[19] Winter 2014

Chirps From The Sparrow


Our National Treasure, Robert Bly

That Strange Word


After The People’s War, Khem K. Aryal

Vigil, Brianna J. Pike

Doubt, Elegy for my Cousin, King of the Sea, Andrew Sydlik

November, Doorstep of a Thousand Deaths, Stephanie Brown

We Are The Living (Skeletons,) When We Fight, Michael Sarnowski

Cento Sonnet: At a Violin Master Class, Horses, Running on Grass, Philip Dacey

Childhood, This Heart, Samuel Salerno

Another Winter, Marie Sheppard Williams

Between Us, Jo-Anne Cappeluti

God’s Facebook, Jeffrey P. Beck

Reverence, Thomas R. Smith

A Sketched Life, Nomadism, Raymond Farina

Smoke Signals, David Mihalyov

Inheritance, Whisky Dick, Kevin Coons

To A Child At The Piano, Emily Hancock

A Music Stand, The Chicken Lady, Jodie E. Hollander

The Night Before I Sold The Land…, Alixa Doom

Sweetly Beauty Surprises my Dreams, Chicken and Tree, Looking for Grace’s New Birthday Spoon in the Dumpster Back of School, Craig McVay

Water God, Laura Treacy Bentley

Request, Paul Cordeiro


Remember The Hurricane, Gisella Faggi

The Smart One And The Pretty One, Sandy Yang

Redemption Of A Stoned Woman, Janie Fried

Affliction, Tom Larsen

The Bee King, Stacey Faulkner

The Sort of Life, Sidney Thompson


As A Child, Corey Mesler

Two Flash Fiction, Chad Hanson

Life As Multiple Choice, Samantha Memi

Striving for Perfection, Jon Sindell


Our National Treasure

Robert Bly, guest poet, was born in western Minnesota in 1926 to parents of Norwegian stock. He enlisted in the Navy in 1944 and spent two years there. After one year at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, he transferred to Harvard and thereby joined the famous group of writers who were undergraduates at that time, which included Donald Hall, Adrienne Rich, Kenneth Koch, John Ashbery, Harold Brodky, George Plimpton, and John Hawkes. He graduated in 1950 and spent the next few years in New York living, as they say, hand to mouth.


Khem K. Aryal writes both poetry and fiction. His two poetry books, Epic Teashop and Kathmandu Saga have been published in Nepal by Vajra Books and Society of Nepali Writers in English, respectively, and his fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Poydras Review, Qwerty Magazine, Of Nepalese Clay, The Kathmandu Post, Madhupark Mirmire, among others. He is currently a PhD candidate in creative writing at the University of Missouri.

Jeffrey P. Beck is Dean of the Nathan Weiss Graduate College at Kean University in Union, New Jersey. He is a literary historian, the author and editor of four books, and occasionally a published poet.

Laura Treacy Bentley is a poet, novelist, and book editor for WV LIVING magazine. Her debut novel The Silver Tattoo—a dark literary thriller set in mythical Ireland—was released in April 2013. She also has one book of poems called Lake Effect. Laura’s work has been widely published in the United States and Ireland. http://www.lauratreacybentley.com

Stephanie Brown lives in Elk River, MN, and is currently completing her second and final year as a poet apprentice in the Foreward Program at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, MN. She came to poetry late in life, but finds it to be as delicious and satisfying as chocolate. Her haikus have appeared in Bear Creek Haiku and she has published in The Aurorean.

Jo-Anne Cappeluti’s most recent publications in poetry appear in Evansville Review, Blue Unicorn, White Pelican Review, and Passager. She earned her PhD in English at the University of California at Riverside and is now retired, after teaching for 30 years at California State University, Fullerton.

Kevin Coons lives in San Luis Obispo, CA, with his wife and son. His work has been published previously in Forge and various online journals.

Paul Cordeiro’s selection of haiku and tanka, “Bare Earth,” will appear soon. His poetry often circles back to a lighter, looser construction. Cordeiro lives on the south coast of Massachusetts, url: paulco50@yahoo.com

Philip Dacey is the author of twelve books of poetry, including whole volumes about Gerard Manley Hopkins, Thomas Eakins, and New York City, the winner of three Pushcart Prizes, co-editor of the formalist anthology Strong Measures with David Jauss. Dacey has taught for 35 years inMinnesota before moving in 2004 to Manhattan’s Upper West Side for an eight-year post-retirement adventure, returning to Minnesota in 2012.

Alixa Doom has published in numerous magazines including: Innisfree, Third Wednesday, Verse Wisconsin, Skidrow Penthouse, Avocet, Red River Review, and Rufous City Review. Her poems have also been published in anthologies such as This Sporting Life, and County Lines. Her chapbook manuscript, titled “Cedar Crossings” was awarded the 2009 Blue Light Poetry Prize and published in the spring of 2010. She moved in 2011 from her home of many years in the Minnesota River Valley to the Uptown area of South Minneapolis. Her first full-length book of poetry, A Slow Dissolve Of Egrets, will be published by Red Dragonfly Press in early 2014.
Gisella Faggi has published in several magazines, includingMenacing Hedge, Emerge Literary Journal, and The Sand Hill Review. Originally from Philadelphia, she lives, writes, and teaches in Chicago.

Raymond Farina has written seventeen collections of poetry including most recently Eclats de vivre (2006) & Une colombe une autre ( 2006.) His poems have appeared in Europe and in the United States in such journals as Chelsea, Europe, Great River Review, International Poetry Review , La Nouvelle Revue Française, La Revue de Belles Lettres , Les Ecrits, Lo Specchio, The Hampden-Sydney Review, Osiris, Pagine, Po&sie, Semicerchio, The Prague Review, Steaua, Turia, and Tomis. He has published translations of American, Australian, Irish, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish poets as well.  Farina said of his poetry, “Willing, above all, to strike a balance between the lyrical flight and the concision of fragment, I explore in my poems the themes of absence, loss, exile, identity, and violence. I try to defend the lightness principle by being attentive to all that is light and fragile, all that exists in the way of trace, murmur, and pulse.”

Stacey Faulkner is a teacher and writer living in Sussex, England. Her short stories and flash fiction have been published in anthologies, magazines and online including a flash fiction ‘Greif Group’ in Sunday Snaps: The Stories.
Janie Fried is a journalist, who attended Northwestern University.
A native of North Carolina, Emily Hancock now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She is a letterpress printer and hand-bookbinder at St Brigid Press in Afton. Her poetry has been a recipient of the James Larkin Pearson award from the Poetry Council of North Carolina, and has been published in Bay Leaves, the Greensboro Review, and Appalachian Journal.

Chad Hanson serves as Chairman of the Department of Sociology & Social Work at Casper College. His poems have appeared in Boston Literary Magazine, Amoskeag, The Cold Mountain Review, A Clean Well-Lighted Place, and the South Carolina Review, among others. His collection, Trout Streams of the Heart, is available from the Truman State University Press (2013).

Jodie Hollander, originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was raised in a family of classical musicians. She studied poetry in England and has published in England, Australia, and the US. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship in South Africa as well as and a Hawthornden Fellowship in Scotland. Her debut publication, The Humane Society, was released with Tall-Lighthouse (UK) in November, 2012.
Tom Larsen has been a fiction writer for fifteen years and his work has appeared in Newsday, Best American Mystery Stories, Puerto del Sol, and the LA Review. His novel Flawed was released in October.

Craig McVay, an ELS teacher in Columbus, Ohio, has degrees in English and Classics. A handful of poems and fiction have been published in print and online; among the journals in which his work appears are Avatar Review, Blue Unicorn, Classical Bulletin, Everything Stops and Listens (anthology of poetry from the Ohio Poetry Association), Icon, Pudding Magazine, and Shark Reef.

Samantha Memi lives in London. Her stories can be found at samanthamemi.weebly.com/

Corey Mesler has published in numerous journals and anthologies. He has published 7 novels, 3 full length poetry collections, and 3 books of short stories. He has also published a dozen chapbooks of both poetry and prose. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize numerous times, and two of his poems were chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. His fiction has received praise from John Grisham, Robert Olen Butler, Lee Smith, Frederick Barthelme, Greil Marcus, among others. With his wife, he runs Burke’s Book Store in Memphis, TN. He can be found at url: coreymesler.wordpress.com

David Mihalyov received his MA in Creative Writing from the State University of New York, College at Brockport, where he is now employed. He had a prior career in journalism, working 10 years at the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. He lives outside of Rochester, NY.

Catherine Moore is a freelance writer and poet. After graduating from the Florida State University with a degree in English Literature she worked in education and public relations fields. Catherine is an avid traveler and has visited fourteen different countries, including living overseas as a young child. Some of Catherine’s publications include short stories and poems in Six Little Things MaMaZina Magazine, Ars Medica Journal, and the Avatar Review. She is an MFA in Poetry candidate at the University of Tampa.

Brianna J. Pike earned her MFA in poetry from Murray State University in 2009. She has work forthcoming in Hamilton Stone Review, Rust & Moth, New Plains Review, Scapegoat Review and The Meadow. Brianna lives in Indianapolis where she teaches creative writing at Ivy Tech Community College.

Susanne Riette-Keith has been a commercial artist for several years after graduating from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design with majors in Painting and Illustration. Her freelance design studio is located in Easton, Massachusetts. Her art can be found on giftware, toys, fabrics, and paper products. Email Ms. Riette-Keith at Susannerk@comcast.net for more information.

Samuel Salerno was born and raised on the central coast of California. He is a graduate of Pepperdine and Wesleyan Universities. Previous poems have appeared in the Catamaran Review, Free Verse, Red River Review, The California Quarterly, and Ilya’s Honey, among others. He has had the great honor to work with Robert Bly (Asilomar workshops) and Lisa Jarnot (Wesleyan). Published books include The New World (Lighthouse Press) and Sweet Forgiveness (Black Lodge Press), a collection of plays. He is an English instructor at the Stevenson School in Monterey, CA.

A human, Jon Sindell earns his bread as a humanities tutor. His short fiction has appeared or will appear in dozens of publications, including Hobart, Pithead Chapel, Word Riot, Zouch, New South, Prick Of The Spindle, Crack The Spine, Switchback, Weave, and Beatdom. He curates the Rolling Writers reading series in San Francisco.

Robert Bly has written, “Thomas R. Smith is a high-spirited poetryhorse, riding over the hills of emotion.” Smith was born in ChippewaFalls, Wisconsin, and grew up in the paper mill town of Cornell on theChippewa River. A poet, essayist, and editor, his work has appeared inhundreds of journals in the US, Canada, and the UK. His poems havereached mass audiences on Garrison Keillor’s public radio show “Writer’sAlmanac” and former US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s syndicatednewspaper column, “American Life in Poetry. ” He is author of five full-length collections of poetry,Keeping the Star (New Rivers Press, 1988),Horse of Earth (Holy Cow! Press, 1994), The Dark Indigo Current (HolyCow! Press, 2000), Waking Before Dawn (Red Dragonfly Press, 2007,) andTheFoot of the Rainbow (Red Dragonfly Press, 2010).Among the books he’s edited are Robert Bly InThis World (with James P.Lenfestey) (University of Minnesota Libraries Press, 2011) andAirmail: The Letters of Robert Bly and Tomas Tranströmer(Graywolf Press, 2013). He lives in River Falls, Wisconsin,and currently works as an instructor in poetry at the LoftLiterary Center in Minneapolis. He posts poems and essays on url: http://www.thomasrsmithpoet.com

Andrew Sydlik aspires to write better fiction, poetry, and criticism. He has recently begun to explore his legal blindness and disability issues in his writing. His work has appeared inWordgathering, The Corner Club Press, The Holiday Café, Taproot Literary Review, The Shine Journal, Bewildering Stories, and the anthology Come Together, ImaginePeace, published by Bottom Dog Press. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, where he studies American literature and Disability Studies in the Ohio State University’s English PhD program.

Sidney Thompson is the author of the short story collection Sideshow (River City, 2006). His stories have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Prick of the Spindle, Ragazine.CC, Clapboard House, TINGE Magazine, Ostrich Review, Danse Macabre, 2 Bridges Review, Atticus Review, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, NANO Fiction, Ray’s Road Review, The Story Shack, Beetroot Journal, and Connu. Thompson has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in Denton, TX, where he teaches creative writing at Texas Woman’s University.

Marie Sheppard Williams has lived and worked in Minnesota all her life. Currently she cohabits with a very large orange cat named Albert Einstein, and is at work on a new poetry collection. She has won many awards for her writing, including two Pushcart Prizes and a Bush Artist Fellowship. Among her publications are The Worldwide Church of the Handicapped, The Weekend Girl, The Soap Game, Stories from the Child, Us, and The Best Cat, a book of poems by Sheppard Williams with illustrations by her daughter, Megan Williams. All her works may be obtained at Amazon.com

Sandy Yang’s stories have appeared in Santa Monica Review, The Los Angeles Review, Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment, Monkeybicycle, and other publications. She holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Arizona and lives in Los Angeles. To read more of her work, go to sandyyang.yolasite.com


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