I finally received my contributor’s copies of this gorgeous issue of Foothill Journal, Volume 12 — which includes my poem, “(Cento) I’m tired of understanding…” — presented by Claremont Graduate University in November 2022. I’m grateful to editors Lauren Davilla, Holly Eva Allen, Emily Schuck, and Stacey Park for their outstanding professionalism throughout the publication process.
Poem Up at The Big Windows Review
Thank you to editor Tom Zimmerman of The Big Windows Review for selecting “Winter Poem” for publication on The Big Windows’ website and in its upcoming print journal. I’m so pleased my poem has found such a lovely home.
new publication: woodlands anthology
The amazingly talented editor, d. ellis phelps, has done it again!
I couldn’t be more honored to be a contributor to this beautiful project with my poem (and opening piece of this anthology!),”American Beech.”
Let’s try, here,
in the cloud-grey
of this centuries-old beech—
her toes, immense,
clinging to the path’s edge—
to be held
let’s try, in this world
its daylight’s golden
crowns & rosy breasts,
its predawn depths
teeming with robin-songs,
to dream ourselves
Shouldn’t we try
to wake up
high in this tree,
in tranquil forest-scent,
roll over, lean
the other cheek against her
STEPHANIE L. HARPER
It’s a Wrap!
After months (four to be exact) of work, sorting through and considering hundreds of submissions, sending out acceptances and declines (thank goodness for Submittable), asking for and recording permissions and adding contributors to my database, re-reading and arranging the book, creating a cover image (many thanks to Cynthia Yachtman for her art that graces the cover), sending out the proof copy, publishing the digital version here, answering hundreds of emails, re-reading and making edits and more, woodlands (Moon Shadow Sanctuary Press, 2022) is finally ready!
This beautiful anthology includes the work of forty-nine writers and artists (we’ve included full-color art this time) from across the United States, Canada, and South America, most of whom are accomplished, seasoned writers.
The title poem and the concept for the book were generous gifts from Spirt Thom. His poem, 14 Ways to Stay Awake is the finale for the book…
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Two Poems Up at Moss Puppy Magazine
My poems “Come High Water” (80) and “Testament” (83) are now live in the Blades issue of Moss Puppy Magazine. I’d like to thank Founder and Editor in Chief Melissa Martini for selecting my work to be included in this inspiring collection of passion and artistry.
New Poem Up at The Dodge!
I’m proud and excited to share my new poem, “Praying Mantis,” which has found the loveliest of homes at The Dodge Literary Magazine! Thank you to poetry editor Leah Kaminski for selecting and championing my work and to managing editor Jamie A. M. for their efficient, beautiful, and meticulous work on the webpage layout.
“Praying Mantis” is the first to be published of a series of poems I’ve been composing in a newly-invented experimental form (yes, there’s more where this one came from!), which my son, Matthew, has brilliantly and aptly named the “In-titled Poem.”
Cento Published in The Night Heron Barks
I’m pleased to share that my poem, “(Cento) Because the world is,” is now live in the magnificent collection of visual and literary art that is the Spring 2022 issue of The Night Heron Barks. I’m grateful to editor Rogan Kelly for including my cento (a poem cobbled together from the words of other poets) among such a lineup of literary stars (please do check them out!). What an honor!
Two Poems up at Cathexis Northwest Press
My poems, “Missive (to the White Oak’s Depths)” and “Elegy for My Former Self,” are live in the July 2021 issue of Cathexis Northwest Press. Heartfelt thanks to editor C. M. Tollefson for selecting these pieces.
Please also enjoy the audio renditions of these poems, courtesy of—your favorite poet and mine—the one and only Robert Okaji!
Poem up at Whale Road Review!
My poem “Citizen Tree” has found a home amongst some luminous writing in Issue 21 of Whale Road Review. Thank you editor Katie Manning for selecting this piece!
3 Poems Up at Literati Magazine!
Many thanks to editor Renée Sigel of Literati Magazine for featuring my poems, “Rewording,” “Titanoboa cerrejonensis,” and “Ghazal of the Lost,” in the publication’s Portfolio Series of previously rejected poems. Yes, a majority of my poems that make it out into the world tend to experience a healthy dose of rejection before seeing the light of day, and I greatly appreciate that Renée saw fit to bring these three stragglers in out of the cold.
While “Ghazal of the Lost” was a cooperative child, Literati Magazine found the formatting of “Rewording” and “Titanoboa cerrejonensis” to be somewhat combative, so I’ll provide the texts as they should appear below:
_____Your laugh is the child I never knew,
a promise kept nascent like a crocus
__________beneath a winter of detritus—
_____I never knew a crocus
could reword the daylight
__________with spring’s first mist.
_____How I’d wished the earth’s iron bellows
would recast the sky’s crimson artefacts
__________my lost will had smelted into slag,
_____until living through my bitterest nights
of seismic heartbeats weathered into stalagmites
__________finally tempered my breaths alive!
_____Now, their embers light my way
to the tenderness you well in your eyes:
_____Amassed like snowdrifts
the rising moon velvets in her white hush,
__________it is the naked quiet of us
rewording the daylight
_____into ash branches
__________lustered with dusk’s winter cloak;
_____a crocus sheltered in warm mulch
__________beneath the moonlit ice;
__________the child I never knew;
_____a promise kept
__________nascent in winter’s womb.
_____When this restrictive skin
of self-pity refuses to slough off
_____& relinquish its groaning contents my pain
sends me to my prehistoric depths—
_____sliding through my black encapsulated veins
with questions of utility & necessity forking my tongue
_____into a device primed for maximal receptivity
scouring the fossil record
_____for evidence of fortitude where I find you
fifty-eight million years ago
_____at the height of your dominion
in the Cerrejón Rain Forest in what is now
an arid sweep of Northern Colombia
_____There your legacy swims its secrets
into my stagnant heart transforms my
_____mudstone back into supple blood
& re-designs me in your magnificent image
_____that I may waggle my muscled girth
_into a forty-eight-foot-long series of esses
_____effortlessly conveyed upon the swamp’s
vast network of currents slip out
_____of my twisted anthropic pelvis
& encumbering limbs & vanquish
_____gravity’s inflammatory breath
_in the clutches of my cold unshakable coils
STEPHANIE L. HARPER
Sonnet up at The Literary Nest!
My sonnet, “Because I Said So,” is live at The Literary Nest.
Thank you Pratibha Kelapure for selecting this piece. “Because I Said So” was first drafted during the May 2017 Tupelo Press 30/30 project. I’m grateful to Clyde Long for sponsoring and providing the title for this poem, as it was a joy to compose!