riverbabble's summer soltice issue now online

Below is a flier announcing riverbabble 15. I have a short fiction piece included. It’s a few days after the solstice, but the evening light is still with us, a nice time to read. Here’s a direct link to my piece, ‘Dusk.’

Celebrate the summer solstice

and start your summer reading with


Bloomsday issue

is now online at




Margot Comstock, Sara McAulay, Bev Vines-Haines, Patsy Covington, Kyle Hemmings, Rick Spuler, Thomas Kearnes, Andrew M. Lopas, Ward Jones, Marjorie Carlson Davis


Rafael Jesús González, Francine Witte, Anthony Adrian Pino, Julene Tripp Weaver, Charles Clifford Brooks III, Luigi Monteferrante, Jason Price Everett, Paul Lobo Portugés, J. Bradley


Doug Mathewson, Christine Swint, Andrew M. Lopas


Christopher Novak

Visit us here:


Karen Head releases second collection of 2009

Karen Head just sent word that her new book, Sassing, has just been released by Wordtech Press. This is Karen Head’s second collection this year, coming after My Paris Year (All Nations Press, 2009). She very generously shared three poems from My Paris Year in the first issue of ouroboros review.

One aspect of Karen Head’s work I admire is her ability to combine autobiographical elements with scientific or cultural topics. One of my favorite poems from My Paris Year (which I had the pleasure of hearing read by the poet), is Le Gran K, about how the official French kilo is losing mass each year. Of course, like all great poems, it’s not about what it seems at face value, but rather it’s about the importance of even the most negligible amounts of something.

I’m looking forward to hearing Karen Head read from her new collection, but readers in the UK will have the first chance, as she is traveling to England this summer. You can find her reading schedule on her blog, Karen Head: Poetic Acts in a Digital World.

A review of Clare Jay's Breathing in Colour

Breathing in Colour Breathing in Colour by Clare Jay

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars

Clare Jay’s Breathing in Colour ( Piatkus, Little, Brown Book Group, March 2009) weaves together threads from many disparate areas of life – dreams, travels, the creative mind, family dynamics, memory, and relationships between men and women. The story, which takes place in the UK and India, blends the characters’ dreams into the narrative with seamless artistry, no easy task (which I know from my own experience of including dream imagery in my writing).

Throughout the course of the novel the reader learns about synaesthesia, a condition in which a person perceives sounds or smells as colors, or numbers and certain letters of the alphabet as colors. Both the mother and the daughter in the novel are synaesthetes, and Clare Jay does a superb job describing how the two characters view the world. Jay is not a synaesthete herself, yet she illustrates their world with vivid accuracy, allowing the reader to glimpse what it might be like to have such ultra heightened senses.

I met Clare Jay two years ago at a conference for the International Association for the Study of Dreams, where she told me about the novel she was then writing, her lucid dreams (knowing one is dreaming while in the dream state), and her technique for inducing the writer’s trance, which involves yogic relaxation (she is also a yoga instructor) and the recall of dream imagery. I still remember the character I came up with after attending one of Clare Jay’s workshops involving dreams and creative writing. It was a panther woman who sat at the end of my bed. In fact, I’ve written a poem about the panther woman – she holds a special place in my pantheon of fictional characters.

The characters in Breathing in Colour, both the dream man and the ones who walk the earth, are alive with color, smells, texture, and nuance. They are more than three dimensional because of Jay’s bright, sensitive use of language. It’s like going on a magic carpet ride.

Be sure to visit Clare Jay’s beautiful website and blog, where she has information about her next book, Dreamrunner.

View all my reviews.

Poetry news

  • Jo and I are beginning a new reading period for the third issue of ouroboros review, ending Sunday, May 3, and due to be released in July. We’ll take a break for the summer, and then resume reading in the fall for a winter issue.
  • It’s a happy day – Deb Scott and I have a poem up at qarrtsiluni for their Mutating the Signature series, edited by Dana and Nathan, who now have a blog together with the same name as this current edition of qarrtsiluni. Thanks to Dave Bonta, Dana, and Nathan for making it happen.
  • Jill, Carolee and I have written thirty prompts for the month of April, which has been dubbed National Poetry Writing Month on the web. It’s also National Poetry Month in the United States. As if we needed a month to celebrate poetry! You can go to Read Write Poem every day next month to find a new idea to inspire your writing. Because of a conversation we had with Michelle McGrane, we have dubbed ourselves The Madwomen who Stand Outside the Supermarket Passing out Poems to People. We we also be in your pockets the day you need to carry around a poem in your pocket. So look out.
  • Poet Robert Lee Brewer, who runs a poetry blog for Writer’s Digest called Poetic Asides, has announced a poetry marathon for the month of April. He’ll be posting a prompt a day, and will choose his top favorite poems posted on his site for each day. And there’s more. He and a group of distinguished judges, including Marky Doty, Collin Kelley, Nick Flynn, Shaindel Beers, and Dorianne Laux, will choose the top fifty poems from these entries to be included in an e-chap anthology. April is going to be a frenzy of poems.

ouroboros review issue 2 is released

The second issue is now online and in our bookstore, ready for your reading pleasure.

Atlanta Moon,  cover art by Meg Pearlstein

Atlanta Moon, cover art by Meg Pearlstein

Here’s a brief sample of what’s inside:

  • Michelle McGrane, featured poet interview and three poems.
  • Collin Kelley interviews Vanessa Daou.
  • Music, art, and poems from Amy Pence and Hunter Ewen.
  • Deb Scott, Carolee Sherwood, Jill Crammond Wickhams’s poems (grouped here because of our mutual friendship and our affiliation with Read Write Poem.

And of course there’s so much more. We’ve been working around the clock – when I go to sleep at 11:00 Atlanta time, Jo is waking up a few hours later in London and gets to work. But today, issue 2 will be put to bed. Time for a cup of tea or a glass of wine and an hour to read ouroboros review.

Poetry news from Asphalt Sky

Something borrowed for day three of the Freedom to Marry Week blog carnival hosted at The OTHER mother.

My news is borrowed from Jessica Fox Wilson, editor of Asphalt Sky, poet, and the author of 9 t0 5 Poet. Jo Hemmant is also editor of Asphalt Sky. She has written a wonderful essay on the workings of her creative mind and her beginnings as a writer in her essay, Beginnings, which is included in Issue 1 of Asphalt Sky.

Jessica has just announced that her second issue has gone live. You can read it here.

She has included a poem I wrote, called At dusk they fly, a surreal look at Ophelia and staying alive.

Holly Dunlap has two poems in this issue, Women’s Work and Raw Honey. I had the pleasure of meeting Holly in person last night at Elizabeth Alexander’s reading at Emory University, in Atlanta.

You can also read poems by Nathan Moore, Ken Head, and others.

Pindrop Press


Jo Hemmant and I are pleased to announce our new independent poetry press, Pindrop. We will be producing chapbooks (pamphlets) and full-length collections, working with new, emerging and established poets.

As many of you know, this is not our first foray into publishing: we are the editors of ouroboros review, a magazine for contemporary poetry and art which takes advantage of the latest technologies and appears both online and in print.

The press feels like a natural progression from the review and we are thrilled to have signed up the very talented South African poet, Michelle McGrane for our first book. Michelle has already written two collections of poetry, Fireflies and Blazing Stars (2002) and Hybrid (2003). This latest work will be out in early 2010, with a London launch.

Here’s an article about Michelle from KNZ Literary Tourism with an example of Michelle’s work, Mountain Picnic. You can also read three of her poems on pages 4 and 5 of ouroboros review, issue 1.