Wednesday, November 26, 2008

pushcart nominations for 2008...

The following poems, appearing at BFR, have been nominated for the 2008 Pushcart Prize.

Collin Kelley, Patty Hearst on the Occasion of Her Presidential Pardon (Broadside #10, Spring 2008)

Jeff Mann, Writers’ Tour of Kayford Mountain— October 16, 2006 (Spring Supplement 2008)

Felicia Mitchell, Zen and the Art of My Brother (Broadside #11, Summer 2008)

Oliver Rice, Minarets, Incense, Beggars (Winter 2008)

Amy Riddell, Lament (Fall 2008)

Susan Terris, See a Cliché, Be a Cliché (Broadside #9, Winter 2008)

These are wonderful poems from gifted poets. I'm grateful that they've allowed their works to appear at BFR. Read them, and your world will be a richer view.

Congratulations to these poets.

Monday, November 17, 2008

presently reading submissions...

I am presently reading, and will continue through December, submissions for the Winter 09 issue – a special theme: works of collaboration. These works may be focused in poetry and/or art.

Remember that I’m interested in poetry that has not appeared in journals, print or online.

E-mail submissions or questions to

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

more on the fall issue...

I’m always amazed at poetry’s ability to shift my attention in new directions. Here I am moving along, taking in my life and the world, and of a sudden, I’m shifted in another direction, encountering places I’d never been to, listening to voices I hadn’t heard. And I’m enriched, finding myself on new journeys of the mind – and sometimes, of the physical. The new Fall 2008 Issue of Blue Fifth Review has that power.

The poetry of Melissa Buckheit, this issue’s featured poet, is astounding. The form finds its own pace. There’s a fresh ease in her work that is both inviting and startling – a wonderful paradox. She writes in the opening lines of “Always One Direction”:

If I could I would walk right out of here

the hundred lives we are meant to live

and can’t
won’t forgive the moment of death
even in elation

the gauze wrinkles up against the chin,
the skull sways,
a clear grip from behind.

This poem is a call to survival, a cry to move off center, to do the work that must be done – and that work is one’s life. You give yourself to that life. There are so many paths, so many lives – and here’s the hard edge: those lives “won’t forgive the moment of death / even in elation”. That is a powerful vision.

The poetry in Buckheit’s feature will challenge the reader. There is a wonderful physicality in these poems, a believable and intricate world that the reader is given access to. The poems unfold their intimate drama that is dreamlike but very real. It’s as if the reader becomes the casual eavesdropper to the moment. But here’s Buckheit’s gift – what I learn is about myself.


Many of the writers in this latest issue – writers whose works I’m very familiar with – are appearing in the pages of BFR for the first time… Amy Lemmon, Kenneth Pobo, Amy Riddell, Steve Meador, Jon Ballard, and Yun Wang. There are many others, and I hope you enjoy them all.


A poem from the pages...

Karen Head

“The muse says”

come to Chartres when the half-moon rises
wind your way up the tertres from the Eure,
pause only to pluck a peony for the Sancta Camisia.
Meet me on the sinners’ bench, last row on the left,
where cobalt light falls in shadows.
I’ll prop open the door beneath the archivolt
with the Seven Liberal Arts, Pisces, and Gemini.
Slip inside, shake loose your shoes,
glide across the labyrinth in your stockings.

And I ask,
isn’t it dangerous, this kind of devotion?
I know my feet will burn, no matter
how cold the ancient stone beneath us.
I know too, because I trust everything
you tell me, that the beauty will surpass
my capacity to describe it,
which is why you will embrace me,
press your open lips to mine,
ardent breath inspiring in me an approach –
the rapture so soon upon us.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

fall 2008 now online...

Fall 2008 Issue is now online.

This issue features new work by...

Melissa Buckheit, Rachel Lehrman, Kenneth Pobo, Amy Lemmon,
Susan Terris, Steve Meador, Robert E. Wood, Laurel K. Dodge,
Karen Head, Scott Owens, Yun Wang, Collin Kelley, Amy Riddell,
Marge Piercy, Tammy Ho Lai-ming, Felicia Mitchell, C. S. Reid,
J. Alan Nelson, C. E. Chaffin, Deborah Vatcher, Leslie Marcus,

and more


Next: The Broadside Series, #12, by Yun Wang



Special announcement:

Winter 2009 – special themed issue: Collaboration

Open for consideration: poetry of collaboration or art in collaboration with poetry.

I only consider new work that has not appeared in magazines, print or online...

This issue due out in February.

E-mail submissions to