About

Welcome to Light. Founded 26 years ago by John Mella under the name Light Quarterly, it’s America’s oldest and best-known journal of light verse. My fellow volunteers and I are proud to be building on John’s mission to “restore humor, clarity, and pleasure to the reading of poems” by publishing some of the wittiest poets around. ~ Melissa Balmain, Editor 

Light’s many friends and supporters include:

Volunteers and Emeritus Staff: Barbara Egel, Thomas Gorman, Lisa Markwart, Margarita Walters, and Liza McAlister Williams
Webmaster
: Taylor Briggs
Web Designer: Pete Duval
Consulting Editor: Alex Pepple
Directors of the Foundation for Light Verse, Inc., publisher of Light: Melissa Balmain, Bruce Bennett, Dan Campion, Frank Osen

Light’s Editors are:

Melissa Balmain
Melissa Balmain, Editor
Melissa  teaches humor writing, poetry writing, and journalism at the University of Rochester. Though she has received the Able Muse Book Award and twice been a finalist for the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, some of her favorite prizes are Abe Lincoln bobbleheads, salt and pepper shakers that look like outhouses, and other classy items she has won in light-verse contests. Her poems have appeared in such places as The American Bystander, Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry, Lighten Up Online, Measure, Mezzo Cammin, Poetry Daily, Snakeskin, The New Verse News, RattleThe Spectator (UK), The Washington Post‘s Style Invitational, and assorted anthologies; her prose in The New Yorker, The New York Times, McSweeney’s, and Success. Melissa’s poetry collection Walking In on People (Able Muse Press) is often assumed by online shoppers to be some kind of porn.
Kevin Durkin
Kevin Durkin, Managing Editor
Kevin’s poems have appeared in PoetryThe Yale ReviewThe New CriterionLight, and numerous other journals, and he has been a finalist for the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award and the Donald Justice Poetry Prize. Some of his poems have been “pickled in anthological brine” (to quote E.A. Robinson) in Measure for MeasureIrresistible SonnetsAble Muse AnthologyFire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, and Poetry Daily: 366 Poems from the World’s Most Popular Website. His poetry chapbook, Los Angeles in Fog, is an unreliable guide to Southern California weather. Once an itinerant educator, Kevin taught English for several years in Singapore, Kitakyushu  (Japan), New York City, and Washington, D.C. Somewhat later, he trod the boards, mostly in Shakespearean roles, at theaters across the United States. Currently a managing editor at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, he resides with his wife and two daughters in Santa Monica.
Allison Joseph
Allison Joseph, Contributing Editor
Allison lives in Carbondale, Illinois, where she is Professor of English and Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Southern Illinois University.  She serves as poetry editor of Crab Orchard Review.  Her books and chapbooks include What Keeps Us Here (Ampersand Press), Soul Train (Carnegie Mellon University Press), In Every Seam (University of Pittsburgh Press), Worldly Pleasures (Word Tech Communications), Imitation of Life (Carnegie Mellon UP), Voice: Poems (Mayapple Press), My Father’s Kites (Steel Toe Books), Trace Particles (Backbone Press), Little Epiphanies (NightBallet Press), Mercurial (Mayapple Press), Mortal Rewards (White Violet Press), Multitudes (Word Poetry), The Purpose of Hands (Glass Lyre Press), Double Identity (Singing Bone Press), Corporal Muse (Sibling Rivalry), and What Once You Loved (Barefoot Muse Press). Her most recent full-length collection, Confessions of a Barefaced Woman, was published by Red Hen Press in June 2018 and is the Gold/First Place winner of the 2019 Feathered Quill Award in Poetry and is a nominated work for the 2019 NAACP Image Award in Poetry. She is the literary partner and wife of poet and editor Jon Tribble.
Julie Kane
Julie Kane, Contributing Editor
Julie is a former National Poetry Series winner, Donald Justice Prize winner, Fulbright Scholar, and Louisiana Poet Laureate. Professor Emeritus of English at Northwestern State University in Louisiana, she currently teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Western Colorado University. Her fifth book of poems, Mothers of Ireland, is forthcoming from LSU Press in 2020.
Gail White
Gail White, Contributing Editor
Gail has been hanging out with formal poetry for decades. Her latest collections, Asperity Street and Catechism, are available on Amazon. She is proud to be included in Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse. She lives in South Louisiana with her husband and the cats who provide most of her inspiration.