Issue 8 March 2016

General Issue

Editor’s Comments

Issue 8 begins Allegro's second year and contains a wealth of fantastic poetry by poets from around the world. Regular readers will notice a new format: there is no theme and Allegro has migrated to Blogger which has made my job, as editor, so much easier. Poets too, should see that their poems appear with their intended formatting. Issue 9, out in June, will be the first themed issue. Details of how to submit appear on the Submit page. I look forward to reading more wonderful poems.

Sally Long




After the fourth week a student sneaks in
their grandson so they can see me. I am
a dragon. I don't exist on their planet. We share
the same world but until now he has never seen
anything quite like a version of him ten years away.


The next year someone brings
their mother. I am a circus

attraction. The only thing here
out of the ordinary to be seen. I recognize

the mother from the line of people
in the grocery store days earlier.


A student says they recognize me. I bought
my phone from them a year before.
She doesn't remember it, the faces

come and go like obituaries. She swears
I look like someone she saw
on a t-shirt her friends wore once.


Every staff meeting I become the moon,
apparently beautiful to look at, catching
the attention of my coworkers who sit
away from me. I'm alone. Only the one professor

who taught me at another university years before
comes over to my table. “Young, intelligent, black
and alive” she says. “You know, from their perspective
it isn't personal. None of them expected you to be here.

You still look like a student.” I've found the trapeze
which I walk on. I've discovered how I'm the phantom
formed from a thousand headstones. My existence
sparks the imagination, defies all expectations

like escaping the gravity of my environment.

Deonte Osayande

How I Learned My Future Wife Liked Jane Austen

We were on our way
to the jazz festival
at the pavilion,
tickets in hand, excited—
our first show together.
But the sky darkened quickly,
and all along Main Street
the wind began to ripple
the vendors' tents.
Musicians on the patio
stopped playing
while couples remained
seated at their café tables,
dabbing mouths and chins,
finishing their coffees,
nervously waiting for checks
under the flap of awnings.
We could hear the thunder
moving closer, looming 
in the vague, gray horizon.
We didn't want to wait it out.
So trotting in dress shoes
across the busy street,
big drops beginning to splash
the pavement, her purse
slapping my arm as we ran,
she nudged me sideways
just as the clouds
were about to explode
and said, Before it really pours
let's duck inside that bookstore.
And so we spent the day.

Robert Fillman

Louis Armstrong in Romania

I’m alone in the bar of the Dacia
reading Langston Hughes
alone in the bar of the Dacia
reading Langston Hughes.
The barman puts a CD on.
First track: Jungle Blues.

Tim Youngs

Ode To Sigmund Freud¹

My patient, __________, wakes/a rigid paraly-
sis/air heavy with song/alteration of her whole
personality/birds crepuscular as feral cats de-
signed to survive in deciduous trees beyond her
window/emotional shocks/or in deciduous for-
ests in Guanacaste/Breuer's method of exami-
nation/where jaguarundis chase baby monkeys
fallen from their mothers' fur/ call it the con-
scious mental state and the other detached
from it/yolks of wrens' eggs squishing in mouths
of other predators sated by an abundance of
prey./the splitting of consciousness/He stalks
her on the gravel path from Cañas to Liberia/
hysteria/toward Santa Rosa/powerful wishful
impulses/where the famed psychiatrist coaxed
Cebus to play with broken toys/can only be
traced back to wishful fantasies/disorganized
thinking/the more powerfully it operates/foggy
like a mind after sleeping (or after coupling)/
defense/hot with fear as she stops running/the
individual's happiness cannot be erased/know-
ing he will overtake her as she dreams of a dif-
ferent ending.

Clara B. Jones

¹Sigmund Freud quotes in italics from: Freud S (1909) Five lectures on Psychoanalysis. W.W. Norton & Co., NY.


I wake up in the morning
And the room is all dark
My windows are covered
By a thousand black marks
I want the room to reflect
What I'm feeling within
To let no light out
To let no light in.

Christian Scott

small things
their own story
a worn trowel
proof she 
loved her garden

Ayaz Daryl Nielsen

Speak Less and Say More

The other day I read in a book
That most of us use only prose when we speak;
So what would happen if we preferred verse?
Might things improve or would they get worse?
Would swearing and shouting in public cease,
And those who are cross stop raising their voice?

With what would we start to exercise our voice?
Anglo-Saxon would be tough even with a book
To hand, and all converse might soon cease.
With Middle English we might at least begin to speak,
Learning from Chaucer, for better or worse
(Or use Nevill Coghill's translation of his verse).

Singing too will have to be done in verse:
Radio One in all-harmonic voice
(Some songs I fear, will sound even worse).
Bands will have to write sonnets or book
A lesson on the ways of Metaphysical-speak.
If they do, then wonders will never cease!

We will say ‘thee’ and ‘thou’, and cease
Impersonal address but relish what verse
Can add to our lives as we speak:
Hearken to John Donne's mellifluous voice
On sex and God in his poetry book;
Believe me, for both you could do much worse!

Would it be a burden, (or even worse),
To read Dr Johnson and cease
Prating as we do, his lexicon book
Shaping the scope and pattern of our verse?
Or shall we echo dear old Wordsworth’s voice
Or compose sestinas and never actually speak?

Yes, life would be slower, all that we speak
Demanding courtesy and time; but at worst
We would at least think more, quietening our voice.
Things would be peaceful, fortissimos cease,
Unless everyone started using free verse,
Which usually reads like prose in a book!

To think before we speak, all gabbling must cease;
As noise gets worse, I’ll gladly turn to verse.
Hush, my voice, my nose is in a book!

Rod Hacking

Three Days Ago

Nia tells me she has read
Every book in the children’s section.
I believe her. She is six.

Three days ago, a death’s anniversary—
Intestine-pink sunset mocked his memory
As a fly’s existence ended on the kitchen counter.

We walk upstairs to Young Adult Fiction
And Nia reads her way through
All of the lives she will never live.

Three days ago, Nia wanted to know,
“Why are you crying, Mama? Do you miss Dad?”
She knows too much for six. 

Sarah A. O'Brien

Llyn Aled

Come now and then for the spirit of place
with a carload of energy then, race
the kids around the Llyn, a joy, a treat
scatter ourselves like a sower with wheat
parents find peace: recharge: embrace.

Three decades on in a cloud burst, touch base:
his car is soon lost in the mist: such space
to squelch in the marsh that sucks up his feet.

Brought all four from birth, the moors could trace
thanksgiving and loss, together could face 
the soggy earth's cure beside water. Eat
sandwich now, digest the stillness. Feel buried.
He and an Eagle keep vigil with grace. 

Robert Shooter

Tao of Indoor Walk

Moving, reverential pacing, in minimalist sounds, under an
Incense-colored ceiling, mist like the wind’s inverness.  The
Numinous slakes like water’s lulling murmur.  I’m lesser than
Dewdrops on stones, as I circle barefoot on marble.  Here,
Shadows home in rituals of summer.  My heart dwells with
Chirps from trees older than my grandparents, melodious.
Attuned, I tie ribbons of my gratefulness to the bonsai
Pruned between prayer and the moon’s passage,
Each reclaimed step a hymn to solitude  

Jonel Abellanosa


Rain and cold shoos us to our green Fiat
I name Verdi striving to make an impression before
I become an obliterated name over a grave
like your ancestors in this Devon churchyard,
the short laboured cadence of their hearts over, gone.

At the pub quiz hosted by our landlord
we describe squatting in long grass before stones
tilting like lunatics near the church of glinting flint.
Its old odour permeated my thoughts until the quiz,
clever foolery expelling the cycle of life and death.

You stow your miniature bottles of spirits we win
in your scuffed backpack leant against the wall
of another B&B, souvenirs of a short adventure.
I drink mine, frittering life away, drunk on success
revising witticisms for proof-of-our-brio postcards.

On our arrival we saw boats stranded in pale harbour mud
but before we leave the tide ripples upriver.
Fishermen hasten to man their flotilla,
making the most of limited time as we head off,
the twisting hedgerowed lane, rain, blindsiding us. 

Ian C Smith

More distant, our shadows stretch 
apart: closer now to the MOD
warning sign, I read rifle range, keep out.
When the beacon light's red
shells mean something else:
Stop here. Listen.
Keep look for that foreshore ghost
stuck like a thin-man sentinel.
Offshore turbines twirl 
like toy windmills, as I upset
the heads of flounders, flies,
terns yarring the word
Then the expanse:
sounds, like airstrip silence
slinking through slack and sand-hills.
As I glance back, you're still,
statuesque, black against the Alt's
edge and estuary, fixed as a gas rig
funnelling its lone star;
conscious of round
which ricochet the headland,
of crosshairs trained on veins.
Your mind struggles
to reconcile the sand lizards
and shrapnel, the scent of asparagus 
beds with cadets or hum
of a razor wire fence;
whereas I lament
the lack of a lifeguard
and each step it took
to find ourselves. 

Patri Wright 

The Rabbits And The Pine Tree

            It’s a secret indulgence to feast on the pine
needles of the white pine trees growing on college campus
for both the rabbits and myself. Often we catch each other
in the acts: plump rabbits eating needles and I harvesting
those small green quills from the trees’ bushy branches.

            In the afternoon, after a long day of work,
I went out to gather needles for the pine tea I love when
lying there, asleep, nestled in a nest of red pine was a fox,
his belly as round and joyful as Buddha’s.

Spencer Sheehan-Kalina

lovers and husbands
the day was very hot
the night no relief
David’s only recourse
was the roof

the city slept                        
night was peaceful                  
he sat in the dark                 
ruminating on his problems           
a lighted roof nearby                
a woman bathing                          
a gorgeous female                        
his dilemmas melted                    

he sent an aide to invite
this vision of loveliness
she was flattered 
so prestigious a man sought her

his passion was contagious
soon they were lovers

a difficulty arose
her husband was his aide
away on his business

he was in love
she    was    unique
and aides are replaceable

Milt Montague

The Visit

We gather shears, narrow baskets,
and in our sandals and cotton sundresses
walk out, dampened by dew
as we force our way through the fields
to the old churchyard and the daffodils and poppies
that grow wild beyond its cultivated beds.
The sun rinses our shoulders with light,
grass-fresh and dappled, blue-tinted in the early morning,
and we clip stem after stem, lay them in the shallow cradles.
We can just glimpse the churchyard, the cemetery,
and the mill beyond. Mother is there among the poplars
in a low-lying corner with our grandparents, great-grandparents.
We walk back through the thickets, the longer route
but cooler now the sun is high. The farmhouse
breathes the scent of yeast-fed bread, bacon,
and hot, milky coffee, briefly muffling
the honeyed perfume of poppies.

L. K. McRae

Plumed Party

While the whole of London
swirls above or under the ground,
madly rushing, running after
concrete objects, forms and images,

witless, crumb-less
a foolish foreigner,
I crash the morning party
with only an apology to offer
the inquiring gander,
whose attention gets luckily diverted
to uninvited, alien birds that swoop down,
cackling their warnings,
making the Serpentine their home
for a few moments, before disappearing
into the blue, sensing their unwelcome
by the silenced chirping,

leading indirectly to my silent acceptance,
as pigeons come to roost under my feet
since I had been there longer,
but two noisy birds land,
arguing, without really fighting,
driving the pigeons away from the water,
as all the other party guests wonder
what’s bugging them…

a line of six ducks
cross the path with solemn majesty,
unmindful of stopping the pedestrian traffic,
who respect their right of way,
as they march
with worm-minded purposefulness
towards the green,
while the dispersed party guests
slowly return to explore
the fresh buffet
very much alive and crawling.

Sultana Raza

Monet’s Garden

The gate to Monet’s Japanese garden’s open,
beckoning, and green as Giverny’s winter wheat,
but there’s no time to glimpse the pond’s lilies within.

Monet’s Rose Cottage-locked to all but the wrens-
though curved trellises invite, and a path entreats;
the gate to Monet’s Japanese garden is open,

but the tour bus’s door closes, we can’t go inside.
Deep within submerged, asleep, in their frosted retreat
but there’s no time to glimpse the pond’s lilies within.

Black skies sully the palette, a torrent begins
all hope lost in the thunder’s accompanying beat.
The gateway to Monet’s Japanese garden is open;

with a glance, we leave; we can say that we’ve been?
A dream sought, not found, Normandy’s gem incomplete.
but there’s no time to glimpse the pond’s lilies within.

Accustomed to beauty, the plump driver’s chagrined;
yet, he’s kept to schedule; we’ve stayed in our seats.
The gate to Monet’s Japanese garden is open,
but there’s no time to glimpse the pond’s lilies within.

Deborah Guzzi

He mentioned a baby again this morning,
And close behind, the echo soft and insistent
That it’s too late, too soon,
The wrong season, the wrong year.
And yet, your body thrills at it, wanting
To open in sweetness, a pink flower tilting
Towards the silk at its center,
A container to hold the tender growth—
The language women have known forever.
Besides, you aren’t young anymore
You stopped praying for blood years ago
And each month with its familiar quiet
Brings you one step closer to that final quiet,
Life yawning like a tulip about to scatter petals
Worn out with the weight of staying so always open.

Meghan Sterling

Nycticorax  nycticorax

Though it’s seldom seen in daylight,
its croak will fill a moonless valley –
a rough stone dropped down a well
to gauge, give shape and voice
to the dark night's emptiness.
In those small hours, its graceless call
may seem a part of yourself –
solitary, sounding that vacancy
without ceasing, until at last we hear
the first faint notes of daybreak in reply,
and the night heron shuts its ruby eyes,
crest curled like a question mark,
and bows its head, silent upon its roost.

Kevin Casey

Outcast Winter
The fall of snow 
sings notes of silence
to purify the world’s
gray remnants.

This is how I take comfort 
in the unravel of time.

The twilight is done
restlessly shifting
its vagrant 
painting of heaven.

This is where I stand
in my gray remnant.

A day’s biography has 
vanished in the darkening
of what fades from white
into the next life. 

This is why I wait the quiet 
on this quickening street.

David Anthony Sam


Algae, soft plastic, a smear of oil
---fabric of things fluid,
dream-thick, laps, divine gravity.
It inks. The past can mean nothing
unless it is ruefully yours.
In my coat pocket there hid
a copy of psalms. I try to remember
why I come----ash-heap letters, a burnt-out fire.
Something in me weeps. I have no idea the river is so brittle.

Pui Ying Wong


I stroked the heavy paint across the concrete sill
spider webs in triangle shapes sat in corners.

Black paint glimmered like fresh tarmac.
I pushed the strands into air holes
and wear and tear knocks.

I was him, painting the steps, sills, gates,
and outside pipework.

Every other year 'Mind the step'
or 'Wet Paint' signs, lay as letters on a floor;

I was never asked to help or shown how to
do it, but as I've got older a fermenting
has taken place inside somewhere deep.

Now I check verticals and horizontals
frames, hinges and doors.
painting my own life,
my own home for the years ahead.

Gareth Culshore

The Refugee

This is not my country,
These are not my people,
I don’t recognise a soul
amongst these beaten hunks of meat.
My history unwritten,
Culture exploded,
I’m rendered meaningless,
My kin scattered on the wind.

Spluttering back the Mediterranean
I could reach you by boxcar,
I don’t care how I get there
if I know where you are.

This is not my country,
These are not my people,
I don’t recognise a heart
amongst these beating hunks of meat.

My nation expunged,
Civilisation erased,
I’m rendered meaningless,
My kith scattered to the wind.

I could reach you a stowaway
clutching the wheel of an A340,
I don’t care how I get there
if anywhere will have me.

Ask not what you can do for your country,
Ask what you can do for your planet,
Ask what you can do for your species,
Ask what you can do for one fellow human being. 

Ben Slade 

(for she died) Genesis 35:18

we are told
that they traveled from Bethel
while she was in labor
that it became hard
that her soul was departing
as she named the boy
son of my sorrow
the boy’s father
Jacob son of Isaac son of Abraham
quickly renamed the boy
meaning of my right hand
he grew to manhood
he was awarded a portion
of the earthly kingdom
we are told nothing further
of his mother
who was at one time said to be
the woman of Jacob’s greatest favor
what greater want could
a woman have

Bobby Steve Baker

Light in the fog

happiness is fleeting
moments scattered throughout our history
you cannot make me happy
but still you love me

I’m having an affair with sadness
somehow you understand this

I play with the dense energy of melancholy
twisting it around in my fingers as if it were clay

you are the lighthouse in the fog of my making

when I come to you and I always do
with defeat in my eyes because I think love is war
and losing is letting you in

you open your arms as if to show me you have no weapons

I surrender

Michelle Watters

Sex Talk

We talked about it briefly
over dinner
at California Pizza Kitchen.
My father and I
shared a large cheese
the summer
before I left for college
and he explained
with a tone
normally reserved
for current events
the importance
of Waiting. Clearly
my mother and father's
Catholic upbringing
had rendered them
to raise two millennials
and I never heard a word
from my mother,
not before or after
the dinner date,
except one morning
months earlier
when I came crying
into her room--I was
heart-broken over a boy
whose name
she hadn't heard before.
She said oh kara,
did you have sex
with him? And I cried
into the pillow
mom no! but of course
I was lying.

Kara Daly


Our cat in fleas, fleas in our house, house of skin. We itch.
Four means of rid, riddance needs money, time, forward
progress. Miss one tiny egg, intact the cycle. We pitch.  

Begin vacuum, whip cord. Push endless Vs. Suck every stitch
of nap. Pull deep. Summon the vortex. Loft larvae skyward.
Our cat in fleas, fleas in our house, house of skin. We itch.

We wash. Rubber gloves to our elbows, latex armor. Flinch
not for blood droppings, siphon mouthparts, spiral larval horde.
No progress. We miss one egg. Intact the cycle. We pitch.

We tire. Crawls our scalp. Spider fingers clench. We pinch
black freckles from fur face. Shakes no the head. Shakes hard.
Poor cat, in fleas; poor house, in fleas, poor skin. We itch.

Laundering linens lay percussion, beat of toil. Measures inch.
Opens cabinets, tenders poisons, soils baseboard.
No progress if one egg missed. We intact the cycle. We pitch.

Flea jumps our leg. Invisible sometimes flea. We scratch,
angry skin: welt house. Round again. We untoward.
Our cat keeps fleas, fleas keep house, house of skin. We itch
without progress. We always miss something, cycle intact. We pitch.

Lindsay Doukopoulos

Expedition to Syracuse

It wasn't what the general wanted --
the horses falling back in disarray,
men chasing them, disconsolate as thieves.

After a generation the war seems old
and intractable as a drunk uncle.
But it goes on because it means so much

to everyone who gave and took so much:
mothers, crippled veterans, profiteers,
and the general himself for this rank,

which sets him above all other mortals,
and makes him better dressed and longer lived.
Yet all things end, except the fact of ending:

the smoking ruins of the defeated,
the victor's poverty and loss, the arts
remembered but forsaken by the dead.

M. A. Schaffner

Ravishing Mother Earth

She does not scream
   or put up a fight when
      we strip off her top,
   snatch her beautiful
black coal, startle wildlife,
   shake and split house
      foundations, bulldoze trees.

Not a word she says
   when we spill oil onto
      the oceans, penetrating
   the plumage of birds,
the fur of mammals,
   killing the fish,
      sullying the beaches.

When we spew chemicals,
   particulates and biologic matter
      into her firmament causing
   discomfort, disease and
death to human beings
   and other living things,
      she tenderly receives it.

No matter what we do
   to mess her up she accepts
      the indignity and keeps us
   alive to abuse her again,
and again,
   and again,
       and again.

Martin H. Levinson


Sharp black lines of trees
sketch a hatch work
against the mountain’s snow.
No birds break the cold quiet,
no tracks stipple the snow
but mine.
                   Nothing moves
until the tree tops waver
as the flat gray sky exhales
a distant sigh that grows
into a roar through bare
branches. A shapelessness
swallows the mountain,
pellets of snow sting
my face as distant trees
disappear, then closer ones,
the world shrinking quickly
- sky, tree, branch, rock -
into the howling blankness
of my insignificance.

Eric Chiles


Jonel Abellanosa resides in Cebu City, the Philippines. His poetry has appeared in numerous journals including Anglican Theological Review, The McNeese Review, Pedestal and Bangalore Review.  He has a chapbook, Pictures of the Floating World (Kind of a Hurricane Press). He’s working on two collections, Multiverse and 100 Acrostic Poems.

Bobby Steve Baker lives in Lexington Kentucky. He has poetry in Camroc Press Review, Bop Dead City, Linnet’s Wings, and others. He has two Chapbooks, Numbered Bones and The Taste of Summer Lightning. His latest book of poetry and art is This Crazy Urge to Live by Linnet’s Wings.

Kevin Casey has contributed poems to recent editions of Green Hills Literary Lantern, Hartskill Review, Rust+Moth, San Pedro River Review, and other publications.  His new chapbook The wind considers everything -- was recently published by Flutter Press, and another from Red Dashboard is due out later this year.

Eric Chiles is an adjunct professor of Journalism and English at a number of colleges and universities in eastern Pennsylvania who labored in print journalism until the diaspora of the web. In 2014 he finished a 10-year section hike of the Appalachian Trail.

Gareth Culshore lives in North Wales and hopes to achieve something special with the pen. 

Kara Daly is an American poet and singer/songwriter currently living in Colorado. Find out more at

Robert Fillman is a Ph.D. candidate at Lehigh University, where he teaches English and edits the university's creative writing journal, Amaranth. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Aurorean, Plain Spoke,The Chaffin Journal, the Meadow, Straylight, Third Wednesday, among other journals. 

Deborah Guzzi’s poetry appears in:  here/there: poetry-UK,  Existere - Canada ,  Tincture- Australia,  Cha: Asian Review-China, Eunoia-Singapore,   Latchkey Tales - New Zealand,   Vine Leaves Literary Journal  - Greece,  RedLeaf Poetry- India and Ribbons : Tanka Society of America, Sounding Review, The Aurorean, Crack the Spine, Liquid Imagination, and  others in the USA.

Rod Hacking is a former priest who now reads and writes poetry of all kinds - for joy.

Clara B. Jones is a retired scientist, currently practicing poetry in Asheville, NC. As a woman of color, she writes about identity and power. ErbacceCHESTOfi Literary MagazineTransnationalQuail BellBluestem, and 34th Parallel are among the venues her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in, and she is author of the weblog, Ferguson and Other Satirical Poems About Race (2015). In the 1970s, Clara studied with Adrienne Rich and has studied recently with the poets Meghan Sterling and Eric Steineger.

Martin H. Levinson is a member of the Authors Guild, National Book Critics Circle, and the book review editor for ETC: A Review of General Semantics. He has published nine books and numerous articles and poems in various publications. He holds a PhD from NYU and lives in Forest Hills, New York.

L. K. McRae is a teacher in Ontario, Canada where she lives and writes. She holds a Master’s degree in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto. Her work has appeared in The Antigonish Review, PIF Magazine, Northwind Magazine, and Room Magazine.

Milt Montague first fell in love with poetry at 85.  Now at 90 plus, 50 of his poems have been published, in thirteen different magazines, in less than 2 1/2 years, so far…

Ayaz Daryl Nielsen is an x-hospice nurse and roughneck (oil rigs), editor of bear creek haiku (26+ years/127+ issues) and an award-winning poet with hundreds of poems published worldwide.  His ‘haiku tumbleweeds still tumbling’ is at, and online - bear creek haiku  poetry, poems and info 

Sarah A. O’Brien earned her Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Providence College in May 2015. Sarah’s work has previously appeared in The AlembicEvery Writer’s Every Day Poems, The Screech OwlSnapping Twig, and Ampersand Literary, and is forthcoming in Unbroken Journal and Third Point Press. Follow her adventures: @fluent_SARAcasm.

Deonte Osayande is a writer from Detroit, Mi. His poems and essays have been published in over a dozen publications and garnered him a nomination for a Pushcart Prize. He has been a member of the Detroit Poetry Slam Team multiple times. He teaches English at Wayne County Community College, and through the Inside Out Detroit Literary Arts Program.

Sultana Raza’s writings have appeared in Ancient Heart Magazine (Australia), India Currents (USA), London Grip (UK), Literary Gazette (USA),  Caduceus (Ed. Yale University, USA), Beyond Bree, (an American MENSA newsletter), the Peter Roe Series, (Tolkien Society UK), The Whirlwind Review (USA), Silver Leaves Journal #5 (Canada), and The New Verse News.

David Anthony Sam is the grandson of Polish and Syrian immigrants. He has written poetry for over 40 years and has two collections, including Memories in Clay, Dreams of Wolves (2014). He lives in Virginia USA with his wife and life partner, Linda, and currently serves as president of Germanna Community College. 

M. A. Schaffner has had poems published in Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, Agni, and elsewhere -- most recently in Hermes, Modern Poetry Review, and Pennsylvania Review. Long-ago-published books include the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels and the novel War Boys. Schaffner spends most days in Arlington, Virginia juggling a Toshiba laptop and a Gillott 404.

Christian Scott is a U.S. native. She attended the Art Institute of Atlanta where she studied Advertising. She has been published in the Best Poets of 2015 by Eber and Wein Publishing. She has been writing poetry since she 13, but took it more seriously when she won a high school poetry contest in the 11th grade. She has always had an interest in the art and hopes to find a career in it someday. 

Spencer Sheehan-Kalina is a Vancouver Island based writer currently pursuing graduate studies at Vancouver Island University. He is the founder of lowkeypress, has had poetry published in a number of digital and print literary magazines, and recently published a children’s book titled Nootka Sound’s Paddle Song.

Robert Shooter was born in 1944 in Worksop, north Nottinghamshire and remembers bombs landing in the garden that were meant for industrial Sheffield nearby. His children were born in north Wales. He's done creative writing as long as he can remember and an MA in Writing Studies at Edge Hill University.

Ben Slade is thirty seven years old and lives in Bristol. In 2013 his poem ‘The Right of Reply’ was posted on the Snakeskin Poetry webzine. Ben has BA English from University College Carmarthen, the town he originally hails from. He currently works with vulnerable adults in Bristol.

Ian C Smith’s work has appeared in , Australian Poetry Journal,  New Contrast, Poetry Salzburg Review,  Rabbit Journal, Two-Thirds North, The Weekend Australian,& Westerly.  His seventh book is wonder sadness madness joy, Ginninderra (Port Adelaide).  He lives in the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria, Australia.

Meghan Sterling is a writer and teacher living in Asheville, NC with her husband and cat. Her work has been featured in Clementine Poetry Journal, the Chronogram, Stone Highway Review and Freshwater. She will be the featured poet in the upcoming December, 2015 issue of Western North Carolina Women’s Magazine.

Michelle Watters poetry has appeared in The Lake, Vending Machine Press, Red Paint Hill and elsewhere. She has poems forthcoming in Yellow Chair Review and Three Drops from a Cauldron. Michelle is a assistant poetry editor for Mud Season Review. She lives in Shelburne, Vermont with her husband and daughter.

Pui Ying Wong was born in Hong Kong. She is the author of a poetry book Yellow Plum Season (New York Quarterly Books) and two chapbooks, Mementos and Sonnet for a New Country. Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Southampton Review and Valparaiso Poetry Review among others. She lives in Cambridge, MA with her husband, the poet Tim Suermondt.

Patri Wright is a writer and academic from Manchester. His poetry has been described as ‘sophisticated writing with impressive risk-taking and aplomb’ (Vona Groarke). His poems have been published in several magazines and journals, most recentlyAgenda, and often focus on psychodrama within the domestic space.  

Tim Youngs teaches at Nottingham Trent University. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in, among other places,  The Harlequin, Hinterland, The Interpreter’s House, Lighthouse, Message in a Bottle, The Nightwatchman: The Wisden Cricket Quarterly; Prole, StapleThe Stare’s Nest, and Ink, Sweat and Tears