Archives for posts with tag: coffee



Ten poems from Coffee House Confessions by Ellaraine Lockie — released by Silver Birch Press in February 2013 — will be featured on PoetsWest at KSER 90.7 FM on Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 6:30 (PST), available worldwide via streaming by visiting and following the Listen Live links.

Find Coffee House Confessions by Ellaraine Lockie in paperback and Kindle versions at


Congratulations to Ellaraine Lockie, author of the Silver Birch Press poetry release COFFEE HOUSE CONFESSIONS on another stellar review — this one from the literary magazine THE MOM EGG. Excerpts from the review are included below.

by Katie Baker

Coffee shops are considered diverse gathering places, establishments where all walks of life, both young and old, come to read, write, congregate and socialize — and most importantly, get their coffee fix. However, one forgets the importance of the ritual cup when they begin to read Ellaraine Lockie’s chapbook, Coffee House Confessions. The chapbook features poems written in and about coffee houses around the world…

…what makes these poems in this chapbook unique is Lockie’s ability to connect — connect the reader to a place, a person (or people) and to materials through her writing. She creatively takes normal human behavior, mundane human interactions and creates beautifully crafted poems out of the occurrences…

Lockie has a unique talent in being able to observe without intruding, to even play along albeit with subtle humor, and become part of the story without becoming overwhelming to the reader. In the seemingly ordinary details of the coffee houses, we find extraordinary prose, clever and witty…

Her chapbook is refreshing, full of vibrant imagery. Each poem offers a humorous, poignant, and creative escape into the life of the coffee house.


Coffee House Confessions by Ellaraine Lockie is available at

Cover image by Nick

“A leaf fluttered in through the window this morning, as if supported by the rays of the sun, a bird settled on the fire escape, joy in the task of coffee, joy accompanied me as I walked.” ANAIS NIN

PHOTO: Window in Anais Nin‘s home in Silverlake, Los Angeles (Eric Lloyd Wright, architect) by Rhonda Nelson

by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser

How attentive the big bear resting his chin
on the bird feeder, an eye rolling toward my window
to see if he has permission for sunflower seeds.

…Find more poetry by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser in BRAIDED CREEK: A Conversation in Poetry, available at

Illustration: “Grin & Bear It” label (by Ray Troll) for Bruin Blend® coffee, available at, where the product description is pure poetry…

Bruin Blend®
by Raven’s Brew Coffee®

Decadently luxurious.
Heavenly syrupy body
in a laid-back orchestration
of pleasant earthy,
herbal and warm-spice flavor notes
creates a pool of deep ponderance
for your palate.

Morning Poem
by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser

I want to describe my life in hushed tones
like a TV nature program. Dawn in the north.
His nose stalks the air for newborn coffee.


Find more poems by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser in BRAIDED CREEK: A Conversation in Poetry, available at

Illustration: Label by Ray Troll for “Wicked Wolf: Raven’s Brew Gourmet Coffee” available at


The recent Silver Birch Press poetry release COFFEE HOUSE CONFESSIONS by Ellaraine Lockie has garnered a rave from reviewer Ed Bennett at Quill and Parchment (

Here are some excerpts from Bennett’s review:

Christmas has arrived early this year with the publication of Ellaraine Lockie’s latest book Coffee House Confessions. As always, Ms. Lockie has assembled a group of poems that allows one to read and then spend some time pondering the relationship between her words and our own emotional landscape. The theme of this book revolves around Ms. Lockie’s personal discipline of going to a coffee shop, no matter where she may be, and draw inspiration from the rest of the patrons and the staff. The resulting collection is a laser eyed look at humanity and the way we interact in this caffeinated laboratory…

Ellaraine Lockie has written ten collections of poetry and, not surprisingly, she has won awards both in the United States and in the United Kingdom. This latest book carries the characteristic stamp of her work: accessible language with creative imagery and an understanding eye that sees deeper into the realities of the world.  Despite the familiarity of style, each of her books is a unique work and Coffee House Confessions is no exception. While we may see our local coffee shop as a good place for a brew, Ms. Lockie sees a workshop of human interaction. What we may dismiss as a fleeting gesture, she finds a more complex meaning.
Yes, I knew the merits of this book before I cracked the cover but each poem gave me an enjoyment that so few other writers can muster. This is a wonderful book by a talented poet. I recommend it highly, especially for those summer days sitting outside at your favorite coffee shop.

Read the entire review at Quill and Parchment.


Congratulations to Ellaraine Lockie, author of the Silver Birch Press poetry release COFFEE HOUSE CONFESSIONS, for her book’s review in the May 2, 2013 Examiner. We are including the stellar review in its entirety below.

by Cheryl Wyneken

Ellaraine Lockie’s book of poetry, Coffee House Confessions (Silver Birch Press, 2013), piques my interest with its fresh ground coffee aroma that brings the promise of insights into life rising on each page. It introduces us to people of all sizes and shapes, cultures, ages, race and political or religious outlooks: a Teddy Bear man, raking pebbles in a Buddhist Zen sand garden out front, Stockbroker in a Silicon Valley suit, an Italian coffee maker/at the Bar La Cisteria, the ghosts of Lord Byron, Hans Christian Andersen and Luis Vaz de Camoes. As the title suggests, the collection is a compilation of the insights Lockie has gained from watching people come and go in coffee shops around the world where she arrives daily with pen and pad in hand.

As a true poet she uses vibrant images: Starbucks, Santa Claus, stage four Jesus, Mountain Man, Mobile, pack of Camels, Salem cigarettes and Valium. Her delightful free style poems are also enhanced by her use of poetic compression and alliteration: bristle/brush and lettering/lizards.

Lockie opens the collection with “Java Genetics,” an analysis of the connection between storytelling around campfires of prehistory, to today’s coffee houses and poets, likening their relationship to a seed (coffee bean) that has been planted and evolved in our DNAs. She explains her use of the word confessions in “White Noise and Other Muses”: Little does she know I’m eating her alive. “The Privacy of Public” deals with how troubles in life can often be dealt with better under the restraint of strangers watching: Something horrible here that can be alluded to/…perhaps only in the privacy of public. In “The Young and The Restless,” she finds memories from her own life in one coffee house as she watches the antics of a lively dog: The woman ties her charge to the table legs/…He sniffs the air then yanks the table toward /leftovers in a garbage can.

The last entry, “You’ve Come a Long Way Baby,” brings us to a typical coffee shop occasion portrayed as a scene in Edwardian England where the poet has come to sell her chapbooks and a sale buys the day’s quota of caffeine.

I recommend this entertaining and well rendered collection of poems.

Coffee House Confessions is available in Kindle and paperback formats at Amazon or ordered from bookstores.

Cover photo: Nick Warzin (


I have measured out my life in coffee mugs
by Dale Sprowl

I have measured out my life in coffee mugs
Mornings I choose my mug based on my mood;
Today it is grandma MJ’s shiny, black mug
which sits just right in my hand
and holds the coffee (and me) perfectly.
Another day may bring the distant warm waters of Caneel Bay,
While tradewinds stroke my face and queen palms dance.
The family mug reminds me of Christmases long ago,
And Conky’s mug reminds me of the yellow rose of Texas
Who made the best breakfasts.
But some days, I choose the stainless steel Harley mug
as I ride up the coast between Laguna and Long Beach. 


Photo: Caneel Bay, St. John, Virgin Islands, mug available at


Ellaraine Lockie (pictured above right with poet Juanita Torrence-Thompson), author of the Silver Birch Press release COFFEE HOUSE CONFESSIONS sent this photo from her Saturn Series reading in New York City on April 22, 2013. Congratulations to Ellaraine on her East Coast reading tour, where she read from COFFEE HOUSE CONFESSIONS. A selection from the book is included below. Find COFFEE HOUSE CONFESSIONS in paperback and Kindle versions at

by Ellaraine Lockie

He asks if I’m Carol
A serious man squeezing a paper coffee cup
and smelling like an ad for Calvin Klein cologne
My denial so devastatingly disappointing
that he dashes straight to his Porsche convertible
And in despair peels out of the parking lot
Or his expectation so exceedingly unmet
that he chauffeurs disillusion and any further gamble
to his wheels of fortune and spins out of the game
I don’t even know the rules
But finish my iced Italian roast
Feeling like a woman who lied on her resume


In 2013, Silver Birch Press released the poetry chapbook COFFEE HOUSE CONFESSIONS by Ellaraine Lockie – a collection of poems written in and about coffee houses throughout the world.

During a recent discussion about COFFEE HOUSE CONFESSIONS, Ellaraine Lockie talked about what had inspired the collection. Here’s what she had to say.

“[My inspiration was] Coffee shops, both nationally and internationally, when I write each morning wherever I happen to be. I go to them for the white noise, caffeine infusions, intoxicating smell of grinding coffee beans, and the animation surrounding me.  All of this simulates my creative energy.

It was never my intention to write about the coffee houses themselves, though.  I go in order to work on other poems, but there’s a corner in my mind that absorbs what is happening around me . . . and that’s usually a lot.  Coffee shops are community hot spots—places where the full gamut of human behavior plays out daily.  Sitting in the middle of it is like living in a small town.  And if anything seems poetic, I jot it down on a list.  Sometimes that list turns into poems.  And here they are in COFFEE HOUSE CONFESSIONS.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ellaraine Lockie is a widely published and awarded poet, nonfiction book author, and essayist. Coffee House Confessions is her tenth poetry chapbook. Her recent books have received the Best Individual Collection Award from Purple Patch magazine in England, the San Gabriel Poetry Festival Chapbook Prize, and The Aurorean‘s Chapbook Pick. She teaches poetry workshops and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine, Lilipoh. Ellaraine writes every morning in a coffee shop no matter where she is in the world.

Find Coffee House Confessions by Ellaraine Lockie at

Cover photo by Nick Warzin. Find him at