Off the Coast, Maine's International Poetry Journal
< Back

Fall 2015                     VOLUME XXI              NUMBER 4                   ISSN 1945-0559

FALL 2015: "The False Linearity of Seeing"

The Fall 2015 issue, "The False Linearity of Seeing," is available now.

Click here to order a copy.

With poems by Graham Akhurst, Ace Boggess, Jennifer Freed, Alamgir Hashmi, Rage Hezekiah, Marcia Hurlow, Mercedes Lawry, George Looney, Tendai Rinos Mwanaka, Simon Perchik, Suzannah Spaar and others.

We are pleased to publish Laurence Coe's poem, "Before," winner of the 2015 Maine Postmark Poetry Competition sponsored by the Belfast Poetry Festival, and Prajakta Jamindar and Tabish Ahmed, winners of the Mood Indigo IIT Bombay "Just About Write" literary competition.

Front Cover image: Femme en pied by Ivan de Monbrison. Back Cover: A Delicate Dance by Carol Deprez.

Artwork and Photos by Michael Burgholzer, Thomas Gillaspy, Karen Greenbaum-Maya, Stewart Manley, Ivan de Monbrison, Bonnie Thompson Enes, Molly Touchie, and Kathy Weinberg.

Books reviewed:

Ellen Jane Powers: Salty Liquor by Gary Rainford

Michael Brown: Strata by Helen Eriksson, translated by Jan Teeland and Wendy Klein

Valerie Lawson: Figments by Gerald George


Graham Akhurst is an Aboriginal writer from the Kokomini of Northern Queensland.

Prerna Bakshi is a Macao-based poet of Indian origin. She tweets at @bprerna.

Brad Bennett has noticed that we published a bunch of his haiku over the years.

Daya Bhat is a freelance translator also interested in painting, reading and blogging.

Ace Boggess is an ex-con, ex-husband, ex-reporter, and completely exhausted by all the things he isn't anymore.

Michael Burgholzer, a programmer, has published poems and photographs in German language and American literary journals.

Peter Burzynski is a PhD student in Creative Writing-Poetry at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


Click here to order a copy.

Pushcart Prize

We are pleased to announce our nominees for the Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses series. Published every year since 1976, the Pushcart Prize is the most honored literary project in America.

Moon for Migrants by Fabienne Sylvia Josaphat, Winter 2015, Get You Some Wings

Crawford County, 1968 by Alyse Alyse Richmond, Spring 2015, Pixelated and Wanting

Mr. Stripey by Linda Wojtowick, Spring 2015, Pixelated and Wanting

If Only Life Were Like Language by Paul Hostovsky, Summer 2015, Outliers with Boundaries

Handicapped Sailor by Richard Dey, Summer 2015, Outliers with Boundaries

My first real boyfriend was a cadaver by Erinn Batykefer, Fall 2015, The False Linearity of Seeing

Congratulations all, and best of luck!

We are pleased to announce our nominees for the Independent Best American Poetry Awards: Acadia and Sky Woman by Barbara Robidaux and Moon for Migrants by Fabienne Sylvia Josaphat. Barbara Robidoux is a student at the Institute of American Indian Arts in New Mexico. Fabienne Sylvia Josaphat has an MFA from Florida International U.

The anthologized poems will be published online as an extension of MiPOesias.

We have also nominated Moon for Migrants by Fabienne Sylvia Josaphat, Sexually Transmitted Leadership by Tendai Rinos Mwanaka, and Macaroni (Song for Bomkauf) by Jenson Leonard for the Bettering American Poetry anthology to be published in print by BlazeVOX books in February 2016.

Moon for Migrants and Sexually Transmitted Leadership appeared in our Winter 2015 issue, Get You Some Wings. We don't put all our poems on the website, so Tendai's poem only appeared in the print edition. Tendai R. Mwanaka has two books coming in 2015: A Dark Energy (Aignos) and Zimbabwe: The Urgency of Now (Langaa RPCIG).

Macaroni (Song for Bomkauf) appeared in print in our Fall 2015 issue, The False Linearity of Seeing. Jenson Leonard is engaged in exploration of the esoteric and liminal spaces of the marginalized, particularly via the black body and the confines of the white literary establishment.

SUMMER 2015: "Outliers with Boundaries"

The Summer 2015 issue, "Outliers with Boundaries," is available now.

Click here to order a copy.

Featuring translations by Frederick Lowe and J. Kates, poems by Erin Batykefer, Ray Skjelbred, Paul Hostovsky, Kathleen McCann, Sonja Johanson, Noel Sloboda, Susan Eisenberg, K.S. Hardy, Noel Sloboda, Jenny Qi, Joannie Stangeland, Sanjeev Sethi, and others.

We are pleased to publish Rachel Contreni Flynn's poem, Blue Canoe, winner of the 2015 Maine Literary Awards Poetry Short Works Competition. Congratulations, Rachel!

Front Cover image: Nautilus by Peter Ingrasselino. Back Cover image: no plastic ties need apply by Bonnie Thompson Enes.

Photos by Michael Burgholzer,Carol Deprez, Kathleen Gunton, Tendai Rinos Mwanaka , Steve Patterson, Sammy Saladino Jr., Deborah Singer, and Kathy Weinberg .

Books reviewed:

Michael Brown: Dawnland Voices: An Anthology of Indigenous Writing from New England edited by Siobhan Senier

Carl Little: In Praise of Usefulness by Angela Patten

Valerie Lawson: A Ladder of Cranes by Tom Sexton


Erinn Batykefer has an MFA from the University of Wisconsin and is a Programming Librarian at New Canaan Library, and Co-founder & Managing Editor, The Library as Incubator Project.

Lana Bella lives bi-continental in the US and the coastal town of Nha Trang, Vietnam.

Brad Bennett's haiku are regularly published in Off the Coast.

Michael Burgholzer, a programmer, has published poems and photographs.


Click here to order a copy.

Off the Coast is pleased to present Rachel Contreni Flynn's poem, Blue Canoe, which won the Poetry Short Works Competition at the 2015 Maine Literary Awards sponsored by the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Congratulations, Rachel!

The Maine Literary Awards is an annual competition sponsored and coordinated by the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Nominations are open to all Maine residents, including seasonal residents. The statewide competition is for published books, as well as drama, short works (either published or unpublished), and student writing. Maine writers may self-nominate, or be nominated by others.

For more information, visit MWPA's website.

SPRING 2015: "Pixelated and Wanting"

Cover, Spring 2015 issue

The Spring 2015 issue, "Pixelated and Wanting," is available now.

With poems by Gaylord Brewer, Nancy Hewitt, Paul Hostovsky, Jill McDonough, E. B. Paige, Simon Perchik, J.D. Scrimgeour, Karen Skolfield, Linda Wojtowick, and others.

Front Cover image: Clutches Onto Gristle by Eleanor Leone Bennett. Back Cover image: Boogie Woogie by Stanley Horowitz.

Photos by Susanna Case, Louis Staeble, Lavinia Roberts, Michael Burgholzer, Allen Forrest, Jeannie Roberts, Stephen Ajadi, Brad Garber, Rebecca Oet, and Sherman Poultney.

Books reviewed:

Carl Little: The Fool Sings by Weslea Sidon

Moira Richards: Handing Out Apples in Eden by Malisa Garlieb


Stephen Ajadi, Nigerian artist and architect, won the 2012 Yakubu Gowon National Prize for Writing.

Felice Aull began writing poetry in her 60s and has published a chapbook, The Music Behind Me (Alabaster Leaves, 2012).

Jan Ball's chapbooks, Accompanying Spouse (2011) and Chapter of Faults (2014), were published by Finishing Line.

Brad Bennett's haiku have been widely published.

Eleanor Leonne Bennett has won first places with National Geographic,The World Photography Organisation, and more. Her website is

Gaylord Brewer has a cookbook/memoir The Poet's Guide to Food, Drink, & Desire (Stephen F. Austin University, 2015) and a ninth book of poems, Country of Ghost (Red Hen, 2015)
... More...

Click here to order a copy.

WINTER 2015: "Get You Some Wings"

Cover, Winter 2015 issue

The Winter 2015 issue, "Get You Some Wings," is available now.

With poems by Clint Smith, Brad Bennett, Fabienne Sylvia Josaphat, Leonore Hildebrandt, Penelope Scambly Schott, Ruth Moon Kempher, Simon Perchik, Larry Thomas, and others.

Front Cover image: Indigo Meditation by Iryna Lialko. Back Cover image: Carnival of Emotions on Crossing of Times also by Iryna Lialko.

Photos by Michael Peterson, Andres Badillo, Christopher Woods, Dr. Ernest Williamson III, Peter Ingrasselino, Timothy Gerken, Allen Forrest, and Meredith Abenaim.

Books reviewed:

David Rachlin: Later The House Stood Empty by Melina Draper

Richard Aston: For the Living Dead: New and Selected Poems by Eric Greinke

Ellen Jane Powers: Tea in Heliopolis by Hedy Habra

Valerie Lawson: The Next Unknown by Leonore Hildebrandt

Carl Little: The Lost Child—Ozark Poems by Wesley McNair

David Rachlin: The Wall & Beyond by Joanna Kurowska


Meredith Abenaim has a traveler's soul and fantasies of living in a Woody Allen film.

Ayobami Adebayo's first novel, Stay With Me, will be published by Kwani in 2015.

Amanda Allen has a degree in Photographic Technology and is now studying Language, Literature, and Writing at Oxford.

Arunima O.P. Kannur has a Master's in English literature.

Jody Azzouni exhibits her published work at

Andres Badillo has a collection of 66 portraits of poets.

Brad Bennett's haiku have been in numerous publications.

... More...

Click here to order a copy.

Off the Coast in Best IndieLit New England anthology

We learned this week that two poems from Off the Coast, "The White Camels of Somalia" by Danny Earle Simmons and "Ntarama, Rwanda" by Inga Schmidt were selected for inclusion in the Best Indie Lit New England, Volume Two anthology from Black Key Press.

Danny Earl Simmons is a friend of the Linn-Benton Community College Poetry Club and an active member of Albany Civic Theater. "White Camels" appeared in the Fall 2013 issue, This Metonymic Chain. Inga Schmidt was a 2013 winner of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs' Intro Journals Project. "Ntarama, Rwanda" appeared in the Spring 2014 issue, Tunneling Toward the Sun.

FALL 2014: "Charged With Anticipation"

Cover, Summer 2014 issue

The Fall 2014 issue, "Charged With Anticipation," is available now. To order your copy, click here.

With poems by Karen Greenbaum-Maya, Lois Marie Harrod, Richard Kostelanetz, Milla van der Have, Brad Bennett, Teresa Sutton, Derek Via, Doug McGlothlin, and others.

Front Cover image: Longing by Malinda Fillingim. Back Cover image: Blue Koi by Rachel Avenia.

Photos by Bonnie Thompson Enes, and Karen Greenbaum Maya.

Books reviewed:

Midge Goldberg: I Can Almost See the Clouds of Dust, by Melissa Balmain

Richard Aston: Alternative Medicine, by Rafael Campo

Moira Richards: Mend & Hone, by Elizabeth Howort, Dawn Gorman, Leslie LaChance, Janlori Goldman

Moira Richards: Migrations, by Phyllia Beck Katz

Carl Little: Graffiti Calculus, A Poem by Mary-Sherman Willis


Emma Suárez-Báez holds a Masters Degree in Bilingual Education and works with children and teachers at P.S. 340 in Bronx, New York....

... More...

Click here to order a copy.

Off the Coast has teamed up with Mood Indigo IIT to help promote their Just About Write literary contests for this year's Mood Indigo Festival, to be held December 26-29 in Bombay, India.

Mood Indigo IIT, Bombay

For more information click here.

Off the Coast was at the Belfast Poetry Festival on Saturday, October 18, where we presented a retrospective of 20 years of Off the Coast at the Visual Arts Night at the The Hutchinson Center.

Also at the festival, editor Valerie Lawson was on the panel Building the Poetry Community: Inviting Collaboration with moderator Joel Lipman.

We published the winning poem from the Maine Postmark Poetry Contest, "Mill," by Kristin Lindquist, in the Fall 2014 issue of Off the Coast. The contest is associated with the festival.


I can only mine
the landscape for so much:
oak's gnarled branches
blocking a mountain view,
roar of mill's waterfall
filling my ears,

SUMMER 2014: "Everything to Purpose"

Cover, Summer 2014 issue

The Summer 2014 issue, "Everything to Purpose," is available now. Order your copy here.

With poems by Ace Boggess, Jennifer Campbell, Duane Caylor, Lillian Kwok, Mercedes Lawry, Brad Rose, Lee Sharkey, Noel Sloboda, Karin Spitfire, Brendan Walsh, and others.

Front Cover image: High Key by Paul Bonneau. Back Cover image: The Fog by Judy Taylor.

Photos by Chrystal Berche, Susanna Case, Peter Ingrasselino, Peter MacQuarrie, Tendai Rinos Mwanaka, Rose Swartz, and Kathy Weinberg.

Books reviewed:

David A. Rachlin: I Can Almost See the Clouds of Dust by Yu Xiang

Carl Little: Same Old Story by Dawn Potter

Gerald George: In Someone Else's House
by Christian Barter

Ellen Jane Powers: Tracing the Lines by Susanna Lang

Michael Brown: A Little Patch of Shepherd's-Thyme: Prose Passages of Thomas Hardy Arranged as Verse by Jonathan Bracker

Carl Little: What You Should Know: A Field Guide to Three Sisters Farm by Russell Libby

George Magoon: The Lobsterman's Dream by Larry D. Thomas with woodcuts by Clarence Wolfshobl


Alexis Beale won third place in the 2014 MCPL Teen Advisory Group Poetry Competition and will attend the University of Maryland in the fall.

Chrystal Berche often pairs three-minute gesture drawings with still life photography and creates a final image in Photoshop.

Ace Boggess is the author of two books of poetry: The Prisoners (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2014) and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled (Highwire Press, 2003).

Paul Bonneau in 2011 was awarded first place in the Impressionism Landscape category by the jurors of the American Art Award.

Barbara Caceres completed a nonfiction writing program... More...

Click here to order a copy.

Off the Coast Seeks Submissions of Poetry and Art/Graphics/Photos

Our next deadline for submissions is December 15 for an open theme issue.

Click here for guidelines.

Please visit these vendors if you can!

To purchase Off the Coast online, visit our Ordering Page.

Valerie Lawson & Michael Brown, Editors

Listed at Duotrope's Digest