Pegasus: Spring 2022

The journal of the Kentucky State Poetry Society

Spring 2022

Editor’s Note


Book Beat Reviews

Contributor Biographies

Editor’s Note

Welcome to the Spring 2022 issue of Pegasus, the journal of the Kentucky State Poetry Society. As always, we are excited to feature a variety of poets from a broad spectrum of experience. Some of the poets in this issue have extensive publication lists and some have few, but all have presented interesting work.

This issue also features our ongoing Book Beat series in which Elaine Fowler Palencia reviews book-length publications by our members. In this issue, we have reviews of Mary Allen’s Cruising the Word Bar and Clay Matthews’ Four-Way Lug Wrench. In addition, it was my good fortune to review Palencia’s own How to Prepare Escargots. If you are a member of the Kentucky State Poetry Society and have a recently published book you would like to see reviewed here, please contact us.

As editor of Pegasus, I am thankful for the opportunity to engage with the poems we receive and the poets who create them. One of my goals as editor is to forge connections and encourage these poets. I believe in the natural fabric of poetry and therefore this engagement is an environmental concern.

I am reminded of the late Jake Adam York, during his tenure at storySouth, who reached out to me when I was a very inexperienced sapling of a poet and worked with me to prune and fertilize my work for publication. In the process, what Jake really accomplished was to illustrate the value of connection, to exemplify the purpose behind our ecosphere. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that behind every poem is a person, and poems are meant to nourish. So, in this kindred spirit of sustenance, here is the new issue.

Jon Thrower
Pegasus Editor


John Grey

Observing the Nest at Close Hand

Sipping Wine at Sunset

Demi Hughes

Rope Burn

Leif Erickson

Each time he sees her


The Secret Lament of a Lost and Forgotten Virgin Murdered by a Rich Noblewoman because she COULD, and Isn’t That What We All Admire About Rich People?

Roberta Shultz

The Last Word

Marie Asner

Rail Town 1948

Bill Brymer

Slave Graves of My Youth

john compton


Emory Jones

Reverie at Slack Time

C.M. Clark

Powerline Road & The White Butterflies

Gerard Sarnat

This Is The End

John Grey

Observing the Nest at Close Hand

Sticks, weeds. a strand of hair, even some string –

I’m face to face with where birds live.

No one home at the moment.

Most likely, this tree trunk lair abandoned until next spring.

The most disparate of materials

are so skillfully woven together.

And the placement is the perfect wedge.

It would take a tornado to budge it.

I think of those people who erect cottages

on the shoreline

as if the sea levels will be considerate

in their incessant rising.

There’s even some plastic here,

tossed away carelessly by humans,

but adapted well enough by the local birdlife.

No, nothing incriminating here. 

The fault continues to lie elsewhere.

Sipping Wine at Sunset

What you see around you –
a silver teapot, Gods.
The pilot, dipping
as if mixing a martini,
surface monumental
as rock piles leaping
like a ball bounced against a fence.
bread hot from the toaster,
diamonds on fingers,
father’s fixings, dark hallways.
coming cool like silk on skin;
conversation is laugh-along moments –
day falls, night’s returning. It’s not that…
Don’t worry. Have another wine. Read the label on the bottle.
Every Sunday expel sin and demons.
Fireflies dance. Wind carries oxygen
through the window to your brain.
Nose gleams like a minaret spire. Eyes blur.
Good luck to all who would catch it.
Hand rises up above all else.
worked its way to the very splinters of your back –
have split, his metal tip down says,
house went unpainted for a thousand years.
I peer into glory under rock,
good when on Sunday
lay in the ritual legs to ceiling,
lizard streaking up my leg.
Look on the left.
light everywhere but the brightest light here –
it’s made of wind,
mother looked on,
mountains gone, forest likewise,
nothingness is not spoken of.
is more here than us.
now peering down
genuflecting milky atoms:
our children formed
Poison apples fall nearby.
Pray that they don’t despoil our narrative.
Life is pivotal.
Rains come.

Saffron showers.
Scenery is little seen, much remembered.
For several minutes, sisters screamed
as a snake crawled out of the woodwork.
A crack in the millennium,
Sunset crowns the horizon.
Time is as wretched as the poor,
dusk, the color of slaughter.
There are canyons,
gleaming coral reefs.
This is good –
though we have thrown much away,
through centuries,
killed wildlife,
saying this is how we give it a chance
for our future,
tepid middle age.
We bless the house like bishops. And the land.
We can’t stop time but we love to mark our attempts.
We drink to the wall behind, veranda creak beneath.
We should be kneeling,
where weeds sprout,
westerlies blow,
breath catches chill,
window mists up.
But wine dribbles down the back of the throat,
with thin-necked glasses, impossibly deep reds.
wooden steps I promise to fix some day.
You hold me,
You lift the uterus up,
tilt my hips upward,
a young boy long ago bored with his dead soldiers.
“This is it,” he cried.

Marie Asner

Rail Town 1948

Fog circles the area like a predator ready to devour.

Does anyone really think that as the highway

leaves the town, happiness is at the other end?

There are churches and swinging bells in other towns,

we can hear them when the winds blow,

but no preacher here, no, not here.

Men released from the area prison

end up on our doorsteps, scavenging for work,

with faces that are grey and hard from years inside.

If the train stops, you can quietly crawl

through tall weeds and sharp rocks

hoping a door would be open,

so, you could grab something from inside.

What falls from a train, stays here,

and that’s when I tasted my first orange.

Rail officials are coming, everyone inside,

Fasten the door, close the curtains, no men here,

Just us women, the men are working the fields

Down south and send us money once a month.

It is only when it snows that everything

is a different color—brilliant white and clean.

When the trains come through

with their high feathers of steam,

you can pretend you live somewhere else,

where it is warm all the time

and there is enough to eat.

Demi Hughes

Rope Burn

Scared to go back to a home that

never felt like home to begin with

A place I lived in for 19 years.

All of the good and

all of the bad.

My first kiss

My house burning down

My first apartment

My first marriage

The city that took my

dad’s life.

It’s funny that humans pack-bond with

inanimate objects.

Apologizing for accidentally

knocking over a cup or a glass.

There’s no sentience.

Humans are some of the

loneliest creatures.

I pack-bonded once.

A rope meant for swinging from

adventure to adventure.

A rope tied to a tire, hanging from the tree I had

always silently envied.

I pack-bonded once.

Leif Erickson

Each time he sees her

Each time he sees her — even in fleeting, floating, gauzy hallway time — the tumblers baffling his heart’s inner chamber turn and fall and snick, the heavy door of impossibility creaking open to reveal only mystery and skittering, playful sad butterflies. They struggle to flap their tiny wings, weighted and inept.


Bigmama looked like the old lady from the bathtub in The Shining. The similarities didn’t end there, either: I could easily picture her cackling like the Shining lady, laughing at evil, all aflutter with dark glee.

It always seemed to me that Bigmama was on the verge of that cackle, though I never heard her actually give into it and rare back. I heard her laugh, of course, usually with derision at someone on TV or some local politician she used to babysit. “Why, that bird ain’t got the sense God gave a goose,” she would say, and laugh. But nary a cackle, not even once. The cackle was IMPLIED.

The Secret Lament of A Lost and Forgotten Virgin Murdered by a Rich Noblewoman Because She COULD, and Isn’t That What We All Admire About Rich People?

The thing is, I liked my blood. And really, my favorite place for it was inside me. But that rich lady wanted better skin, and you want someone to make memes about, and apparently all the rapists and politicians are taken.

Roberta Schultz

The Last Word

To place one door in front of the other sounds easy

until old sayings pack their bags. Adages slam shut,

stomp hollow tantrums on hardwood. Proverbs echo,

trail off to whimper thin trills over transoms.

At first, you follow them across thresholds, reach

for the light switch inside each entry.

You glimpse the last word disappear

behind stained walnut panels.

If a warning tremor didn’t jounce your hand

like water in a tumbler, if ice crystals didn’t case

your larynx, muffle volume, slow your speech,

maybe you could catch them, call them back.

Well-meaners remind: one foot in front of the other.

You feel locks click into place, find no key beneath the mat.

C.M. Clark

Powerline Road & The White Butterflies

It was controlled burn time in Indian River. A chore
of the moment, with no prior warning to take your lungs
inside. Inside your chest and beneath your skin – inside
where safe – at least, somewhat safe or somewhere – less likely

to metastasize the ash of overgrown pine, scurrilous palmetto,
charred shells of insects and young birds fallen
before their fledgling wings could
hope to hold the hollow bones


Petals of ash floating like wedding bells pealing
in & on the breath, like will-less wishes
braided, stunning choreographies paired
indistinguishably white

and only the white that is
smoked and back
lit. A fake
fall. Wishful thinking.

And only after the sun goes down, you say, you promise, weighing
that pasteurized fiction, a false perception
on the western brink. Here
escaping clouds’

confines, the illusory pecs of muscle beach
flex. And so a circle’s light
the hydrogen burns, still not moving except
to fire off redundant vapor

of matter. So technically
the sun doesn’t go

down. But there is pleasure
in thinking it moves at our will at eyeblink speed aligning
with old narratives. Virtual
and fictitious.

from this calliope’s painted face, there’s not much
to weigh. What is familiar pushes front focused as far
as the street’s limits. It is only late May. But

there’s a show staged anyway – with all roles played by the usual bit parts.
Unionized and anonymous, they flaunt catkin ribbons in a heady wind,
their scalloped amulets. They’ll unlikely remember

and they’ll act done with this make-believe summer, dumb
and forgetting the humid hard afternoons, the months still
to come. So

they flit through kindergarten days relentless in a faked shrinking –
pantomime of sighing dusk,
the call to come inside and forget.

A hypocrite sun cooperates, stoneface jollying the pretense,
enabling the ever-longing of low latitudes for dark and summer’s end,

for a summer waiting in the wings
tutus all fluttering
more than likely – only virtual – images

hover along ambiguous edges –
more as if, and only if, your ploughshares strike fool’s gold
in falsely and mostly ever-cruel


So, instead of peregrine ash, what floats becomes
winged. Stylizing southward aboveground with the wires.
As long as they stay aloft, there are insect eyes and wills at work

all resplendent.
they go.

Bill Brymer

Slave Graves of My Youth

We neglect to buy my daughter new shoes to start the school year,
so she wears the soiled pink pair, which were once a hopeful pink
but are still comfortable to wear. Time does that to shoes,

roughens them up, wears down the bright spots, deposits mud
in the eyelets and between laces. It dulls other things, too:
a devastating right hook, the c-note new that could slice open

an index finger, and is brittling the curve from the pages of this book.
The smooth lip of the concrete culvert ushering the creek
beneath the gas station could talk for hours about patience,

and downstream, the dozen rectangles of etched granite
rising out of suburban soil like a mouthful of crooked teeth,
they were clean-edged, sharp and bright once, before time happened,

like it always does.

john compton

like the photograph

of a night terror

you’re there

where voice is absent:

your eyes dissident

destroyers of the geographic map of my body:

your tongue implodes with fire

to crater the surface of my heart.

Emory Jones

Reverie at Slack Time

When we are fast-food drunk and video blind,
We dream of simpler times, our rural roots.

As if our spirits flee through chinks of time
Like seed corn drizzling through the cracks
In the storehouse as the farmer shovels it in,
We scramble back to what we think was good.

We climb toward the narrow porch
That wraps itself, a girdle, around the house.
The fields spread out to the ridge
Surrounding darker spots of woods left wild–
Dark green islands washed in a pale green sea
Of pasture, cotton, corn.

The farmer slouches behind
His mismatched pair of mules,
Beggar lice clinging to his stiffened pants
And cockle-burrs stinging through his woolen socks.

His land is prison, its hold as sure as any jail;
His simple life,
A pull between the bank in spring
And that same bank when the crop is made,
Courses like the twisted creek
Dividing his cotton from his corn.

Our bedrock turns to sand;
We drift.
Our house with sagging porch is abandoned to gullies
That edge closer.
The only thing that it holds are dusky spiders
And the hollow cores of disillusioned dreams.

Across the fallow fields, the corn stalks stand
Like a six-day shadow on the farmer’s face,
And the hoar-edged frosting gilds the well-house planks
As the early morning mist swims slowly out
To bathe the broad expanse of laid-by days.

Gerard Sarnat

This Is The End

At least in California,
home hospice
can be very copacetic
to medical aid
in dying. Can’t speak
to all existing
organizations, but 3
my wife and I
hired (and they are
so eager to get
line of business)
assisted fam seeing
our parents off
gently into good night.

Each set of MDs/staff
worked to educate
plus show us how to use
morphine drops
prescribed for “trouble
breathing, pain”
or whatever symptoms.
We had time to alert,
gather family
to drive or fly in, then
over single day,
beginning in morning,
saw our loved
ones through transitions
in comfortable
settings of their homes
where we could
sing or play fave music
(Oklahoma in
Mom’s case,
in Blue
for Dad)
uninterrupted by hospital
staff performing
mindless vital sign checks.
It was possible but heavier
lift to perform
similar services in hospital
— admittedly
helpful to be a physician
could organize
a single meeting with MDs,
hear them out
that no therapeutic paths
for meaningful
survival remained, nudge
to talk (NOT
write in medical record
orders) with charge
nurse etc. to informally
delegate narcotic
administration to me.

During this first time
seeing loved one
through, presumably
on basis of not
only medical but also
more spiritual
experiences of what’d
come through personal
altered state
“medicine work” existing
in realms beyond,
I spontaneously somewhat
surprisingly found
myself able to divine way
to sit at loved one’s
bedside, holding his hand
(actually take pulse
while watching breathing
rates too), and guide
through a long and glorious
if exhausting day
which climaxed sitting up
from comatose
state, point to the ceiling
exclaiming, “Ger,
I see beautiful white light!”
leading to comfy
passing. This was twelve
years ago, so I
imagine (hopefully) that
such processes
have become a lot more
accessible to lay
people since then amen.

Of course, some folks
who want or need
much more autonomous
process would be
spared these interactions.

Blessings, amen.

Book Beat Reviews

If you are a member of KSPS and have a book you would like to see reviewed, please send a copy to our Reviews Editor.

Elaine Palencia
3006 Valleybrook Drive
Champaign, IL 61822

Mary Allen, Cruising the Word Bar. Workhorse. Lexington KY, 2021. 32pp. $8.00.

The word play in Mary Allen’s first poetry collection begins with its title. Cruising the salad bar? Cruising the bar scene? Looking for Mr. Good Word? The first poem, “The Game of Poetry is Physical,” plays with descriptors. Writing poetry is a game, a battle (watch those “knife-sharp letters”), a birth with labor pains. The playfulness continues through alliteration that often delivers more than sound: “The line is the lens,” shrewdly notes an untitled poem. Then, in “Line Play,” the word line refracts through “What’s My Line?”, “I Walk the Line,” the Mason-Dixon Line, and many more uses. The title poem vamps and struts: “I am the Word/you desire. / (I flirt with my caps.)”

This collection portrays the poet as resourceful and joyful in attacking the questions, What is poetry? What can poetry do, and how? The “rational I” in “Probing Poetry” invokes abstractions, though in general, the language becomes less abstract and more concrete as the collection progresses.

Are we having fun yet? Yes! There’s also formal, rhymed verse, as in, for example, “In My Sonnetude,” a re-imagination of Duke Ellington’s lyrics for “In My Solitude;” in the rhymed couplets of “Kinsey’s Invitation,” a riff on Sue Grafton’s book titles; and the abba rhyme scheme in the punny poem, “Averse.” And what about turning the whole enterprise over to animals, as in “The Dog’s Quartet” (“Arf/Arf/Grrrrr…Woof!”) and “To my Ear at 6 a.m.,” that offers bird sounds. Poetry is where you find it.

There are also serious, philosophical musings. “What Do I know of Time?” begins, Before time there was infinity: after time there will be infinity. “Self-Portrait #3”is a Cartesian meditation on the nature of the self.

Allen, the Membership Chair of KSPS, packs a lot of variety into 32 pages.

Reviewed by: Elaine Fowler Palencia

Clay Matthews, Four-Way Lug Wrench. Main Street Rag Press, 2020, 76pp. $14.00.

If, perchance, you don’t like to drive, get ready for that to change. The romance of the road is strong in this one and it’s useless to resist it, beginning with the quote from Walt Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road” that serves as its epigraph. Or, as Matthews’ poem “Sestina” puts it, “. . . Road,/road, road, road—the incessant machine song.”

These are specific roads—interstate highways like I-40, as described and meditated upon in the poem “500 miles of Tennessee,” and local roads like the one in the lovely “Evening Aubade,” just right for a family drive, “with the dog/in the backseat beside the babe, the wife in the front/ beside me, the sun shining on a cow on a hill in the distance . . .” These roads and landscapes exist in a startling clarity of detail and at the same time deliver the controlling message—life may be a journey ending in darkness, but if you pay attention, it can be an amazing ride.

Matthews invokes William Carlos Williams in “The Turning.” This collection is a master class in how to write toward Williams’ dictum, “no ideas but in things.” To be sure, there is a yearning towards some understanding that abstraction might deliver, but often it’s mischievously undercut, as in “Confessional Poem”: “. . . I’ve this theory that perfection is really an algorithm for death, and that death is really an algorithm for desire, and that Desire is going to be the name of the next really big muscle car put out by the Ford motor company.” 

There are plenty of interesting pit stops, tenderly described roadside diners and truck stops, which remind this reader of another road warrior—Jack Kerouac, sitting in the isolated fire tower in his novel Desolation Angels and hungering for “the smell of hamburgers and raw onions and coffee and dishwater in lunchcarts of the World . . .”

Intertwined with devotion to the internal combustion engine is an individual life progressing through job seeking, marriage, family, and the small pleasures—cracking open a cold beer, feeling “the heat/ coming off fried chicken on a stick,” appreciating “the sound of new birds,” leaving the reader to wonder where this restless intelligence will go next.

Reviewed by: Elaine Fowler Palencia

Elaine Fowler Palencia, How to Prepare Escargots. Main Street Rag Press, 2020.

43pp.  $12.00.

In 1934, noted chef and restauranteur Auguste Escoffier wrote a recipe for escargots à la façon d’un gourmand, snails as the connoisseur likes them. It is the recipe that I think adorns this volume’s cover, and one which seems (to me) patently impossible. Similarly impossible is the question we encounter early in Elaine Fowler Palencia’s How to Prepare Escargots: “who can ever tell […] when poetry arrives?” The answer is, of course, the connoisseur. Though the connoisseur here is the writer and the reader. The epicureans of prose. Those whose lives are infused with the written word, whose creative inspiration can only be described in metaphor. Though slim, this book is weighty with such metaphors. As in “Writing Poetry Again After A Lapse” where our speaker, engaged in metaphorical garden labor, notes the arrival of inspiration with fearful wonder: “You feel a shift in your skull / Is this what a stroke feels like?” and later, fully engaged in the process: “Leaving the wheelbarrow, / you start walking again, slower, / your destination moving with you.”     

Rightly so, because I did not so much move through the poems in this book as the poems in this book moved with me. This work is less an ars poetica than a per scribere, a writing through rather than about. This is primarily because every single work is infused with the act of writing. Writing and living are never mutually exclusive. The one cannot be divorced from the other. So that poems about young life are about entry into the world of letters, such as “At the Trojan War with Daddy” in which the speaker, when young, is terrorized by the mythic violence and drama of the Trojan war as recounted by a shaving father. This entry into the written word never leaves. So that later in life, the same father repeats the Spartan mother’s dictum, “he sends me off to college / with a warning: Return bearing your shield / or upon it.” Many are the lessons of literature.

It occurred to me, while reading, that this book could be effectively used to teach the craft. Indeed, there are didactic moments, such as the book’s engagement with epiphany. In “Modern Short Story” we read of a woman “tired of living the kind of modern short story / in which the epiphany is always suppressed.” Later in the book, a different take: “how special / is an epiphany anyway, / when you can find one / at the end of every / workshopped poem or story, / where, no matter the coordinates / of the journey, one looks up to see / the Cape of Good Hope / reliably swinging round.” There is also the question commonly posed to writing teachers, which is something to the effect of: How do I even get started? Palencia’s response, “What Shall We Use to Make It?” provides 22 answers though the reader infers that the number of answers is infinite. Which is, honestly, a great place to start. For the creative act, again, is never divorced from the lived life. The concluding response in the poem is stunning: “a dream that says / the oarfish are coming.” Here we have the perfect (though not easy) pedagogical response. I am reminded of the lessons of Zen teachers, notorious for their perplexing but valuable koans. When asked serious existential questions, such as what is the meaning of life? the Zen master gives a quotidian, simple response like: “sweep the floor” or “the meaning of life is to be alive.” But in lighter moments, when a simple, quotidian question is asked, such as: When is lunch? the Zen master provides an elevated and existential response: “The kudzu spreads til it darkens the briar; the bindweed blankets the fields.” We see this alluring logic throughout Palencia’s book, and each example is rewarding.

Consider the title. Why is preparing escargots the perfect metaphor for writing poetry? For one, difficulty. Even before poetry begins, we must be open to the entirety of the process and willing to engage the world. Here’s what brainstorming looks like: “Go into a garden at nightfall, / the hour when the little beasts / leave their hiding places in search of dinner.” Another commonality that makes the metaphor successful is that the prep work for the recipe is a messy affair, requiring that we “stir from time to time / until they render up their slobber.” The cooking doesn’t even begin until they are “firm and trim”. But of course, the culinary poetics cannot end there. We need an appetite, a sense of adventure, and the proper tools: the fourchette à escargot, and the molla per lumache. We cannot even arrive at the poems until we “pry them from their shells.” Though the poems in this collection require some prying, they are not merely fancy appetizers; they are as rewarding as a four-course meal with loving companions.  

Reviewed by: Jon Thrower

Contributor Biographies

Marie Asner, wrote the book Tenebrae for Modern Times and has been published in the Rockford ReviewEncore, and Potpourri.

Bill Brymer is a writer and photographer in Louisville, Kentucky. His recent work has appeared in Barely South, and he has work forthcoming in Yearling.

C.M. Clark’s (she, her) work has appeared throughout the U.S., in Canada, and internationally. Publication credits include Painted Bride Quarterly, West Trade Review (forthcoming), Prime Number Magazine, Vallum Magazine, Punt Volat (Barcelona), The Paddock Review, Ovenbird, the South Florida Poetry Journal, After Happy Hour Review and Gulf Stream Magazine. Her work has been anthologized in collections including Demeter Press’s Travellin’ Mama, in Voices from the Fierce Intangible World (SFPJ), and in Chasing Light (Yellow Jacket Press). Clark continues to collaborate with artists from other media, including a partnership with contemporary composer Andres Carrizo; a video project, “String Theory,” with painter Georges LeBar; and Miami’s SWEAT Broadside Project, with artists Dorothy Simpson Krause and Kim Yantis. Clark was a finalist for the Anhinga Press 2021 Chapbook Prize, runner-up for the Slate Roof Press Elyse Wolf Prize, and a finalist for the Rane Arroyo Chapbook Series. She is the author of full-length works Exoskeletal (Solution Hole Press, 2019), Dragonfly (Solution Hole Press, 2016), Charles Deering Forecasts the Weather & Other Poems (Solution Hole Press, 2012), The Blue Hour (Three Stars Press, 2007), as well as the chapbook, The Five Snouts, (Finishing Line Press, 2017).

john compton (b. 1987) is gay poet who lives in kentucky. he has published 2 books and 5 chapbooks published and forthcoming: [books]: trainride elsewhere (august 2016) from Pressed Wafer; stranger in the attic of clouds (december 2021) from dead man’s press inc; [chapbooks]: that moan like a saxophone (december 2016) from kindle; ampersand (march 2018) from Plan B Press; a child growing wild inside the mothering womb (june 2020) from ghost city press; i saw god cooking children / paint their bones (oct 2020) from blood pudding press; to wash all the pretty things off my skin (sept 2021) from ethel zine & micro-press. he has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies.

Leif Erickson thinks language is a tightrope over meaning and that poetry is like the bubble of oxygen under a capsized canoe.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Stand, Poetry Salzburg Review and Hollins Critic. Latest books, Leaves On Pages, Memory Outside The Head, and Guest Of Myself, are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Ellipsis, Blueline and International Poetry Review.

Demi Hughes is from Gallipolis, Ohio. Raised in West Virginia and living in Kentucky. Nothing has not stopped her from finding her one and true love: the beautiful mosaic of art that is poetry. She believes poetry can deliver the raw emotion and healing that can be invoked through words, whether written or spoken, and most importantly, achievable by anyone.

Dr. Emory D. Jones is a retired English teacher who has taught in high school and in several community colleges. He has published in such journals as Writer’s Digest, Smokey Blue Literary and Arts Magazine, The Avocet, The Light Ekphrastic, Big Muddy; A Journal of the Mississippi River, Three Line Poetry, Auroras & Blossoms, Pegasus, Halcyon Days Magazine, Falling Star Magazine, Pasques Petals, 50 Haikus, The Cumberland River Review, The Delta Poetry Review, Calliope, Deep South Magazine, Modern Poetry Quarterly Review, and Encore: Journal of the NFSPS. He lives with his wife in Iuka, Mississippi.

Gerard Sarnat has been nominated for the pending 2022 Science Fiction Poetry Association Dwarf Star Award, won San Francisco Poetry’s 2020 Contest, the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize, and has been nominated for handfuls of 2021 and previous Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards. Gerry is widely published including in 2022 Awakenings Review, 2022 Arts & Cultural Council of Bucks County Celebration, 2022 Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival Anthology, Washington Square/NYU Review, The Deronda Review, Jewish Writing Project, Hong Kong Review, Tokyo Poetry Journal, and many others. He’s authored the collections Homeless Chronicles, Disputes, 17s, and Melting the Ice King. Gerry is a Harvard College and Medical School-trained physician who’s built and staffed clinics for the marginalized as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO. Currently he is devoting energy/ resources to deal with climate justice, and serves on Climate Action Now’s board. Gerry’s been married since 1969 with three kids plus six grandsons, and is looking forward to potential future granddaughters.

Roberta Schultz, author of Touchstones and Songs from the Shaper’s Harp, is a songwriter, teacher, and poet from Wilder, KY. She writes some of her songs on a mountain in North Carolina. Song lyrics and poems have appeared in Women Speak, Vol. 7, Panoply, Still: the Journal, and Sheila-na-gig.

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