Blood Pudding Press’s Pushcart Prize Nominated Poems

By Juliet Cook

Blood Pudding Press is delighted to announce its 2015 Pushcart Prize nominees!

The press has chosen to nominate one poem from each of the three poetry chapbooks published by Blood Pudding Press this year.

The nominees are listed below followed by their nominated poems.

Congratulations to Lauren Gordon, Matthew J. Hall, and Nicole Rollender for these Pushcart Prize nominations.
“O Tennyson! Tennyson!” by Lauren Gordon, from her Blood Pudding Press poetry chapbook, Fiddle Is Flood (see the chapbook here –

“The Pigeons and the Peace Dove” by Matthew J. Hall, from his Blood Pudding Press poetry chapbook, Pigeons and Peace Doves (see the chapbook here –

“Disassembling” by Nicole Rollender, from her Blood Pudding Press poetry chapbook, Bone of My Bone (see the chapbook here –


O Tennyson! Tennyson!

what is good and wild in my country

nine miserable Nellies from New York whose fathers sell

goods on God’s grass her brother is alive and warm with two

hands and no one knows why but God, God hates

weather, weeds, heart, finally, round as a Christmas orange

crisp as an oyster cracker fished from a woolen winter pocket

you never saw two boys picked up dead and raped naked by a tornado

never knew another word for Indian or an outhouse hole of biting

flies, tiny graves in cellars or oh, that kind black doctor

with medicinal powders and the hair of your parents still grows

long after they’re under find a prayer to fix to water a calling card

with trailing flowers a bonnet that keeps slipping blue smoke cat tails

in your hoops, good and wild, one dead child, one loam son for everyone

(from the chapbook Fiddle Is Flood by Lauren Gordon)


The Pigeons and the Peace Dove

my apologies are short lived and dim

like headlights of a passing car

reflecting off gutter puddles

from yesterday’s rain

I wanted to be sincere

but anxiety hurls my goodwill at the wall

and laughs and cuts us with the shards

I should have collected all the tears

I have pulled from your eyes

taken them back and choked on the poison

the olive branch has withered

and fallen to the ground between us

the peace dove is twitching down there

her feathers are dirty like those of the pigeon

and the pain I have handed you freely

and the embarrassment of sharing my tarnished reputation

and the band of abuse

all run too deeply

and though it may not be worth a damn

I do love you and I am sorry

(from the chapbook Pigeons and Peace Doves by Matthew J. Hall)



The disassembling: remember when

we pulled apart moths,

first clapping them between our hands, to stun

their flight? Pulling off one dusty wing,

wrenching the other. Dropping the torsos

in the stream, the water performed the final kill.

Was there an opening the illumined moth

slipped through? Or, did it sink

to be eaten? Or both, the way your remains

lowered in, collapses into earth,

and some other part of you enters and exits

by the ear. The drum shivers as you hum.

Your hair grows longer. The hip is something

no longer examined in the light.

(from the chapbook Bone of My Bone by Nicole Rollender)

Source:: Blood Pudding Press

This Frankenstein Union – by Esteban Colon (CC#75)

By John Burroughs

Crisis Chronicles Press is thrilled to announce the publication of Esteban Colon‘s latest poetry chapbook, This Frankenstein Union, on 30 November 2015. It is the latest release in our Ninesense series of 9-poem chapbooks by writers you ought to know.

Colon’s work is dark, funny, sexy, heavy in all the right places and unflinchingly truthful. This cycle of poems pulls love and passion through seductive fire. Come close, get hot, combust, and then remember it warmly.

Where do you want it?
North America $4.99 USDElsewhere $7.99 USD
This Frankenstein Union is 16 pages, hand assembled and saddle stapled, 8.5 x 5.5″, laser printed on white pages with kelly green card stock endpapers wrapped in white cover stock. Front artwork by Kevin Eberhardt. Limited edition of 99 copies, each available for a mere $4.99.

Esteban Colon is a Pushcart nominated writer and experiential educator from Kenosha. His work has found print in a variety of journals and anthologies. He is also the author of chapbooks Edgar Avenue (Naked Mannequin Press) and Between Blue Lines (Exact Change Press), along with his full length collection Things I Learned the Hard Way (Plain View Press).

Source:: Crisis Chronicles Press

Build Your Own Holiday Bundle!



The Poet’s Haven’s “pocket-size” books make great stocking-stuffers! From now until January 1st, get 10% off a purchase over $20 or 20% off a purchase over $40 with free shipping! Use the coupon code “bundle10″ or “bundle20″ on your shopping cart. (Discount only applies to single books published by The Poet’s Haven: does not apply to consignment sales or already discounted bundles.)

Source:: The Poet’s Haven

Is Lenny DellaRocca The Sleep Talker? Yes, He Is!

By Dianne Borsenik

NightBallet is very pleased to announce the publication of
The Sleep Talker by Lenny DellaRocca!

The Sleep Talker takes you on a dreamlike waltz through a surreal, but comforting, landscape. In this book, you will encounter an old wizard, an architect, a library of imagined books, mirror people, a genie, a window collector, a man who teaches children to fly. DellaRocca’s sweet phrasing compels the reader to journey deeper and deeper into the poems:

“This is a wizard’s spell cast by pen and wires, pipes, footsteps and sawhorses, a man dreaming in blue geometry.”

“I arrive when the sun dusts the world with a burning feather, carry a sack of broken mirrors, on each shard instructions written in moonlight: How Not to Fall Off the World:”

“And now a piece of the Little Dipper slips through the window. The sun comes up. There’s a small white feather on the floor.”

The Sleep Talker is 28 pages long and contains 21 poems. The cover, which boasts a gorgeous and somehow haunting photograph taken and artfully rendered by George Wallace, is the palest gray-green. The textured cardstock insert is a light violet-blue, and the text is printed on soft white paper.

Lenny DellaRocca has had poems published in many journals and magazines since 1980, including Nimrod, Seattle Review, Long Island Quarterly, and Chiron Review. A Pushcart nominee, he is former president of the Hannah Kahn Poetry Foundation,which facilitated workshops and readings by Denise Duhamel, Michael Hettich, Richard Blanco, and others.

Denise Duhamel has this to say about The Sleep Talker:

“Lenny DellaRocca gives us fabulously fabulist prose poems in The Sleep Talker, a chapbook of dreamy utterances, miniature philosophies, and shape-shifting epiphanies. Della Rocca is a poet of great intelligence, wit, and skill. He does what every poet (and driver on wet roads) should dohe steers into the skid.”

Michael Hettich says:

“In these beautifully nuanced, artfully crafted poems, Lenny DellaRocca takes us into worlds where magic and dream sing to us like almost forgotten memories, in language as clear as the very air we breathe. This is soulful, heartfelt, wonderfully strange poetry that teems with luminous images and satisfies with the magic of its narrative drive. Though reminiscent of folk-tales and magical-realist fables, DellaRocca’s poems are his own original and fresh creations. His is a mature voice and a welcome addition to the choir of contemporary American poetry.”

The Sleep Talker can be yours for only $5 plus $3 shipping/handling. Order your copy and allow DellaRocca’s magic to take you by the hand and lead you into another world of moonlight, white feathers, and libraries with long corridors.

Source:: NightBallet Press

Our 2016 Pushcart Prize and Ohioana Book Award Nominees

By John Burroughs

I love everything we publish in various ways, so it’s always hard to choose what to nominate for this prize or that. In 2015 alone, Crisis Chronicles Press will have published seventeen books (three of them forthcoming) including hundreds of poems. First I narrowed down my potential Pushcart Prize nominees for this year to a couple dozen favorite poems. But I can only nominate six. I then spent hours more mulling before I finally forced myself to make some hard decisions.

So here they are, our nominees for the 2016 Pushcart Prize.

“Creepy Dolls” by Kevin Ridgeway, from Contents Under Pressure
“Deadtime” by Susan Sheppard, from Balefire
“Let’s Get It On” by Dianne Borsenik, from Thunderclap Amen
“Poem for Christian O’Keeffe” by John Dorsey, from Ghost on the Inside
“The Road” by Michael Ceraolo, from Readings / The Road
“The Fine Line of Beautiful Living” by Tracie Morell from Matilda’s Battle Waltz

We’ve also nominated Alex Gildzen’s Ohio Triangle for an Ohioana Book Award.

Good luck to you all!
John Burroughs, editor
Crisis Chronicles Press

Source:: Crisis Chronicles Press

Reviews of Rented Mule and Lipsmack! Year Four by Tony Moffeit

By Dianne Borsenik NightBallet Press recently had the honor of sending Tony Moffeit, the cofounder, with Todd Moore, of the Outlaw Poetry Movement, a couple of NightBallet Press books: Rented Mule by Wolfgang Carstens, and Lipsmack! A Sampler Platter of Poets from NightBallet Press Year Four 2015. He generously sent back these great reviews. Thank you, Tony Moffeit!
RENTED MULE is a knockout! I feel Wolfgang Carstens’ poetry is a working man’s blues, but a working man’s blues with a sense of humor! The blues and the humor are enhanced by Janne Karlsson’s illustrations! The main character here is the Rented Mule, working the MegaMart! The incredible irony of life situations is played out both in the MegaMart and in the home life! Carstens is the master of the slender poem eliciting a whole greater than the sum of its parts, as in “I think”: “you spelled/my name tag/wrong,”/I said,/grabbing my mop/and bucket,/”it should say/rented mule.” Karlsson’s illustrations enhance this hallucinatory world. Carstens yields his own brand of immortality in the poem “some men”: “so,/when my time comes,/bury me/with my name tag/and plant my tombstone/on the hill/overlooking/the MegaMart.” The humor in this book ranges from the belly laugh to metaphysical irony! The poems and illustrations work together to provide a kind of Zen Drama or Existential Opera! Read this book for an unusual and evocative journey!

I’ve had a chance to read LIPSMACK! and love it! First of all, the design is magnificent! I particularly like the photos of the authors on the back cover and the red endsheets! The cover design, with that great cover stock, is incredible! The legend/description of the authors on the back cover is perfect on the verso of the title page.

The mini-history of your press described in the Editor’s Introduction is crucial to the reader, such as me, who is new to viewing the poetry of your press and excited about what you are doing.

The first poet I went to, because she is one of my favorite poets, is Lyn Lifshin. Her WHEN I SEE JOAN OF ARC DRESSED IN ARMOUR PRAYING is a fascinating poem very Lifshin-like in its uncanny narrative, jazzy linebreaks, and history combined with irony. Lyn somehow weaves her own identity or persona into the “other” which or whom she is writing about.

The second poet I found fascinating was George Wallace, whose ALLEGORY BEAUTY ILLUSION FEAR is a gorgeous contrast to Lyn’s poem, like the organ grinder’s monkey in the rain “this sweet, practical, tubercular, enigmatic, american song.” Like so many poems in this volume, the history/narrative is combined with the lyric/irony.

The third poet I found fascinating was Alan Catlin. I love Catlin’s poetry. Again, the narrative, the extreme irony, the jazzy rhythms, the coming at things from a different angle. The Same Damn Thing is a beautiful slice of life.

The fourth poet I found fascinating was Andy Roberts. Excellent phrasing. Jazz improvisation with a touch of surrealism. You Know the Type is a gem.

The fifth poet I found fascinating was Margie Shaheed. In her Overheard Conversation #5, Zen meets the backstreet in a marvelous parable.

If you want to check out these fantastic books for yourself, just follow the PayPal links and I’ll pop the books in the mail today!

Please choose your country
United States $10.00 USDCanada $14.00 USD

Source:: NightBallet Press

2015′s Pushcart Nominees



The Poet’s Haven has submitted its nominations for the next Pushcart Prize. From this year’s publications, we have selected:

(While, yes, I do think it is egotistical to nominate one’s own poem for the Pushcart award, the Pushcart anthologies are only sold in print, so I’m hoping my anti-eBook rant will provide the editors with a laugh.) :-)

Source:: The Poet’s Haven

Out on the Streets by Lorraine Cipriano

By Writing Knights Press

$8.00 USD
She met her killer online
he promised a romantic evening
filled with cocktails and ambience
trying to get intimate too quickly
she momentarily defended herself

A little odd to notice attractiveness
in a dead woman’s face
considering she was strangled
and shoved into a suitcase
then abandoned in the street

– Cut Her Open About the author:
Award-winning poet Lorraine Cipriano enjoys writing poetry that focuses on themes such as steam punk, Buddhism, and feminism. She currently lives with her family in Toledo, Ohio and is the co-founder of a long-running literary series at the Sanger Branch of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library called “Women Unbound”.

Publication Date:
Nov 21 2015
1519431031 / 9781519431035
Page Count:
Related Categories:
Poetry / Women Authors

Purchase Out on the Streets here

Reviews of Out on the Streets
Be the First to Review

Source:: Writing Knights Press

Pushcart Prize 2016 Nominees

By Dianne Borsenik

NightBallet Press is pleased once again to participate in the nominations process for the 40th Annual Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses XL, which will be published both in hardcover and paperback in late fall 2016. As editor of a small press, I was invited to make up to six nominations from work published by my press since December of last year (2014), or from a manuscript about to be published in the coming month. If selected, both the press and the author will receive a copy of the Pushcart Prize book. The deadline to nominate is December 1st. Notification of selection for Pushcart Prize inclusion will be in April of 2016.

It was extremely difficult for me to choose among the numerous excellent, unique, exciting and delectable poems that NBP has had the pleasure and honor of publishing this past year. I truly struggled with the final decisions. After all, I’m the one who accepted the works to publish in the first place because I loved them. But to waffle and decline to nominate because I don’t want to make hard and fast choices would be unfair to all those whom I’ve published. I feel I have an editor’s responsibility to participate. After all, I’ve promised you respect, readings, reviews, and recognition wherever and whenever possible.

Please know that if your work was not nominated, it had nothing to do with merit. Your work deserved nomination, no doubt. Your work is truly excellent, or it would never have appeared as a NBP publication. As far as I’m concerned, you’re all winners!

But there were certain pieces that glistened, reverberated, ensnared, transcended, or just plain persisted in the editor’s mind/heart/soul/body. These are the six pieces that are this year’s nominees:

“Forsythia” by Kathleen Cerveny, from her book Coming to Terms

The Maples Hang On” by Lyn Lifshin, from her book Moving Thru Stained Glass“Imbued, Resonance, Rendering” by Geoff Landis, from this year’s Lipsmack! anthology

“Half-Moon Bay, Jamaica” by Connie Willett Everett, from her book What Keeps Me Awake“Rhyme and Rituals (Part 1)” by Margie Shaheed, from her book Onomatopoeiaand

“In Due Season” by John Burroughs, his ekphrastic poem from his book Beat Attitude.

I hope you will join with me in heartily and joyfully congratulating these six who are nominated by NBP this year!

For more information on the Pushcart Prize, please visit; for more information on Pushcart Press visit For this year’s Pushcart Prize collection, or for past years’ collections, go to

Stay tuned for the Ohioana Book Award nominations, and for the two new titles coming out before the New Year! December is going to rock you, I promise!

Source:: NightBallet Press

NEW! Dive Back Down, a collaborative poetry chapbook by j/j hastain & Juliet Cook newly available from Dancing Girl Press!

By Juliet Cook

“Drizzling splayed fluff
or is it blood combined with moon silver?”
Maybe it’s both of them and a multi-colored multi-shaped blood bath diverging from different shapes of human and semi-human entities, which reside inside this NEW COLLABORATIVE POETRY CHAPBOOK by j/j hastain and Juliet Cook!
DIVE BACK DOWN is now newly available from Dancing Girl Press HERE –

Source:: Blood Pudding Press