Archives for posts with tag: photographers

by Beth Copeland

A little girl’s gold shoes
fill with wind-blown sand

left behind as the ocean
leaves at tide’s edge—lightning

whelks, scallops, angel
wings—to remind me that my body

will be filled with light as I wade
barefoot into waves.

SOURCE: An earlier (and longer) version was published in Of Sun and Sand by Kind of a Hurricane Press in 2013.

PHOTO: Little Girl’s Shoes, Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina (photo by Beth Copeland).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: On a visit to Ocean Isle Beach in North Carolina, I was looked for shells and found some abandoned shoes a little girl had left in the sand. I wondered about the child the shoes belonged to. Why did she leave them? Was she sad that she’d lost her pretty gold shoes? I took a photograph of the shoes and later wrote the poem.

beth copeland

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Beth Copeland’s second book Transcendental Telemarketer (BlazeVOX books, 2012) received the runner up award in the North Carolina Poetry Council’s 2013 Oscar Arnold Young Award for best poetry book by a North Carolina writer. Her first book Traveling through Glass received the 1999 Bright Hill Press Poetry Book Award. Her poems have been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including The Atlanta Review, New Millennium Writings, The North American Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Poet’s Market, Rattle, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Tar River Poetry, and The Wide Shore: A Journal of Global Women’s Poetry. She has been profiled as poet of the week on the PBS NewsHour web site. Copeland is an assistant professor of English at Methodist University in Fayetteville. She lives in a log cabin with her husband in North Carolina.

Lens (a haibun)
by Elizabeth Alford and Chase Gagnon

Would that I could see the beauty in the crumbling of remains of this city: in the broken windows and smoggy skylines eclipsing urban life; in traffic signs and bullet shells and train stations resembling cathedrals; in the graffitied walls of factories, or old men sleeping on the streets. Would that I could hold a camera so steadily; with your certainty, precision, integrity. Would that I could wait ’til the light is just right to capture moments both light and dark — to see the world with open eyes, shutter, and heart.

city haze…
the homeless child wishes
for stars

PHOTO CAPTION: Two people coming together digitally (6/12/16, Detroit, Michigan).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHORS: A haibun is a piece of prose or prose poetry followed by a haiku/senryu that adds an extra layer of mood or meaning. The senryu included here, “city haze,” first appeared in Chase’s e-chapbook No Regrets (soon to be available in print). As a couple, Elizabeth and Chase frequently find inspiration in each other; and though Chase is very humble about his photography skills, Elizabeth greatly envies his talent.

AlfordElizabeth Alford is a magna cum laude graduate of California State University, East Bay (B.A. English, 2014). She currently lives in Hayward, California, is an amateur photographer, and spends much of her time writing Japanese short forms of poetry. Her work has recently appeared at Silver Birch Press, Hedgerow, and Failed Haiku. Follow her poetry adventure Facebook.


Chase Gagnon is a twentysomething city boy exploring the streets of Detroit during its renaissance, looking for moments to snap. His poems and photos have appeared in magazines all over the world such as Failed Haiku, Prune Juice, and Frogpond. His chapbook No Regrets has been highly praised in Blithe Spirit, the journal of the British Haiku Society. You can view many of his photos on Facebook.

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By popular request — including from members of the Nancy Drew Sleuths fan club — we have extended the submissions deadline to Sunday, 5/22/16 for our NANCY DREW ANTHOLOGY.

Since her 1930 appearance in The Secret of the Old Clock, amateur sleuth Nancy Drew has inspired generations of girls — including this one — with her moxie, intelligence, determination, but most of all independence. After 86 years, Nancy Drew is as popular as ever — with avid fans around the world.

Let’s celebrate this female icon and role model with the NANCY DREW ANTHOLOGY: A Collection of Poetry, Prose, Art & Photography Featuring Everyone’s Favorite Female Sleuth. 

WHAT: Poetry, prose, paintings, drawings, photographs, and other work inspired by Nancy Drew.


  • Poems (up to three — either original work or found/erasure poetry based on a Nancy Drew book)
  • Short stories (up to 2,000 words)
  • Essays (up to 1,500 words)
  • Creative nonfiction (up to 2,000 words)
  • Short plays or screenplays (approximately five typed pages)
  • Other literary forms (up to 2,000 words)

TYPES OF VISUAL MATERIAL (send jpg files of at least 1MB):

  • Photographs
  • Collage
  • Paintings

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Sunday, May 22, 2016


HOW TO SUBMIT: Please email written entries as MSWord attachments (title the file with your last name, e.g., Smith.docx or Jones.doc) and visual entries as jpg attachments to, along with your name, mailing address, email address, and one-paragraph bio written in the third person. (If submitting a found poem or erasure poem, provide the title, edition, and publication date of the Nancy Drew book. If the erasure is taken from one page, please also provide scan of original erasure.) For all submissions, write NANCY in email subject line. (Note: If you don’t have MSWord, send the submission in the body of your email.)

PAYMENT: Each contributor will receive a copy of the Silver Birch Press NANCY DREW ANTHOLOGY.

NOTE: The submissions will appear exclusively in a printed edition and will not appear on our blog.

SHOUT OUT: A heartfelt thank you to Jennifer Finstrom, whose poem “Nancy Drew’s Guide to Life” in our ME, IN FICTION Series and the subsequent enthusiastic feedback we received about it from readers, inspired this collection.

Cover image by Elizabeth Stark, used by permission. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: NANCY DREW is a registered mark of Simon & Schuster, Inc. This book and the contents thereof are not endorsed by, sponsored by or affiliated with Carolyn Keene, the author of the NANCY DREW series or its publisher Simon & Schuster, Inc.

jim coke photo

Fans of The Doors and the band’s beyond-charismatic lead singer/songwriter Jim Morrison are in for a treat on Sunday, August 9, 2015 in Venice, California. Photographer Jim Coke will display the photos he shot of the band on July 15, 1967 at L.A.’s first rock music festival — just two weeks before “Light My Fire” hit number on on the Billboard charts.

To celebrate the occasion, some of L.A.’s most renowned poets will present a Doors Ekphrastic Poetry Set inspired by Jim Coke’s photographs of The Doors. Participants include Laurel Ann Bogen, Don Kingfisher Campbell, Juan Cardenas, Charles L. Davis, Iris De Anda, S.A. Griffin, Stevie Kalinich, Gerald Locklin, Brenda Petrakos, Kristin Sharp, Shy But Flyy, Joan Jobe Smith, Carl Stillwell, Fred Voss, Pam Ward, and Jessica Wilson Cardenas. The afternoon will also feature music from Juan Cardenas and his friends, sending listeners on a journey of Doors-influenced sound.

WHERE: Beyond Baroque, 681 N. Venice Blvd., Venice, CA 90291

WHEN: Sunday, August 9, 2015, 2 p.m. (reception), with a poetry reading at 2:30 and open mic at 3:30 (one poem per reader).

PRICE: $5 suggested donation for the poetry reading and open mic (photography reception is free).

PHOTOGRAPH: Jim Morrison by Jim Coke (July 15, 1967), all rights reserved by the photographer.

PHOTOGRAPH: “Dinosaur” (East Third Street, Manhattan, New York City, December 2014) by Kyle Hemmings.

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Kyle Hemmings has artwork in The Stray Branch, Euphenism, Uppagus, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Black Market Lit, Red Bird Press, Snapping Twigs, and upcoming work in Convergence. He loves pre-punk garage bands of the 60s, Manga comics, and urban photography/art.

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PHOTOGRAPH: “Winter stroll on the Boardwalk” (Ocean Grove, New Jersey) by Keith Alfier.

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ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Keith Alfier works as a mechanical designer and divides his time between New Jersey and Germany, where he seeks through photography to capture the passing world. His work has appeared previously in San Pedro River Review.

by Lawrence James Nielsen

Today, leave the city
As we did years ago.
Come walk with me.
Feel, taste, hear and see where I live.
Let hurdy-gurdy traffic
melt into distant white noise.

Open the curtain on
a morn of weeping fog,
of tears on cattails, and
give grayness taste, texture.
Feed your sun hunger.
Find woolybears sleeping
in mouldering, mounded
leaves until Spring’s song wakes
all souls fuzzy and smooth.
Hear the songs cooed, chortled,
and honked upon the flood.

See feathered fantasias,
white and colored wings,
souring chevrons tiered
against sun-dogged skies,
cascading into rain
flooded paddies;
heralding frosty morns,
chortling, honking fog.

Taste the joy of life raised
without walls or fences.
Live renewed by beauty –
creation daily born.

Flow with the seasons
As they change between
Flyway and Sierras
Where the Yuba flows
From high mountains
to the skirts of the Valley

PHOTOGRAPH: Brown’s Valley, California.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lawrence James Nielsen, retired teacher, born in Orland, California, reborn in Ribeirão da Ilha, Santa Catarina, Brazil, lives in Brown’s Valley, California, at the edge of the Yuba Goldfields with his wife, Florence, several cats, numerous chickens, and any wild critter who shows up for a meal. He is a naturist, and when not helping others discover their ancestors and origins, spends his time gardening, writing, fishing, or roaming the desert and forest chasing ghosts, inspiration, and edible mushrooms. Before retiring, he taught at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, several community colleges, and (after discovering a love for working with at-risk youth) public schools in Los Angeles, Modoc, Sutter, and Yuba counties. He’s published two novels, Cdwyn, Son of Mynd and Don’t Murder Maria. Some of his poems have been published online and in local community magazines. His academic articles were published in a previous lifetime.

Juxtaposition City
by Jeri Thompson

Shiny red buses go anywhere —
Slice through the city’s arteries,
Ticking off time.
Styled like tropical islands,
Oil rigs provide our black gold blood.
Breakwater blues and a lineup of freighters
Wait like impatient children to unload goods.
This is a college town:
Poetry readings, art galleries, museums, theater
(and theatre), fish aquarium, an aging Queen,
Parks with trees so tall, I have fallen from them in my dreams,
And bike lanes that run the beach.
Condos with million-dollar coastal views
And families that stand in line at food banks.
In one square mile prosperity and poverty
Collide into juxtaposition.

This is my town. I know there are
Mesas and mountains and there is calm beauty in
A heron’s yawn. Still, give me flat urban sprawl,
Congested freeways and barking sirens
For a chance to see one more smog-burnt sunset at
The close of one more warm beach day in our
International City, in the county of Angels.

PHOTOGRAPH: “Queen Mary Long Beach Night” by Denise Dube.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeri Thompson thrives in Long Beach, California, where she spends much quality time with herself and her Trikke (Scarlett Birdie) riding along the beach bike/Trikke path. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2014, she is soon to appear in Pearl magazine. Also find her in Silver, Green, and Summer Anthologies from Silver Birch Press, Cadence Collective, and Carnival Literature Magazine (Vol. 4). She is a CSULB grad AND LBC resident since 1992.

Fresno’s Cherry Auction, 1979 and now
by Patrick Fontes

Windows rolled down smudge-marked greasy
little fingers writing inscriptions
backseat in Tata’s 62 Nova rattled
monster-like engine speaking in tongues
as a Valley Sierra sunrise awakened
floral-scented air danced meringue in my nose
fresh life across fields in all directions
moved to nature’s rhythm unlike us
closed eyes to wind hair blown massaged
dawn-kissed taste of dew in my open mouth
on rich Valley mud baptized by manure
brisk against my face I breathed deep savored
soul San Joaquin blessings erased boyhood sins
for a moment angelic free flying I spied
Tata’s hangover bloodshot eyes rearview mirror smiling
at me through cigarette clouds and matchstick sulfur
down Cherry Avenue at 630 am sunray sanctified

An avocado-faced old black man hawked
fresh honeydew golden-fleshed presents
yelling as we passed his stall juice dripped
from a rusted paring knife as he slurped
between words from a paint-worn tailgate
of a 1942 Dodge pickup
tender smiled white-haired overalls
crow’s-feet carved into flint face
his unkempt Saint Bernard rope-tied drooled
to a loose bumper held fast by twine
he whittled a crucifix when silent
paying close attention to Christ’s wounds
while his wife hummed Amazing Grace as I passed
wiping early morning sand from my eyes

Hmong refugees grew giant strawberries
as big as my dirty fists succulent
in bright-colored Christmas ethnic dress
gnome-like they seemed from another world
they came from maybe a secret garden
where fruit grew monstrous on fairy dust
stoic they stared at us unblinking
twenty-five cents later red magic
coated my tongue as foreign words flowed
down my cheeks dripping onto my shirt
stained and sticky I didn’t notice
I ran my forearm across my face
devouring five luscious berries more

Pocket full of sugar coated quarters
strolled aisles fine dust floating midair
“Wait for me Mijito!” Nana begged
searching each stall for treasured junk
washboard corduroy chubby pants rubbed
pantalone accordions accompanied
screeching Jalisco mariachi horns
chimichangas sizzled in greasy pans
mixed with an old amplifier’s cackle
from the Okie auctioneer shouting
rapid-fire English kind of words
with a Fresno County Southern twang

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: When I was a child my grandparents often took me to a country flea-market and auction right outside the city, still within the city limits. I think the auction really sums up Fresno, its people, the ag-based culture and economy and the various ethnicities that have come to live here. The auction is still there and has become an icon for Fresno.

IMAGE: “Old pick-up overlooking country road, hardened, stoic, like the area’s folk — near Highway 41 on the way to Yosemite, Fresno County” by Patrick Fontes.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patrick Fontes grew up in working class Chicano, Fresno, California. During the Mexican Revolution Patrick’s great-grandfather, Jesus Luna, a Yaqui, immigrated from Chihuahua to Central California. In 1920 Jesus built a Chihuahua-style adobe house in Fresno. Nearly one hundred years later it is still the center of Patrick’s cherished Mexican identity. Other influences include 1980s hardcore punk rock, Mexican folk Catholicism, and photography. Currently Patrick is a PhD candidate in history at Stanford University. His research involves Mexico-USA transnational history, Latin American religion, and the Criminalization of Chicano culture. Patrick’s poetry has appeared in The Más Tequila Review, the Acentos Review, The James Franco Review, as well the online poetry site La Bloga.

by James Ross Kelly

Four pelicans on a log downriver
Sit like squatting men
this crimson Sacramento River evening,

& one rises up a sleepy watchman
& slowly waves his wings,
As a good breeze blows up river,

Paired mergansers begin to move away
As I sit down and look at the pelicans
Whose white through binoculars
becomes pink for a moment
With changing clouds & sunset

I’ve never wanted flamingos,
I’ve been waiting
For these damn pelicans to show,
& they sleep on the log

All the while I’m sitting under cottonwoods
That release a snow like namesake floating &
Blowing up river, & mallards
Begin to sound and take air across the river

Two pair wheel & move up river
Then turn again, reverse & land
Near the shore below me
Across from the pelicans,

By me the wild grape from
The cottonwood hangs dead
In the river having
Been broken from some flood,

The mallards wing away
Again, I catch them in flight
With my glasses,

These green-heads
Winging with their brunette wives
Paired up noisily and across the river
I see the soil layers on the eroding
River bank that each lay down
On the valley long
Before the dam

There are two surfaces
Shimmering streaks with
After breaking water
Lines on the river
In front of me now,
& ten minutes ago,
There were three others, &
A ways down river
I see two more, &
I walk to get oranges
From the neighborhood
Communal tree
I now know what the pelicans know.
the shad are in.

PHOTOGRAPH: “Pelicans on Sacramento River” by Ken Doty.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: James Ross Kelly lives in Northern California. He has been a journalist for Gannet, a travel book editor, and had a score of labor jobs — the in-between, jobs you get from being an English major. Most recently, he retired as a writer-editor for the Forest Service, where he spent the better part of the last decade in Alaska. He started writing poetry in college, and after college continued and gave occasional readings in the Pacific Northwest during the 1980s. His poems have appeared in Westwind Review, (Ashland, Oregon), Open Sky (Seattle), Siskiyou Journal (Ashland, Oregon), Don’t Read This (Ashland, Oregon), Table Rock Sentinel, (Medford, Oregon), Poetry Motel (Duluth, Minnesota), Poems for a Scorpio Moon & Others (Ashland, Oregon), The Red Gate & Other Poems, a handset letterpress chapbook published by Cowan & Tetley (1984, Vancouver, B.C.).