ubterranean Blue Poetry
Volume VII Issue VII

CoverforIssue71


The Cover Art/Photo:

"birds and blues"

by Collin van de Sluijs










"lessons from someone who disappeared by a river,

down in the Summer, down in the heat, some lonesome road



Sommerled, he so beautiful

everything in scimitar

the hidden

blues . . .


sitting on the old December couch

watching the garden, the sky

somewhere a mickey

of scotch malt

the quiet rest

quiet watch

i said, "why so quiet?"

he said "I am watching the hummingbird"

when i turned my head to look

the hummingbird was gone


in the bathroom

mirror

someone

spitting blood

into the sink


we get word

one Summer

the years

of picking crops

down in the South

his suitcase found

by the river

he doesn't call

his mother anymore


(onetime

a man give him

a ride

out of rough country . . .)


years

i sit

watching the garden, the sky

the quiet rest

the quiet watch

years and . . .

the ruby hummingbird

comes to the one

red flower

in the garden

in the sunlight


if you sit

long enough,

watching

you can hold the day

in your hand


the quiet rest

the quiet watch


years,

as one day in your hand


on a good day

you begin to lose

yourself in traffic

in the poem

close, sweet and blue

poem . . .

blue bottle

road . . ."










Subterranean Blue Poetry
 
Volume VII Issue VII
 
(July, 2019)










SubterraneanBluePoetryLogo
 
Subterranean Blue Poetry

www.subterraneanbluepoetry.com
 
© 2019










EDITORIAL

It is the season of the Sun and Chapbook Fever @ Subterranean Blue Poetry. Candy coloured Chapboook Covers in glossy or matte, any font with pictures. Minimum 24 pages with Subterranean Blue titlepage. Any size.

Editing and Formatting for $130 (includes Consultant Editor).

Book Cover for $25.

Book Review (includes a post at the latest issue of Subterranean Blue Poetry, at The Book Reviewer, at Amazon, at GoodReads and at Subterranea . . .) for $25.

Social Media Campaign (for one month+) for $25.

EBook and Paperback Upload for $25.

Free distribution with Amazon Stations and discounted Author Copies.

The latest Chapbook offerings from Subterranean Blue Poetry, The She: An Exposé by Melanie Flores and Lover is sunshine coffee, I am moonshine girl (in French and English) by Rebecca Anne Banks.





Poetry Chapbooks . . . We deliver. A Summer in sunshine @ Subterranean Blue Poetry.

- Subterranean Blue Poetry













The Pink Studio by Henri Matisse, 1911. Public Domain.

RÉPÉTER DEPUIS LE DÉBUT LA DEUXIÈME PARTIE

by Deborah Guzzi


1.

like a top dressing of French knots on a quilt
a Madonna muses-an Aphrodite's reborn sexless
upon topcoats of ornamentation uncrooning with
sans dressing gown-each buried in a raw mawkish
frights of pattern-the outside he reproduces within
each pseudo woman a folly tortured sans guillotine
knots on a DNA chain of retribution claimed
on & on the cycle repeats incomplete


2.

a Madonna muses-an Aphrodite's reborn
sexless-quilt pieces hook, regal, tear as paper
melts symbolically dominating square keys
cornering the viewer in a triangular focus as
the left brain obliterates-the right reinforces
dominates-the issue of reproduction & nuance
four-corners restrain crotched on each side
openers without slots-no piece of the night


3.

upon topcoats of ornamentation uncrooning
rise cunts calling to perpetuate the whole
calling for generosity-wealth out of his control
for a family which exists on a three-dimensional plane
their needs barely met by this artist's claim
parts made children, locks & keys the crux
to the madness of pattern stir & repeat
perpetuate the integral-repeat incomplete


4.

sans dressing gown-buried in a raw mawkish
frights-canvasses tithe on a dream-two-legged
three-legged, four-legged walkers float on a
virginal pink plateau cut-then centered by
Asian block prints-the anchor an empty jade vase
barred from escape the eye runs like a rat in a cage
seeking the how & why on fractured bones
golems form on the prick of desire


5.

frights of pattern-the outside he reproduces within
wind-blown, writhing willows contort in space
cypress-like sky seekers show upright trace
vines entwine, borders snake, dance-like
the intensity of color brings illusion to life
half-drawn, block-cut blanks reside here
awaiting the word-like Adam
seeking Eve


6.

each pseudo woman a folly tortured sans guillotine
sky-clad, rosebuds, breasts laze guilt-born in stasis
the womb, its form, its frame divined by boar bristles
brushes stroked and knifed, she-parted, splayed
boxed in, contained, available, on stage
penniless wenches sacred or profane?
cornered or free?
retrained ?


7.

knots on a DNA chain of retribution claimed
unrealized, distressed points of view curtailed
hidden lust lies dust-draped-blocked arteries
clogged by want-purged by paint
a purgatory of Catholic guilt displayed
a narcissist surrounded by his creations betrayed
no door, no open window, no empty
space to escape


8.

on & on the cycle repeats incomplete
frame after frame Lilith's trace embraced
an ouroboros by design fascinating
infinity embolden
Schrödinger's cat boxed?
a marriage of content & restless discontent
life in a straightjacket
spent, spent, spent









NOODLES

by Heather Browne


Bending her neck
Just eleven degrees, twelve
Unfolds the elegance of swan
Grace
Leaves falling autumn
Ringlets, tumbling down
The season of her

Limp auburn curls drip
 Noodles of linguini teasing from above
  Wanting to bite
To feel that resistance
  Sweetness of sauce, garlic
  Rolling on my tongue
  Covering me

Swans rarely fly
 Content
 Accepting the kiss of lake given

Yet I am hungry










FEATURED POET: JOSEPH CAMPBELL

THE DAWN WHITENESS

by

Joseph Campbell



The dawn whiteness.
A bank of slate-grey cloud lying heavily over it.
The moon, like a hunted thing, dropping into the cloud.










MISSED CONNECTIONS

Craigslist Maine - Missed Connections - October 30th, 2017 - Anonymous




hey you know breakdowns come breakdowns go


i guess it's monday. i must have sweat off 10 lbs over the weekend. i didn't really eat or drink but i'm steady. the bay window is stuck open and the storm window blew off in the middle of the night.

i need to meet my delarosa runner.

febrile w brain swelling is how i am. the last 4 days a whirlwind. i admit i myself had a bit of a breakdown sat/sun. but i'm steady.

i only wanted you to crawl under th covers. if it helps clear things up, i did just want to sleep together, not anything else.

i'm in love for the first time. don't you know it's gonna last. wry smile. (there's a fab rooftop recording of that song.)


(N.B.: "up on the roof . . . " - a note from the editor

"and breakdowns come and go" - a note from the other editor

"one day we will be free" - says the cat

"so free" - says the other cat

"you will never be free" - says Machiavelli

"we are already free" - says the cat

"read World Peace Newsletters @ www.tympanilanerecords.com" - says the other cat

"what does she know?" - says Machiavelli

"e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g" - says the editor, the other editor, the cat and the other cat)










BOOK REVIEWS



DEAR OPRAH: THE PERSON IN THE MIRROR


"flowers and children

faces turn up to the sun

looking for love"


Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: Dear Oprah

Author: Michael Ellis

Publisher: Keynote Poetry Press

Date of Publication: 2019

Pages: 240


"Don't you know I got to find me a home
Right now in your heart"
- from Home in Your Heart by Otis Retting

"It's a bleedie."
- Roderick Francy


Dear Oprah, is an original poetic narrative event in a rap influenced style, a truth telling in the voice of a girl innocent, as she deals with issues of sexual abuse, identity and coming of age in the much celebrated and awaited novel by Michael Ellis and Keynote Poetry Press. Michael Ellis is a famous Poet/teacher/charity organizer from California. He was published twice before he was 19 years old and studied journalism and English at the University of Puget Sound. He has been compared to Langston Hughes of the Harlem Renaissance and regularly gives performances at poetry events. He received a scholarship from the Hurston Wright Foundation for the writing of Dear Oprah. This is the second Book Review This Writer has written for Michael Ellis, the first being, They Wouldn't Let Me Be White.

This is the story of a young girl in a Black family, Correne, tossed back and forth between different relatives because her mother is disappeared, (ostensibly on the road as a singer) and her victimization by her "uncle" Josh, who rapes her regularly. She has health issues that prevent her from going to school and she receives a disability cheque. She does not know what to do about her plight and watches the Oprah Winfrey Show who she looks up to and admires. One day she gets the idea to take up a pen and paper and write Oprah a letter, which turns into a series of letters that comprises a journal. The letters all begin with Dear Oprah, recounting the days trials and occasional joys and sing into the night hoping for help.

As Correne writes she is addressing Oprah, the palindrome goddess in the mirror, who becomes the source of the reflection that reveals the beautiful true nature and good instincts of the abused girl. As Oprah is the mirror for the girl, the girl, a person non gratis, someone vulnerable without status becomes the mirror for the people around her. How they treat Correne says everything about who they are, their experiences with life, where they've been, their suffering, their discordant or copacetic souls and she becomes a catalyst for the expression of their true natures.

The situation is a bad one, and the characters present very realistically, the good spirit people vs. the hurtful people as the story of Correne's life unfolds. Like a shadow play everyone knows Correne is being abused by "uncle" Josh, they know the true story of her birth, who her mother is, yet they do not tell her and people turn a blind eye, no one admits to the abuse in public or attempts to help her into a new more healthy living situation. Sometimes the occasional person she trusts with knowledge of her predicament are outwardly abusive, laugh off her trouble or placate her when she attempts to tell about what Josh is doing. She even calls 911 but is ignored by the police, Josh passes it off as a prank and the police go away. She is also a victim of gas lighting, where she is picked on, particularly by Josh. He is the unconscious monster, someone who has little empathy and does not understand the brutality of his actions, he doesn't know how to be. The "monsters" who abuse Correne, using her as a scapegoat for their anger or their suffering probably have some very horrific stories of abuse in their background. In the Old Society, with often both parents working or suffering from multiple lovers it was difficult to parent effectively and often some people do not have an idea of who they are, the culture or the Holy Spirit Way. Dialogue, feedback and good mentoring with creative interventions are exemplar to helping people so they are not hurting themselves or others, a wake-up call from the New Society.

Correne is the Redeemer, she is a good spirit who loves Oprah's show, loves the next-door neighbour, Sonja's, garden full of flowers, likes books and likes the local girl, Wanda, who collects recycling cans and bottles. Wanda was physically abused by her ex-husband who she murdered in self-defence, but she is a good spirit and helps Correne out of a confront with some local teenagers. Correne sees Wanda is a good person despite the catcalls of Josh who has nothing good to say about her. Certain words are deified by her, being capitalized, as if she is the creator of archetypes, the seasons, the stars, sun and moon, colours, foods, all things positive are put in capitals and sometimes a healthy respect for the negative, i.e. the Devil. She is ingénue and largely illiterate but some of the people in the Community on Magnolia Street help her learn math and English. Sonja takes her to the library, and she signs out books, sometimes the words she uses are misspelled and this is reflected in the text, giving a very real oeuvre to her narrative, she is largely illiterate.

The story is told in poetic narrative in the first person of the abused girl, Correne, and is in rhyming couplets, a rap influence style that is very sweet and good, conducive to the voice of this young victimized girl. Every letter is as if she is personally talking to Oprah, revealing a truth telling that will melt your heart.

Dear Oprah, is an original concept, written in an original rhyming style, expertly telling a very difficult story in the heartland of America, a story of any neighbourhood, any city. The beautiful gift of rhyming poetry is good at reflecting the spirit of the abused girl, giving hope for resilience and a new day. Dear Oprah, the new American classic by Michael Ellis.

Available @ Amazon.com.













BETWEEN THE SPINE: A COLLECTION OF EROTIC LOVE POEMS


Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: Between the Spine: A Collection of Erotic Love Poems

Author: Adrian Ernesto Cepeda

Publisher: Picture Show Press

Date of Publication: 2019

Pages: 53


"He was now in that state of fire that she loved. She wanted to be burnt."
- Anais Nin


Between the Spine: A Collection of Erotic Love Poems is the latest poetic offering from Adrian Ernesto Cepeda, an exciting erotic film noir travelogue in a breath of 53 pages that spins. Poet Cepeda won The Children of Orpheus contest/Anthology at Subterranean Blue Poetry for "We Could've Painted Our Skies Blue" in 2016. He lives and works in Los Angeles, holds a B.A. from the University of Texas and an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. He has been widely published in journals, including Burning House Press, Chanterelle's Notebook, Palette Poetry, The Yellow Chair Review, Frontier Poetry, San Diego Reader, The Fem amongst others. This is the second book of poetry I have reviewed for him, the first being Flashes and Verses . . . Becoming Attractions.

Poetry as erotica has arrived as a popular genre within the last 10 years, a trend in literature that seems to have paralleled the quiet frenzy of writing/reading erotic Haiku and Haiku. As a Western tradition erotica has not been at the forefront of mainline literature since Ancient Rome and Greece.

This Poet is very steeped in culture, writings, quotes, art and can frequently be found posting photographs of mavens with quotes at Twitter and Facebook. Between the Spine begins with a Table of Contents, the titles of the poems when read going down the page present as a poem in itself, intrigued This Writer reads on. The beginnings of poems are often introduced with an inspiration from old and new photos, paintings, a quote, including Anais Nin, Pablo Neruda, Dunya Mikhail, Pedro Salinas, Virginia Woolf, F. Scott Fitzgerald, giving an oeuvre to the poem, like a very sophisticated introduction to a flavour of ice cream.

The poetry suggests making love in an elevator, a hotel room, whilst cleaning the house, cooking in the kitchen, doing laundry in the laundry room, kissing on the streetcar, scooping ice cream for a cone, texting, smoking a cigarette, between the flowers in the garden, the landscape becomes the affair, beautifully woven within erotic climes. In "The Sensation is the Same" it is as if a book of poetry is his lover, the 2 exist inside the other, a play on intimacy with the written word. It is a movie within dialogue of place, a dislocated thought train that is a soft métier, a progression. The writing often switches between the male and female voice, love from the perspective of the other, the other with place. The varied voices suggest a carousel, old memories, new memories, of the inspiration of art and literature and famous people, of the great imagine.

"Smother Me

     From Egon Schiele's Embrace circa 1917

"He said, lying

together like unfinished

sketches, scribbled lines

on a page. He wanted

me to fill him, make

him color, no longer

invisible drafts like

the wind, he longed . . ."

The poetry titillates, plays with the light and darkness, quietly disembodied, places of silence, places of thoughts, an unspoken agreement of intimacy. An idea of meaning and place. It is alluring, there is always something fascinating about someone with water when the world is largely a desert. A great read for hot Summer nights, Between the Spine by Adrian Ernesto Cepeda.

Available @ Amazon.ca.













THE SHE: AN EXPOSÉ


Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: The She: An Exposé

Author: Melanie Flores

Publisher: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Date of Publication: 2019

Pages: 36


"Never gonna fall for (modern love)
Walks beside me (modern love)
Walks on by (modern love)
Gets me to the church on time (church on time)"
- from Modern Love by David Bowie


The She: An Exposé is the angst of the waking post-modernist Poet in a truthtelling, a walk through the megopolis into The New Age Republique of Poetry from the emerging Poet Melanie Flores. Born in Toronto she has worked in business publishing and is a freelance editor and audiobook narrator. She is a writer and poet and has been published in anthologies and journals, winning awards. She is also an Associate Member of The League of Canadian Poets.

A neo-feminist protest that tells stories about her life in poetry narratives, switching from the third to the first person, and back again, her poetry is a celebration of being and becoming in hard spaces. Themes include her mother's death, the death of a stillborn daughter, a requiem, the birth of a baby, the death of an old man, labels, societal expectations, war, a neighbour, childhood, freedom, she explores difficult terrain with the voice of a wise child.

Particularly exciting are the two poems, Losing Cinderella and Unraveling Dorothy as rewritten fairytales in modern times. Losing Cinderella is based in the Cinderella fairytale, she marries the Prince, she has children, the children grow up and leave, she puts on weight, the Prince becomes abusive and takes up with a younger woman, she confronts the myth by finding the glass slipper in the closet and breaking it. Unravelling Dorothy is based in The Wizard of Oz a reinvention of Dorothy that at once magical also tells the truth of lost youth, a protest of the design machine and modern love. By challenging the archetypes, a protest by way of modern realism, the Poet is telling the truth about broken intimate relationships in the post-modern world. These poems are in the vein of the writing of Stephanie Bolster, who similarly challenges Old World "happily ever after" romance in the retelling of fairy tales in Three Bloody Words, a Chapbook by above/ground press.

An exciting Summertime read, poetry candy, a Subterranean Blue Poetry Chapbook Imprint, The She: An Exposé by Melanie Flores.

Available @ Amazon.ca.











OF POETIC INTEREST . . .



THE HOLY SPIRIT WAY FOR ARTISTS


(a book in serials)

by

Rebecca Anne Banks



To Begin . . .

So, you want to be an artist?


"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."
- Lao Tzu (Philosopher)

"Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos."
- Stephen Sondheim (Composer, Lyricist)

"Artists don't make objects. Artists make mythologies."
- Anish Kapoor (Sculptor)

"Because of art, even when everything is wrong, everything is right."
- Rebecca Anne Banks (Poet, Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Artist, Writer, Philosopher, Counselor, Activist)


The following are some thoughts on developing the artistic process and on becoming an artist . . . If you have an interest in the arts, wish to develop yourself as an artist, it may help to take an aptitude test (sometimes free over the Internet) and consult a psychic, the village elders, your teachers for feedback. Anyone who is a big spirit person (has been famous in a past life or who has a lot of favourite soul colours) or who comes from a very talented family with a lot of famous relatives may also be very talented. Anyone in the umbrella of jobs for Artist, Teacher, Politician, Economist, Marketer, Librarian, Chef, Psychologist is a Michelangelo psych type and exceptionally suited to the arts and may be successful in multiple disciplines. In my experience those that are Accountants/Public Service People and Lawyers psychological type are also capable of an Artists Calling.

If you have a strong inclination for something in the Arts, it is a good idea to attempt it, people often have hidden talents. Exploring an artistic calling, it is best to study the history of art to have a general understanding and grounding. This can be done by studying over the Internet or reading books on art history and exploring traditional culture by visiting Museums. Local or modern culture can be experienced by visiting art galleries, book talks, poetry readings, musician and songwriter performances, steeping oneself in the cultural milieu. You may develop definite tastes in music and literature, as you get an idea of which cultural affect you wish to pursue, explore all avenues. If you have an interest in a type of literature, read a sample of everything in that genre, if it is a type of music, listen to all of that type of music. With an overview of art and its history, plus extensive study of your favourite art, literature and music you are ready to begin exploring producing your own art.

It is probably a good idea to take a basic course in technique, taking a beginner's introduction or learning from the Internet. There are certain "secrets" or special applications that may only be known by a teacher. Sometimes you can only get so far in your study and you get stuck, not certain how to proceed. This may need some divine intervention or feedback, you may be able to get this from a forum on the Internet or you may need to attend a workshop or see a teacher for some hands-on help. Once you have some basic skill instruction you may continue by copying your favourite artists. Just practicing the skill set, if playing guitar learning the notes and chords and playing other people's songs from song sheets, if painting, copying other people's paintings, so by practicing and honing the skill set you are laying the groundwork for producing original art.

Staring at a blank page can be intimidating, don't let it scare you. Breathe deep and start your project. After filling the blank page over a period of time it stops being a hard space and becomes warm, a familiar endeavour. As you start to produce original works, it is important to critique your work, what you didn't like, what you did like and elaborate on the positive in future works. If you like your work, it is very positive, it is important to keep enthusiasm and not be too disheartened. As your skill ripens your artwork may go through different phases or stages. For exampled Pablo Picasso had the Pink Period, the Blue Period, a Cubist Period etc. This is a reflection of skill set, influences on the artist and the presence of the Muse. In my experience it takes about 10 years of practising art to produce truly considered work. On a true calling your art will ripen over time.

Creating art is a great way of handling stress, grief, depression and strong emotions. As a lifeway skill develops and inspiration may come from different sources. Often artists have a love interest (the Muse) or look to the Spirit in the landscape, in emotions, in the seasons, other people's art, dreams, the daily news, conversations, celebrations. Any part of daily living can inspire the artistic process and often there will be more than one inspiration creating a certain synchronicity and synergy, as if creating a postcard of that particular day at that particular time. It is possible to spin off other people's art, the inspiration from a movie, an art installation, a poem, a song can contribute to your art work. Making the Artists of the past live again, by mentioning their work or using their work as inspiration and giving them a credit note honours the Great Ones of the past, like an honouring of the ancestors and creates really good karma. If one is truly a seminal artist, the art work will exist on multiple levels and there may be an element of prophesy.

Available @ Amazon.ca.











"the night

sweats

the heat

magic

i walking . . ."


"nothing but magic"


UNTITLED

by

Rebecca Anne Banks


train weather

the harpies in flood

out of hard bait

"THE VOICE FROM GOD"

they retire

out of OZ

and so, the flight from Madrid

(if you caught

a bluebird

in a cage)

i am Betty Rubble

"your parcel is at the Post Office"


them Jessies under the window

street coin

rum and lacey

and the split rhymes

jack sauce


capital dosha

on a sky sing

of the familiar

in the news

sad today

brick shine

suc matta

bad cushka

and so dangerous

in their cages alone

(I stopped being furniture

20 years ago)


train weather

Belle Ewart dawns

rum rosi

i walking, Saint of the evening

"thanks Maeve"

lady rain

falling through sleep

backwards in time

and the seed is sewn

somewhere

hurtling through darkness

and somewhere

on the train

sitting,

watching

each other

for signs of grace

lost in blue

and just as I write

you into the script

you disappear


and somewhere

in a movie

they could not

claim our souls

the mirror of each other

(wet with rain

car won't start)

shy eye scene

a reflection of downtown

blue

grandly

and Avon calling.










BIOGRAPHY


Rebecca Anne Banks lives in the New Age Renaissance Republique of Poetry. She has been writing and producing artistic content for 37 years and is the author of over 30 books of poetry, a guide to the Holy Spirit, a primer on marriage discernment, a family cookbook, a book of children's stories, a book of World Peace Newsletters, all available at Amazon Stations. She has produced 3 CD`s of Folk/Rock music and has 17 CD's of music awaiting production. She won an IARA Award for Top 55 Internet Airplays for Angel Song (2010). She is an Associate Member of the League of Canadian Poets. She is also the Poetry Editor at Subterranean Blue Poetry ( www.subterraneanbluepoetry.com), CEO/Artist at Tea at Tympani Lane Records ( www.tympanilanerecords.com), the Book Reviewer at The Book Reviewer (www.thebookreviewer.ca) and the Quilt Artist at Kintsugi Art Quilts (www.kintsugiartquilts.com).

Heather M. Browne is a faith-based psychotherapist, recently nominated for the Pushcart Award, published in the Orange Room, Boston Literary Review, Page & Spine, Eunoia Review, Poetry Quarterly, Red Fez, Electric Windmill, Apeiron, The Lake, Knot, mad swirl. Red Dashboard published two collections: Directions of Folding and Altar Call of Trumpets.

Joseph Campbell (Poet, teacher, philosopher) is an American professor who studied English literature, humanities and religions to become a major 20th century philosopher in comparative mythology. He is most famous for the quote "follow your bliss". He is a contemporary of Jiddu Krishnamurti, Thomas Mann, John Steinbeck, Ed Ricketts and Heinrich Zimmer amongst others. He married a former student, the dancer-choreographer Jean Erdman and they divided their time between New York City and Hawaii. He is best known for the book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) and many books, audio recordings and video recordings.

Adrian Ernesto Cepeda is a Poet/teacher who lives and works in Los Angeles, with a B.A. from the University of Texas and a Creative Writing degree from Antioch University. He won The Children of Orpheus contest/Anthology at Subterranean Blue Poetry in 2016. He has been widely published in journals, and has also written Flashes and Verses . . . Becoming Attractions (Unsolicited Press), So Many Flowers, So Little Time (Red Mare Press).

Michael Ellis is a Poet/teacher/charity organizer, living and working in California. He has studied English and journalism and won a scholarship from the Hurston Wright Foundation for writing the first pages of Dear Oprah. He performs his Beat/rap influenced poetry at Readings regularly and teaches workshops in schools and prisons. He organizes charity food and clothing donations for street people. He has also written They Wouldn't Let Me Be White and Goodbye Langston.

Melanie Flores. Toronto-born Melanie Flores divides her time between working as an audiobook narrator and editor/writer/proofreader and writing poetry and short prose. Melanie has been a contest winner in several national poetry competitions, including a 1st place award for “Final Moments” in Polar Expressions’ 2017 National Poetry Contest. Melanie’s poetry has appeared in Fresh Voices, the FemCaucus newsletter, The Prairie Journal and is slated to appear in upcoming international and national anthologies.

Deborah Guzzi, author of The Hurricane which is available through Prolific Press & Amazon. Her poetry appears in Allegro, Artificium, Shooter, & Foxglove Journal in the UK, also in Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Greece, Spain, France, India & dozens in the USA.

Collin van de Sluijs (painter and illustrator) lives and works in Maastricht, The Netherlands. When a teenager he began creating graffiti and at 12 years was enrolled in classes to study painting and art. He is best known for painting urban street murals on sides of buildings.