Jennifer Clark is the author of two previous full-length poetry collections: Johnny Appleseed: The Slice & Times of John Chapman and Necessary Clearings (both published by Shabda Press). She is also the co-editor of the anthology, Immigration & Justice For Our Neighbors (Celery City Books). Her poems, essays, and fiction have appeared in Women’s Studies Quarterly, Fiction Fix, Columbia Journal, Concho River Review, Ecotone, and Flyway, among others. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with her husband John and son Tom.
A Beginner’s Guide to Heaven is not so much concerned with moving earth towards heaven, as it is with yanking heaven to earth. Even amidst our haste, failures, distractions, and worries, it’s all within reach. The poems invite us to see the mystery in the every day, and revel in the wonders of such things as moths, dandelions, dogs, and beer.
These poems serve as a gateway to the inner journey. They remind us we are one holy family cut from the same cloth, spiritual explorers of this beautiful, broken world. This collection urges us to pay attention and get to work, “while we still have time to build.”
Publication Date: June 4, 2019
Availability: Wherever Books Are Sold
Matt Daly in the author of the chapbook Red State, a Rane Arroyo Chapbook Series selection by Seven Kitchens Press. Matt teaches reflective and creative writing to people of many ages and professions. He collaborates regularly with visual, performing, and literary artists on indoor and outdoor exhibitions of text-based work. Matt has received a Neltje Blanchan Award for writing inspired by the natural world and a Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry from the Wyoming Arts Council. He is a resident faculty member at the Jackson Hole Writers Conference. He lives in Wyoming with his wife and son.
Suzanne S. Rancourt is Abenaki/Huron decent, born and raised in the mountains of West Central Maine currently residing in the Adirondack Mountains, NY. A multi-modal artist, she has work appearing in Bright Hill Press 25th Anniversary Anthology, Dawnland Voices 2.0 #4, Northern New England Review, Bear Review, Three Drops Press, Snapdragon Journal, mgversion2>datura, Sirsee, Slipstream, Muddy River Poetry Review, Ginosko, Journal of Military Experience, Cimarron Review, Callaloo, numerous anthologies, translations, and text books. Her book, Billboard in the Clouds was the winner of the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas First Book Award.
Suzanne S. Rancourt holds a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from Vermont College; Master of Science degree in Educational Psychology from SUNY, Albany, NY; a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Expressive Arts: therapy, education, and consulting from the European Graduate School, Switzerland. Rancourt is a Certified Facilitator and Affiliate of the Amherst Writers and Artists. She is a NY Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor. She holds rank in both Aikido and Iaido reflecting her 18 years of practice and training. She is a veteran of both the USMC and US Army. Suzanne S. Rancourt continues to serve through the Saratoga County (NY) Veterans Peer to Peer Mentoring program.
John W. Bateman lives in the Deep South, chasing words and finding stories. Influences include comedian and writer Bob Smith, photographer Duane Michals, his fairy godparents, and coffee. His work has appeared in OneNewEngland, The Huffington Post, Glitterwolf Magazine, Nately's, the SFWP Quarterly, and lots of notebooks stacked in a bookcase somewhere. He has won a few awards for screenwriting and received a 2018 Emerging Filmmaker grant from the Mississippi Film Alliance. Who Killed Buster Sparkle? is his first novel.
Rick E. George writes suspense with substance. Vengeance Burns Hot is his debut novel Another novel, Cooper's Loot, is forthcoming by The Wild Rose Press. He has been a sports writer, a wildland firefighter, and an educator. He lives with his wife April in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state.
You can learn more and stay connected with Rick E. George at www.rickegeorge.com.
Mark Fleckenstein was born in Chicago, and grew up in Ohio, Michigan, Connecticut, North Carolina, and New Hampshire. He graduated from University of North Carolina in Charlotte with a B.A. in English, Vermont College of Fine Arts and received an MFA in Writing. He’s became very involved in the poetry community in and around Boston, for over 30 years. He was an assistant editor for (BLuR), the Boston Literary Review, founder/coordinator of two bi-weekly poetry reading series in Boston and a workshop leader, He’s given poetry readings with famous poets (Charles Simic, Linda Gregg, Mark Doty, Mark Cox and Carl Phillips) and not so famous poets. Six states and dozens of moves later, he settled in Massachusetts. He is also a painter. He has two amazing daughters and an large, eccentric, long-haired black cat named Ariadne.
His other publications:
Making Up the World (Editions Dedicaces, 2018)
God Box (Clare Songbird Publishing) Forthcoming in November 2018
Lowercase God (Finishing Line Press) forthcoming December 2018
Failed Stars (Cervena Barva Press) forthcoming in October 2018
I Was I, Drowning Knee Deep (Sticks Press online chapbook , 2007).
The Memory of Stars (Sticks Press chapbook, 1995)
Frances was raised in Queens, New York and Suburban New Jersey, but she now lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and son. Her work can be found at Mutha Magazine, Hip Mama, Longreads, Vol.1 Brooklyn and forthcoming in The Believer Magazine. I Don’t Blame You is her debut novel. She is currently working on another book.
Learn more at francesbadalamenti.com
David Coyle is a author from Wellington, New Zealand. His grandmother was an avid reader of Shakespeare and English literature and she shared her love of the written word with him from a young age. David’s writing career started when he wrote an award winning short film, Poppy, which played the international film festival circuit in 2009. Whether writing for the screen or for the page, he’s guided by the simple rule that “story comes first”.
Nigel Baldacchino (b. 1989) is an architect by profession, who also actively produces music, writes poetry, designs books and works with photography. As an architect, Baldacchino notably occupied main roles in design teams for two major museum projects, namely MUŻA (The Malta National Community Art Museum) and St. John's Co-Cathedral Museum. Other architectural works include the setup for NISĠA: Storja Kontemporanja (2018, Valletta), a collective exhibition curated to portray a series of narratives tying modernist and contemporary Maltese art.
Bekah Stogner is an assistant editor with Unsolicited Press. She recently graduated from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee with a BA in Writing and a BFA in Acting, where she co-created Poetry Night. Bekah remains active in the Nashville theatre, improv, and poetry communities and hopes to continue to pursue both editing and acting. Better to have lost is her first collection of poetry.
Poet, short story writer, and novelist Shann Ray grew up in Montana and Alaska and spent part of his childhood on the Northern Cheyenne reservation. His work has been featured in Poetry, Esquire, McSweeney's, Prairie Schooner, Big Sky Journal, Narrative, and Salon. A National Endowment for the Arts Fellow and winner of the American Book Award and the High Plains Book Award, he is the author of American Masculine, American Copper, Atomic Theory 432, Balefire, Sweetclover, and Forgiveness and Power in the Age of Atrocity. A clinical psychologist specializing in the psychology of men, he teaches leadership and forgiveness studies at Gonzaga University. Because of his wife and three daughters, he believes in love.
Jeremy Jusek grew up in Garrettsville, Ohio where he learned to nurture nature's sensory stimuli. He graduated Marietta College with a BS in chemistry and BA in theatre. Later he earned his MFA in creative writing from the University of Arcadia. Now Jeremy works as a freelance writer and in his spare time facilitates a poetry workshop through the Cuyahoga County Public Library.
The difference between trees and concrete is quite large and, seven years after moving to Cleveland with his wife and two kids, Jeremy is still struggling to acclimate to his suburban biome. From this conflict sprouts some of his writing. The rest is inspired by the bowls of alphabet soup he chucks at the kitchen wall.
To follow up on his various publications and projects visit www.jeremyjusek.com
Mike Dillon’s Bainbridge Island roots reach back four generations. He lives in Indianola, Washington, a small town on Puget Sound a few miles north of Bainbridge and twelve miles northwest of Seattle.
Four books of his poetry have been published by Bellowing Ark Press, including “That Which We Have Named,” (2008). Red Moon Press has published three books of his haiku, including “The Road Behind” (2003). Several of his haiku were included in “Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years,” W.W. Norton (2013). He is a retired publisher of community newspapers, a field he entered inspired by the example of Walt and Milly Woodward, who defended their Japanese American neighbors in the pages of their newspaper, the Bainbridge Review, during World War II. In 2013 the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association recognized Dillon with its Master Editor/Publisher award.
His poetry collection Departures: Poetry and Prose on the Removal of Bainbridge Island’s Japanese Americans After Pearl Harbor is available wherever books are sold and on our site.
Patricia O’Donnell is a Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Maine at Farmington, where she directs the BFA Program in Creative Writing. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker and elsewhere; her books include a novel, a memoir, and a collection of short fiction which won the Serena McDonald Kennedy Award. She lives in Wilton, Maine, with her husband.
Her latest novel The Vigilance of Stars is available wherever books are sold.
David Feela, retired from a 27 year teaching career, works as a poet, freelance columnist, and thrift store book collector. He earned an MFA from Vermont College, with undergraduate degrees from St. Cloud State University. His writing has appeared in hundreds of regional and national publications, including syndication by the High Country News "Writers on the Range," and The Denver Post. Writing has appeared in Mountain Gazette, Small Farmer's Journal, Utne Reader, the Santa Fe Literary Review, to name a few. For eleven years Feela served as a contributing editor for the former Inside/Outside Southwest magazine. He currently writes monthly columns for the Four Corners Free Press and the Durango Telegraph.
Feela has authored one poetry chapbook, Thought Experiments (Maverick Press, 1998), winner of the Southwest Poet Series, a full length poetry edition, The Home Atlas (WordTech, 2009), and a collection of essays, How Delicate These Arches (Raven’s Eye Press, 2012) which was chosen as a creative non-fiction finalist for the Colorado Book Award. A selection of his poetry is forthcoming in volume 2, The Geography of Hope: Poets of Colorado’s Western Slope, through Conundrum Press. He resides in Cortez, Colorado.
If you could cook dinner for any author, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you make?
I’d love to cook dinner for Russell Edson, mostly because I don’t cook and I just know from reading his work that he wouldn’t care, that he’d make something interesting out of the encounter. Edson surprised me over and over with his ingenious, surreal word inventions. Whatever I cooked, however badly the meal turned out, it would be my chance to surprise him back.
What scares you the most about the writing process? How do you combat your fears?
I worry most that I’ll lose the sense of timing and poetic suggestion required for putting meaningful ideas down on the page, the ability to notice the metaphor or image as it surfaces and entice it into staying instead of wandering off the page. I’m afraid of becoming pedestrian in my choice of language and not noticing it, settling for the mundane. I fear losing my sense of humor. The only way I know to face these fears is to keep on writing.
Who is your biggest literary crush, author or character?
William Stafford’s work evokes a literary passion for me. I read and reread that poet.
What books are on your nightstand?
I always have at least one poetry book, often an author I haven’t read that caught my attention after reading the opening and closing poems. Essays and travel nonfiction interest me, as well as tales of adventure in the natural world.
Where do you get your ideas? What inspires you?
When I sit down to write, I usually don’t have a clear idea of where I’m heading,
but I spend time reviewing in my head the smallest details of the day I just lived through. Usually I find a path to follow. If nothing compelling surfaces, I go to my list of strange inspirations collected whenever they occur to me, usually at the most inconvenient moments, which is why I always carry a notepad. I am inspired by small things that grow in significance as I unravel the puzzle of shaping them on the page rather than subjects that are supposed to be poetic or praiseworthy.
Favorite punctuation mark? Why?
I like the colon. It reminds me that a possible pun lurks inside many words.
What book were you supposed to read in high school, but never did?
I really don’t remember my high school reading assignments anymore, but having taught
high school for 27 years, I know I avoided James Joyce’s Ulysses, as teacher and probably as student.
What inanimate object would you thank in your acknowledgements?
I would like to thank the sun for rising every single day, even if it didn’t want to.
Why do you write? The first 5 words that come to mind. Go.
Surprises, puzzling, memory, composting, empathy
If you could write an inspirational quote on the mirrors of aspiring writers, what would you write?
Stop staring at the mirror. Write!
Richard Krause’s collection of fiction, Studies in Insignificance, was published by Livingston Press, and his epigram collection, Optical Biases, was published by EyeCorner Press in Denmark. Propertius Press published his second collection of epigrams, Eye Exams. Aforisticamente (@wordpress.com), an online website of aphorists from around the world, translated 70 of his epigrams into Italian in 2012. Krause grew up in the Bronx and on farms in Pennsylvania. He drove a taxi in NYC for five years and taught English for nine years in Japan. Currently, he teaches at a community college in Kentucky.
Learn more at: richardkrausewriting.com
Gary M. Almeter grew up on a small dairy farm in Western New York, about 300 child-sized steps from his Grandpa’s house, where ice cream - usually Maple Walnut or Butter Pecan - was always available. He is now an attorney whose short stories, essays and humor pieces have appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, 1966, Splitsider, Verdad, and Writer’s Bone. In addition to winning his 8th grade spelling bee, he has been awarded numerous awards for his non-fiction, including the Maryland Writers Association’s Best Essay award in 2015. Gary has a B.A. in English from Le Moyne College; an M.Ed. in Secondary Education from Boston College; and a J.D. from the University of Maryland. He currently lives in Baltimore, MD, about 300 adult-sized steps from the best ice cream shop in Baltimore, with his wife, three children, beagle and numerous deferred domestic projects.
Connect with Gary M. Almeter
Goodreads: Gary Almeter
Books By Gary M. Almeter
Joe Benevento received a B.A. degree from NYU in English and Spanish (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), an M.A. in English from Ohio State and a Ph.D. in English from Michigan State. Benevento is Professor of English at Truman State University, where he teaches creative writing, American literature, (including Latino/Latina and Latin American lit. in translation) and Young Adult Literature and Mystery. He is the longtime, co-editor of the Green Hills Literary Lantern.
Benevento’s poems, stories, essays and reviews have appeared in about 300 places, including: Poets & Writers, The Chattahoochee Review, Pearl, Wisconsin Review, Inkwell, South Dakota Review, RE: Arts & Letter, Prairie Schooner and Bilingual Review. His work has three times been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. In 1991 he was featured in a special issue of The MacGuffin, “New Decade, New Writers."
Benevento’s books include four novels, three full length poetry volumes, three poetry chapbooks, a book of short stories and an edited book of the poetry of Jim Thomas. They are, Holding On, Warthog Press, 1996; Willing To Believe, Timberline Press, 2003; Plumbing In Harlem, Independence Books, 2003; The Odd Squad, Behler Publications, 2005 (a finalist for the 2006 John Gardner Fiction Book Award); My Puerto Rican Past, Ginninderra Press, 2006; Some of My Best Friends and Other Fictions, Lewis-Clark Press, 2008; Brief Tracks: Poems by Jim Thomas, Truman State University Press, 2009; Tough Guys Don’t Write, Finishing Line Press, 2011; The Monsignor’s Wife, Moonshine Cove Press, 2013; Saving St. Teresa, Black Opal Books, 2015; Expecting Songbirds, Purple Flag Imprint of the Visual Artists Collective, 2015 and After, Mouthfeel Press, 2017.
L. Ward Abel, poet, composer and performer of music, teacher, retired lawyer, has been published hundreds of times in print and online (The Reader, Pisgah Review, Versal, Ha!Art, Istanbul Review, Snow Jewel), and is the author one full collection and ten chapbooks of poetry, including Jonesing for Byzantium (UKA Press, 2006), American Bruise (Parallel Press, 2012), Little Town gods (Folded Word Press, 2016), A Jerusalem of Ponds (erbacce Press, 2016), and Digby Roundabout (Kelsay Books, 2017). He presently lives in rural Georgia.
From associate professor of English to management trainer to retiree, Carolyn Martin has journeyed from New Jersey to Oregon to discover Douglas firs, months of rain, and dry summers. She claims that poetry is the way her mind interacts with the world – in images, rhythms, sounds, and intensities of language. After years of correcting academic papers and business books, she’s settled into the joyful challenge of translating experience into as few words as possible. Her aesthetic is embodied in Jack Kerouac's comment in Dharma Bums: “One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple”; and in Galway Kinnell's statement, “To me, poetry is somebody standing up ... and saying, with as little concealment as possible, what it is for him or her to be on earth at this moment.” Her poems attempt to be simple in words as they grapple with the complexity of living on earth today.
Martin’s poems and book reviews have appeared in publications throughout North America and the UK including “Stirring,” “Naugatuck River Review,” “CALYX,” “The Curlew,” and “Antiphon.” Her third collection, Thin Places, was released by Kelsay Books in 2017. She is currently the poetry editor of Kosmos Quarterly, journal for global transformation. Find out more about Carolyn on her author’s website.
Rana Bitar earned her master’s degree in English and Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University in January 2017. Her poetry appeared in The Deadly Writers Patrol journal, DoveTales journal, Earthen Lamp Journal, Magnolia Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and El Portal journal.
Professionally, she is a physician. She lives and works in upstate NY. She is currently working on a collection of creative nonfiction stories about her journey as an oncologist. She writes both in Arabic and English.
Lenny DellaRocca is winner of the 2017 Yellow Jacket Poetry Prize for his chapbook, Things I See in the Fire. He is founder and co-publisher of South Florida Poetry Journal- SoFloPoJo and Interview With A Poet both at southfloridapoetryjournal.com.
His poems appear in Poet Lore, Poetrybay, 2River view, Fairy Tale Review, Chiron Review, Seattle Review, POEM, Laurel Review, Apalachee Review, Sun Dog, Gulf Stream Magazine, Wisconsin Review, The Potomac and Nimrod. He has three collections of poetry: Alphabetical Disorder, The Sleep Talker (chapbook), and Blood and Gypsies.
J.E.A. Wallace has been a hotel night porter, an abattoir security guard, and a barman in The House of Lords. Born and raised in England, he is now a happily married poet who lives and writes in New York City.
Lucía Orellana Damacela is the author of Life Lines (The Talbot-Heindl Experience, 2018), winner of The Bitchin' Kitsch Chapbook Competition. Her work has appeared in both English and Spanish in more than twelve countries. Some of the periodicals featuring Lucía’s work are Always Crashing, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Dash, Sharkpack Annual, Slippery Elm, Into the Void, and Frontera. Born in Ecuador, Lucía has lived in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
She blogs at notesfromlucia.wordpress.com and tweets as @lucyda. You can find her on Instagram at @lucyda and on Facebook under Lucia Orellana.
A former newspaper reporter, Patrick Meighan now lives the life of a nomadic adjunct professor, teaching poetry, composition, literature, and journalism courses at several four-year and two-year colleges. His poems, book reviews, and translations have appeared in many online and print journals. He earned his MFA in poetry from the low-residency program at New England College in 2012. He resides in Manchester, N.H.