poems, the beautifully sensual language is like the dense fur on a winter animal. Something powerful moves and shifts beneath the surface. On this inner level Diane controls more than language. Her dimensions are so primal that the rhythm and textures of her voice could swell the moon." – Corinne Erly  author's site  Amazon order

   

Blood Rivers, by Lisha Adela Garcia

Lisha Adela García's splendid debut full-length collection of poems follows the legacy of blood-spilled, spared, reviled, holy, singled-out, intermingled, and sustaining. These are poems of cultural border crossings and personal boundary breaches as seen from the female perspective. Her "whole life is the geography between...two countries, two cultures, two languages," the Rio Grande, "hugging both sides" of her story.  Amazon order info

   

This Fool's Journey, by Melanie Gendron

"The personified tarot cards in This Fool's Journey talk about themselves, making the archetypes accessible to the reader. The line drawings of the Gendron Tarot major arcana make this book a visual as well as consciously expansive treat." – John Gray  author's site   Amazon order

 

Flash Fiction Funny, by Tom Hazuka

Tom Hazuka's Flash Fiction Funny is a delight. Comical, silly, absurd, slapstick, quirky and always fun. Well-crafted flashes by established and up-and-coming authors find humour in a wonderful array of characters and scenarios: waitresses, teachers, musicians, dentists, gynocologists, Barbie dolls and superheroes; first dates, sexual fantasies, walks with ABBA and swimming with chickens.  author's site  Amazon order

 

Copperhead: Tantric Lessons On Love, by George James

These are offerings of healing for the dance of sexuality and spirituality, a dance of light and shadow that has troubled seekers for eons. "George James' Copperhead has a powerful teaching about higher love in a world that has become profane. Each poem is a lesson and a gift." – Diane Frank.  author's site 

   

Peeling the Onion, by George James

George James has written a book of transformational poems about the fivefold spiritual journey, where everyone will find a facet of their own soul. Peeling the Onion’s poems reveal universal life issues we all experience in some form. The wisdom, inspiration and healing offered is simple, direct and easy to assimilate by everyone regardless of their life’s path and level of personal and spiritual development.  author's site  Amazon order

   

Blackberry Winter, by Helga Kidder

Helga Kidder is a native of Germany's Black Forest region and lives in the Tennessee hills. These poems, light and dark, are worshipful of creation and wise about the nebulous nature of time, and one woman's place in both. A beautifully crafted book with soaring images.  Amazon order

   

Luckier than the Stars, by Helga Kidder

Helga Kidder's Luckier than the Stars is an odyssey that takes us from her childhood memories and post war Germany to present day America, "a life spent to fit and re-fit the broken pieces." A master of metaphor and a vigilant seer of the extraordinary in the ordinary, she knows "...the past is a bell/ the present, newborn sea turtles/ racing to the ocean's moon..."  Amazon order

   

now leaving nowheresville - short stories by Philip Kobylarz

You don't know who the alien is, you or the other guy, or girl, or possibly both. Not that it makes you compañeros; so we learn in these wry stories, told with the air of a disabused Mediterranean wanderer run aground, occasionally, in the American west.  Amazon order

 

rues, by Philip Kobylarz

Philip Kobylarz’s enigmatic poems lead us into silences. “All views are interiors.” They also remind us that poetry is a tribute to Mystery. By elevating ordinary moments to the level of the Silence, Kobylarz validates every small and minute detail of existence. – Ewa Chrusciel  Amazon order

 

One Good Turn, by Kirston Koths
Winner of the 2016 Blue Light Book Award.

Kirston Koths' debut collection of poems, is a perfect synergy of wisdom, beauty, angst, and the voice of the tribal elder. More than any other poet I know, he freeze-frames the magic of his childhood and renders it eternal.   Amazon order

   

Harbingers, by Jennifer Lagier

In Harbingers, you will find the sharp eye of the photographer, the passion of the environmental activist, and a prayer for the survival of the Earth. As the poet takes you on coastal walks on the Monterey Peninsula, she reveals her delight in all natural things and her fears about global warming.   Amazon order

   

During Our Walks, by Daniel J. Langton

A series of monologues by the village explainer to a recent arrival. Magical storytelling, beautiful wordsmithing. Lyrical and entertaining from beginning to end.  author's site  Amazon order

 

Personal Effects, New and Selected Poems, by Daniel J. Langton

Daniel J. Langton was launched into a life of writing poetry by William Carlos Williams. "These poems have a lovely pacing and interior radiance." – Tess Gallagher. "Superbly written, beautifully controlled, and yet continually freshened by a kind and fresh imagination." – Robert Bly  author's site  Amazon order

   

Bum Cantos, Winter Jazz, & the Collected Discography of Morning, by Rustin Larson
Winner of the 2013 Blue Light Book Award.

Rustin Larson's poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Iowa Review, North American Review, Poetry East, Saranac Review, and more. Challenging a reader's perspective while remaining accessible, direct and vulnerable, Rustin Larson magically turns the routine into the extraordinary.  author's site  Amazon order

 

The Wine-Dark House, by Rustin Larson

The Wine-Dark House is a triumph by Rustin Larson. The poems are evocative and finely wrought, brimming with detailed, sensual images and delicately crafted lines. The poet leads us gently, yet with a firm purpose, on a tour of shadowed memory, both distant and more recent, that explores memory's hard truth. Larson is courageous in that he is not willing to take refuge in the ordinary. With consummate skill, inspired wit, and a rare compassion, these poems observe, reflect, and startle, reminding us of the necessary human endeavor to both honor and challenge the occasions of our daily lives.  author's site  Amazon order

 

I Was Albert Schweitzer's Secret Mistress, by Judy Liese

In this charming and delightful collection of poetry and prose, we are taken through the imaginative journey of a child in rural Wisconsin, a young nurse's experiences in Alaska, and contented married life in northern California. This is a book to be savored and treasured like an old friendship.   Amazon order info

   

The Geometry of Splitting Souls, by Robin Lim2011 CNN Hero of the Year!

"Robin Lim is a woman of staggering energy, passion, goodness and talent. Her poems take all four of those traits, and weave them into wonder." — Elizabeth Gilbert

Order online at Amazon, or call by phone:1st World Publishing at 641-209-5000.

   

The Little House on Stilts Remembers, by Naomi Ruth Lowinsky

Sing a song of home, the places that have held you. Lament the haunted Shoah-torn dwellings that could not hold. Create a dirge for the loss of your home, where power animals and spirits hovered, and give the home a voice to wail your leaving. Celebrate the lovemaking that brings fire to the everyday, moving back and forth through time in anguish and joy, as though all times were this one.  Amazon order info

   

A Deep but Dazzling Darkness, by Constance Rowell Mastores
Winner of the 2013 Blue Light Book Award.

Mastores is a poet of immediacy - of rapt contemplation of the phenomenal world. She has a musician's ear for how to create marvelous sound effects with words and cadence. "With her shape-shifting, synesthetic imagery and her subtle use of sound, Mastores is a poet whose words seem to breathe on the page." — Blue Unicorn  Amazon order info

   

Walking Backwards, by Ken McCullough

This is a book about relationships: with each other and with the natural world. Ken McCullough demonstrates a profound understanding and acceptance of the balance between light and dark in the universe. . . his words are passionate and elegant, and meditate on life from the perspective of one who has lived it fully. McCullough speaks to us with wit and humility, as prophet, trickster, father, lover, friend and teacher.  Amazon order info

   

Cradling Monsoons, by Sarah McKinstry-Brown
2011 Nebraska Book Award for Poetry

Cradling Monsoons "pits tension between reality and desire, cultivating a world rich with lived imagination. In Sarah McKinstry-Brown’s grasp, language tackles the world of marriage, pregnancies and family with a complex love capable of cradling frustrations and grief with a patience that can ride through any monsoons and still trust there will be air to breathe soon enough." —Lisa Gill, Author of The Relenting "These poems make art from life, and reveal the making and living of life as an art of terrible power and tenderness. These poems are pure muscle, fierce heart." —Lee Ann Roripaugh, Author of On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year  author's site   Amazon order

   

What We Love, by Ed Meek

"Ed Meek digs underneath the broad lawns and narrow minds of the suburbs to unearth a deeper and at times darker, truth about ourselves and our lives." -Doug Holder. "His poems are brilliant, fresh, and full of subtle surprises." - James Chichetto. "Ed Meek's poems ... show us what's real and true, whether it's terrifying or funny as hell." - Bill Littlefield, NPR   Amazon order info

   

That Certain Blue, by Sharon Lask Munson

Sharon's first full-length book of poems invites the reader into a world of compassion and tenderness, family traditions, affirming a life of grace and quiet joy.  author's site   Amazon order

   

Burned, a memoir by Louise Nayer
An Oprah Magazine Great Read
.

Louise Nayer illuminates both the emotional intensity of loss and the surprising strength that is summoned up for the sake of loved ones. Burned is the story of a family stripped to their barest elements and held together by love..   Amazon order info

   

The Houses are Covered in Sound by Louise Nayer

Louise Nayer's poems are full of vision, wisdom, vulnerability and beautifully crafted language. "She has sharp imagery and honesty in her work, and her poetry is in touch with life, as poetry is supposed to be." – John Logan "Louise Nayer is a markedly gifted poet." – Robert Creeley.   Amazon order info

   

Under a Prairie Moon, by Susie Niedermeyer

In Under a Prairie Moon, Susie Niedermeyer doesn't so much observe the natural world as experience it flowing through her. In a poetic voice that is at once down-to-earth and visionary, she explores inner and outer landscapes as they intersect and shape one another. Many of her poems are rooted in close, delicate observation of plant and animal life in the rural Midwest and are animated by the poet's acute sensitivity. These poems carry the weight and the wisdom of lived experience: how memories accumulate and cast their shadows on the present; how illumination and understanding can come suddenly, in a moment.   Amazon order info

   

Do Houses Dream? by Barbara Novack

Barbara Novack's debut book of poems offers the reader a celebration of all parents.
Opening gently in a thoughtful mode, it builds to a crescendo, then returns to a more contemplative tone at the end, with each poem set in a context that lets it shine.  Amazon order info

 

Petroglyphs, by Fred Ostrander

Fred Ostrander is a poet who understands a dedicated and diligent approach to the use of language. His poetic vision, subtle and engaging, is powered by the natural rhythms of a confiding voice, a voice that conveys a man of deep integrity and humanity. The poems in Petroglyphs are intimate and universal, lyrical and intelligent. They call the reader back, again and again, to wander around their word and sound landscapes. "To begin reading Fred Ostrander is to enter an alternate, intenser world where the great images rule and the tides of the universe palpably lift (and drop) us all." – John Hart   Amazon order info

 

Bend of Quiet, by Ken Pobo
2014 Blue Light Book Award.

Every culture has its seers and visionaries, who see and hear more than the rest of us. Kenneth Pobo's lyrics reveal the inner lives of fauna and flora. These are healing songs in the tradition of tribal shamans, love songs, clearly articulated in the American Idiom. They wake us, remind us to care for the spirits embodied within us and around us, to live in earth's mystery without destroying it further.   Amazon order

 

Cellulose Pajamas, by Meg Pokrass
2014 Blue Light Book Award.

"In a smattering of sassy, wry words Meg Pokrass creates a universe of love in Cellulose Pajamas. These sexy but wistful prose poems hint at entire constellations of affections, relationships at once sweet, sad, satisfying-and not. The poet's delicately surreal metaphors give her poems so enticing an air that they seem to wear perfume." ~ Molly Peacock   Amazon order

 

Baby you can drive my car, by Michèle Praeger

Michèle Praeger's three previous lives read like a French childhood memoir, an absurdist comedy, and a Henry James novel. "Her debut collection of flash fiction takes you on unexpected journeys. Her stories are brilliant little jewels, which never go quite where you expect them to. I love the French existentialism juxtaposed with joie de vivre in these stories. Delightful to read!"    Amazon order

 

No Longer An Ingenue, by Megan Robinson
2014 Blue Light Poetry Prize.

"Megan's writing brings to mind the desert flower, the blossoms that have become tough from fighting the environment. She reaches for the mooring of autobiography and loosens the knot. We can feel the transformation that happens when the decision is made to stand and face the story, the birth cry of a warrior-mother, one who steps hungry into the rite of passage rather than choose the easy path of the coward." – David Hurlin   Amazon order

 

 

Mural, by Alice Rogoff

Winner of the 2004 Blue Light Book Award, Alice Rogoff lives in San Francisco. She has been an Editor of the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal since 1984, and received an Honorable Award in the Artists Embassy International Dance-Poem Contest. She belongs to the Northern California Media Workers Guild, is the Recording Secretary for the San Francisco Living Wage Coalition, and leads drama workshops for low-income adults.  Amazon order info

   

The Lifeline Trembles, by Mary Kay Rummel
2014 Blue Light Book Award.

"The Lifeline Trembles displays the full power of Mary Kay Rummel's poetic gift. Her poems are visionary, erotic and full of light. With elegantly crafted language, these pages are filled with a love that is palpable and shines. The voice of the Wise Woman sings in every poem." – Diane Frank, Author of Swan Light and Yoga of the Impossible   author's site  Amazon order

   

What’s Left is the Singing, by Mary Kay Rummel

Mary Kay Rummel spins words into mysticism and magic. "Not to be ordinary," she was drawn into the convent where she was forbidden to read fiction because the Superior didn't like it. She was able to leave when "words whispered in that wind/telling her to go forth and read, to never ask again." Set free, she read and wrote and traveled, visiting early Irish history and myth. Throughout her book, bells chime in celebration as her words become exquisite lyric poems. Rummel's work allows us to feel how. . . "light slips/through fingers into every fold of sky."   author's site   Amazon order

 

Dual Exposure, by Barbara Saxton

At age four, Barbara Saxton flaunted a warrior's stance, challenging Niagara's full force. With that same tenacity, bravery, elegance and honesty, she challenges her readers to experience the forces of alcoholism, the complexity of family relationships, and the beautiful interludes of love and life. Barbara's wit and mastery of expression are woven in every line of this collection.   Amazon order info

 

Unexpected Guests, by Stephen Schneider

“Steven Schneider is an extraordinary poet. Each of the poems in this collection is crafted with inspiration, dedication and a skill that exemplifies the best of contemporary poetry. Unexpected Guests is a powerful and beautifully written book that explores the meaning of faith, remembrance and creativity. ” - Marjorie Agosìn ... "For people who have been fans of Stephen Schneider's poetry all along, Unexpected Guests is the major collection they have been waiting for. For others, this is a wonderful poet to get to know well. It doesn't take long to make friends with these poems, and they'll become friends you'll want to visit again." - Rustin Larson   author's site   Amazon order

 

Measuring the Distance, flash fiction by Robert Scotellaro

Finalist for the da Vinci Eye Award (for excellence in book design) and received Honorable Mention for the Eric Hoffer Book Award (for excellence in fiction).

"From a homeless man stealing sugar, a mime with a gun, crazy Uncle L and a daughter's drunken Skype, to the stunning, aching perfection of 'One Better Than the Next,' Measuring the Distance is the work of a master storyteller. Our favorite collection of 2012." – Boston Literary Magazine.  author's site   Amazon order

 

What We Know So Far, micro fiction by Robert Scotellaro
2015 Blue Light Book Award

Scotellaro's flash stories, sentence by sentence, ride disjunction to dazzling heights of hilarity, hard won wisdom, and the sweetest grief. He is the sublime story teller of tiny lives colliding with big moments. These stories take us into small worlds full of big surprises.  author's site   Amazon order

 

The Book of Cold Mountain, by Cameron Scott
Winner of the 2016 Blue Light Book Award

"Cameron Scott writes like a river... his is the language of water and gravity, the silence of an empty desert basin, the smell of sage on cool mornings."  Amazon order info

 

Age of Exploration, by Christopher Seid
2015 Blue Light Book Award

Christopher Seid has crafted a book for seekers, a collection full of questions small and large and journeys. These poems exist in a force field between wholeness and limitation, between the longing for transcendence and the realities of responsibility and loss. Full of passion, wonder, mystery and joy - the kind of writing that makes you feel happy to be alive and part of it all.   Amazon order info

 

Hope is a Muscle, by Betsy Snider
2015 Blue Light Book Award

In this unusual collection of poems, Betsy Snider takes us back to her youthful years as a nun, her struggle against the convent's strict rules, and the new life she creates in rural New Hampshire. Wrought with precise detail, in deeply felt language, she suffers the silence of both God and love. Her poems read like haunting hymns or prayers to both the physical world and the world of the spirit.    author's site   Amazon order info

 

Mysterious Light, by Joyce Uhlir

Delving beneath the surface of things, Joyce Uhlir's poems explore and shed light on a multi-dimensinal world of nature where sight, sound, feelings, smell and taste mix like paint on a pallet, to the delight of body and soul. Sensuous and spiritual at the same time, this light often seems like x-ray vision, making the opaque transparent and beautiful. Joyce's painting, Bones of Zion, graces the cover of her book. Her poems radiate beauty and wisdom. They paint pictures with words and are filled with "mysterious light."   in memory   Amazon order info

   

Butterfly Tattoo, by Paul Stokstad

"Paul is a passionate and somewhat enigmatic man. He speaks in these soft staccato bursts, filled with questioning and wonder, and you can hear this, if you listen close, in his poetry." -Glenn Watt   Amazon order info

   

Word Ghetto, by Loretta Diane Walker

"Loretta Diane Walker writes with compassionate wisdom and insight-her poems restore humanity." -Naomi Shihab Nye. "Loretta Walker's Word Ghetto is an astounding book, full of wisdom, compassion, and masterfully woven word magic. Her language speaks with a rich tapestry of emotion, and her poems sing like a saxophone playing the music of her soul. Loretta Walker's vision is huge - she speaks for a whole community of people who are marginalized by the circumstances of their birth. Her poems offer healing, vision and hope." -Diane Frank, Author of Blackberries in the Dream House and Entering the Word Temple.  Amazon order info

   

In This House, by Loretta Diane Walker
Winner of the 2016 Wheatley Book Award for Poetry at the Harlem Book Fair

Loretta Diane Walker's house of poems is majestic and delicate at once - immense in depth of vision and perception and tenderly sensitive in all the ways human beings need a house to be. Her vibrantly descriptive poems honor the hardest days and rooms of being and believe in the beams of light coming back to us, once again, through the windows... poems as rich and wise as a profoundly conscious life. ~ Naomi Shihab Nye  Amazon order info

   

Wednesday After Lunch, by Will Walker

"Will Walker has written a collection of poems so intelligent and clear that reading them I wake up-and find myself alive in the world. This is what art can do – and every time it happens it's a miracle. Here is a miraculous book-awake to what the Buddhists call the "full catastrophe" of living right now. If you want to feel yourself alive and in great company, buy this book and read it, and then pass it on." – Marie Howe "He writes with a keen eye, a generous heart, and an expansive spirit, both embracing the everyday and transcending it. His poems always make me see with new eyes. They are love poems to the world." –Thea Sullivan   author's site   Amazon order

   

Walking the Refuge, by Glenn Watt
2015 Blue Light Poetry Prize

Through his keen eye and exquisitely musical line, Watt creates not just a fine homage to the mysterious life of birds, but offers a deeper commentary on the nourishing power of time spent alone in nature, an increasingly rare luxury these days.  Amazon order info

   

Something About, by Andrena Zawinski
2010 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award

"These are strong poems, brave works that are not afraid to identify pain-these poems come from an 'examined life'-we have a Book of Hours here that connects and wildly chronicles the 'givens' of a woman." -Rosaly DeMaios Roffman ... "The poems here are full of elegant and perceptive surprises; they are exacting in the way they seek out and find new uses for the language we know." -Susan Kelly-DeWitt.  Amazon order info

   
 

 

 

 

A list of chapbooks is available on the Contest Winners page.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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