Archives for category: Photography

Written on the Eve of My 50th Birthday
(A slow, meaningful, early morning poem)
by Anthony Costello

after Gregory Corso

I am 49 Years Old.
I look my age. My hair is greying.
There is the emergence of jowls.
Blood vessels map the sides of my nose.
Have I always thought my nose big?
My lips have pretty much remained the same.
My eyes always surprise me. But then eyes
In everyone improve with age.
49 and divorced. No children. Is there time?
A girlfriend died and there my baby died.
I don’t act the fool no more — so I have few friends.
What happened to the old Anthony they say.
They don’t like it when I talk about body dysmorphia and dying.
They can all go to Glastonbury.
I have travelled half the world. Met thousands of people.
Most of them were good. Some of them were not.
I cried last year for the first time.
Imagine another 49 years?
I don’t want to cry this birthday.
I want to be an intellectual man on stage
Giving a lecture on literature.
And a leather chair at home.
Another year in which I did not lie.
3 years now and I have not lied
I have actually stopped lying! Well, I lie sometimes
And I feel shameless. I owe people money
But it’s easy to forget something like that.
49 years old and 3 self-published books of poetry.
The world owes me nothing and yet I think it should.
I have had a crazy 49 years.
‘And if it wasn’t up to me, none of it.
No choice of two roads; if there were,
I don’t doubt I’d have chosen both.’
I like to think fate had it I tipped the tin.
The answer lies in this immodest declaration:
I am a good example of soul. A priest
Once told me ‘The People are The Saints’.
I love poetry because it makes me love
myself and others more . . . it gives me life.
Of all the dreams that die in me
This one ‘burns like the sun’;
It might not make every day bearable
Or help me with people
Or improve my behaviour toward society
‘But it does tell me my soul has a shadow.’

IMAGE: “50 Candles” by Elizabeth Gadd, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anthony Costello’s poems have appeared most recently in Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Shop, Orbis, English Chicago Review, and Acumen. The poems of Alain-Fournier, a collaboration with Anita Marsh and Anthony Howell, will be published by Anvil in 2015. The Mask, his first collection of poems, will be published in Fall 2014 by Lapwing Publications, Belfast.

by Eric Burke

As a kid,
he couldn’t get enough light

to go through the aperture
from the small mirror.

At forty-two,

he finally sees
rotifers in the bird bath water.

SOURCE:  “Self-Portrait” by Eric Burke was first published in PoetsArtists and has subsequently been remixed into a whimsical poetry video by Paul Broderick for The Poetry Storehouse.

IMAGE: “Bird Bath Reflections” by Delia.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eric Burke lives in Columbus, Ohio. He has an MA in Classics from The Ohio State University, but has worked as a computer programmer for the past 15 years. More of his poems can be found in Thrush Poetry Journal, bluestem, PANK, qarrtsiluni, Escape Into Life, decomP, A cappella Zoo, Weave Magazine, and A Clean, Well-Lighted Place. You can keep up with him at his blog.

by Cynthia Anderson

The shine of chrome forms a mirror,
the essence of surprise, as I lean over the sink
and find myself doubled, with no more substance
than a passing cloud. The woman I see there
has a face intensified by worry and age,
yet a torso that whispers out of time,
miraculously youthful through a trick
of perception. Outside, the low roar
in the pines tells me the wind is up—
a sound I know intimately, like the pounding
of blood in my body, a sound I could listen to
forever, and would, if given the chance—
but, having only the moment, I grab my camera,
hold it over my face, and click.

IMAGE: “Multiple self-portraits in the skin of a faucet” by Guy Ricketts. Prints available at

Cynthia Anderson

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Cynthia Anderson lives in the high desert near Joshua Tree National Park. Her poetry books include In the Mojave, Shared Visions, and Shared Visions II. She is co-editor of the anthology A Bird Black As the Sun: California Poets on Crows & Ravens.

Visit her at cynthiashidesertblog and

by Birgit Zartl

There is a poem in my head
and dreams about a tornado
a cloud in the shape of a wedding cake
frilly and white.

But I am different.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The words, as well as the images I created to accompany the poem, came during the process of falling asleep.

IMAGE: “In My Head” by Birgit Zartl, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Birgit Zartl is a painter and photographer, based in Vienna/ Austria. Her main interest lies in subconscious symbolism and imagery. Visit her at

by Piper Leigh

Avoiding the tide of a stranger in another room,

I walk to my sea.

I long for unbroken shorelines, mourn what is lost.
A seahorse lies stiff in my hand.

The tide takes my name. Manta rays fly into view, ghost of shark joins the flock.

I seek scarlet saturation
in tide pools holding an entire world.
My pen scratches watermarks on broken shell.

Waves surge in dreams and darkness, roil the sea bottom,
carry my petition to tender anemones.

SOURCE: “Self-Portrait” appears in The Landscape Between Us by Catherine Ferguson and Piper Leigh, available at

IMAGE: “The Landscape Between Us” by Piper Leigh, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Piper Leigh is an artist, author, photographer, and bookmaker. Her book of poetry and photography my thin-skinned wandering  was released by Tres Chicas Books in 2011. Founder of the consultancy Comunica — where she fosters innovation, learning, and experimentation through creative meetings and workshops, leadership training, and strategic planning — she is the author of the book series Art & Science of: Courageous Conversation, Meetings, Innovation. For a complete list of her books, visit

Author self-portrait by Piper Leigh, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 

by Louise Glück

Several weeks ago I discovered a photograph of my mother
sitting in the sun, her face flushed as with achievement or triumph.
The sun was shining. The dogs
were sleeping at her feet where time was also sleeping,
calm and unmoving as in all photographs.

I wiped the dust from my mother’s face.
Indeed, dust covered everything; it seemed to me the persistent
haze of nostalgia that protects all relics of childhood.
In the background, an assortment of park furniture, trees and shrubbery.

The sun moved lower in the sky, the shadows lengthened and darkened.
The more dust I removed, the more these shadows grew.
Summer arrived. The children
leaned over the rose border, their shadows
merging with the shadows of the roses.

A word came into my head, referring
to this shifting and changing, these erasures
that were now obvious—

it appeared, and as quickly vanished.
Was it blindness or darkness, peril, confusion?

Summer arrived, then autumn. The leaves turning,
the children bright spots in a mash of bronze and sienna . . .

MORE: To read “A Summer Garden” by Louise Glück in its entirety, visit

PHOTO: Vintage photograph of a woman with a dog, available at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Louise Glück was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 2003, after serving as a Special Bicentennial Consultant three years prior in 2000. She is the author of numerous books of poetry, most recently, Poems 1962-2012 (2012), A Village Life: Poems (2009), Averno (2006), The Seven Ages (2001), and Vita Nova (1999), winner of Boston Book Review’s Bingham Poetry Prize and The New Yorker‘s Book Award in Poetry. In 2004, Sarabande Books released her six-part poem “October” as a chapbook. Her other books include Meadowlands (1996), The Wild Iris (Ecco Press, 1992) — winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Award — Ararat (1990), for which she received the Library of Congress’s Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, and The Triumph of Achilles (1985), which received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Boston Globe Literary Press Award, and the Poetry Society of America’s Melville Kane Award. In 2008, Glück was selected to receive the Wallace Stevens Award for mastery in the art of poetry. Her most recent collection, Poems 1962-2012, was awarded the 2013 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She is a writer-in-residence at Yale University.

Photographer/poet Jacque Stukowski — a contributor to the Silver Birch Press May Poetry Anthology — recently told us about Broken Light Collective, an online community of international artists living with or affected by mental illness, supporting each other one photograph at a time. Jacque’s photographs will be featured in an upcoming Broken Light Collective exhibit in New York City called From Darkness to Lightcurated by Broken Light Collective founder Danielle Hark.

ABOUT BROKEN LIGHT COLLECTIVE: Broken Light Collective‘s main goal is to create a safe and accepting environment where photographers of all levels who are affected by mental health issues can display their work, as well as inspire one another to keep going and keep creating, despite the dark or scary places in which they may find themselves. To learn how to submit photographs, visit the submissions page.

WHAT: From Darkness to Light photography exhibit

WHEN: June 26-August 13, 2014. Opening reception, Thursday, June 26th, 6-8 p.m.

WHERE: Fountain Gallery, 702 Ninth Ave. at 48th St. NY, NY 10019, 212-262-2756,


ABOUT BROKEN LIGHT COLLECTIVE FOUNDER: Danielle Hark is a freelance magazine and book photo editor, professional photographer, and mental health/wellness writer near NYC. Her work has been featured in numerous publications, including the Huffington Post, Dr. Oz’s YouBeauty, Psychology Today, Beliefnet, as well as various books. Danielle is also a Certified Professional Life Coach. Her coaching niches include mental health, wellness, and creativity. As someone who has been affected by mental health challenges, both herself and with loved ones, she has made it her mission to empower as many other people who are struggling as possible, especially through the use of photography and creativity.

by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

Blade of grass
a firefly lands
takes off again.

PHOTO: “Female firefly in the grass” by Rick Lieder,, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Prints available at

Photo of Fireflies in Jar-Lightning Bug Pictures
by Lilian Moore

If you catch a firefly
and keep it in a jar
You may find that
you have lost
A tiny star.

If you let it go then,
back into the night,
You may see it
once again
Star bright.

SOURCE:  “If You Catch a Firefly” appears in Lilian Moore’s collection I Feel the Same Way (New York: Atheneum, 1967), available at

PHOTO: “Fireflies or lightning bugs (Photinus pyralis) light up a jar on a June evening in North Carolina as a meteor streaks across the Milky Way” by Kevin Adams, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Visit the photographer at

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lilian Moore (1909-2004) was an editor, educator, and poet who played a significant role in children’s literature during the mid-to late twentieth century. As the first editor of the newly established Scholastic’s Arrow Book Club from 1957 to 1967, Moore pioneered the program that made quality paperback books accessible and affordable for elementary school children throughout the United States. She also contributed many stories and poetry collections to the body of available children’s literature, and has been honored for her poetry as well as for several of her storybooks.

James B. Golden, author of Bull: The Journey of a Freedom Icon (Silver Birch Press, 2014), was recently featured in Cultural Weekly — and the article included a stunning portrait of the author by L.A.-based photographer (and poet) Alexis Rhone Fancher, who is also the poetry editor at Cultural Weekly. Alexis’s photographs have appeared in many publications, and she specializes in artists’ portraits at her studio in downtown Los Angeles. Alexis is also a prolific chronicler of her downtown neighborhood — photos that appear frequently on her Facebook page. I adore Alexis’s photographs and recently asked her to tell me more about her work. Here’s what she told me . . .


“My photographic passion is people. Photography is a means to connect with them in a unique and intimate way. I specialize in portraits of poets, writers, artists, painters — portraits where the goal is always to reveal the sitter’s inner self. I’ve been shooting professionally for decades, and have been told that I make being photographed a happy, fun experience, and that I have a knack for putting self-conscious, camera shy subjects at ease. All my clients come by referral, or by tracking me down once they’ve seen my work. But I’m interested in expanding my horizons, and am always on the lookout for faces that interest me. I have a studio in downtown L.A. and also like to shoot on location around my 6th and Spring neighborhood. A session usually runs 1-1/2 to 2 hours. I ask the client to bring a few changes — clothes s/he feels terrific in — hats, simple props. I shoot until I’m satisfied I have what the client wants. Prices available on request. Reasonable. With special rates for artists. References in great abundance.”


If you’re looking for a great portrait or series of photos, contact Alexis Rhone Fancher Photography: 

Phone: 310-850-0006




ABOUT ALEXIS RHONE FANCHER:  In addition to her portrait business, writer/photographer Alexis Rhone Fancher’s photographs have been published worldwide, including a spread in HEArt Online, numerous photos in This Is Poetry, three photo essays in Cultural Weekly, and the covers of Witness and The Mas Tequila Review. Alexis is a member of Jack Grapes’ L.A. Poets & Writers Collective. Her poems have been published in H_NGM_N, Fjords Review, Rattle, The MacGuffin, Slipstream, This Is Poetry: Women of the Small Presses, BoySlut, The Mas Tequila Review, Deep Water Literary Journal, Carnival Literary Journal, Cliterature, The Juice Bar, Cultural Weekly, Poeticdiversity, High Coupe, Bukowski On Wry, Gutter Eloquence Magazine, Tell Your True Tale, The Good Men Project, Bare Hands, 100-Word Stories, The Poetry Super Highway, Downer, Le Zaporogue, numerous anthologies, and elsewhere. In 2013 she was nominated for two Pushcart Prizes. She is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly. Visit her at