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featuring Light poets and editors

The Powow River Poets will host in-person poetry readings on August 14, Sept. 11, Oct. 9 and Nov. 13, 2021, all at 3pm EDT in the Newburyport Public Library, 94 State Street, Newburyport, MA. Among the readers will be Rhina P. Espaillat and Alfred Nicol (both 8/14) and Bruce Bennett (9/11). For more info, email

Video of Michael Cantor, Rhina P. Espaillat, Jean L. Kreiling, Alfred Nicol, M. Frost Delaney, Paulette Demers Turco, and Anton Yakovlev reading from the The Powow River Poets Anthology II (Able Muse Press, 2021) is available here. (June 27, 2021.) You’ll find earlier footage of many other Light poets on Able Muse Press’s YouTube channel.

Video of Light Editor Melissa Balmain reading from her work and discussing light verse with Rattle Editor Timothy Green is available here, starting about 31 minutes in. (June 6, 2021.) You’ll find earlier footage of other Light poets on Rattle‘s YouTube channel, including A.E. Stallings and Wendy Videlock.

Enjoy all nine of our Light Verse in Dark Times readings, free on YouTube! Each 60-90 minute recording from 2020 includes at least a half dozen of your favorite Light poets, Zooming in from the US and beyond.

And if you’re nostalgic for pre-pandemic life (and who isn’t?) check out our photo album from Light Verse and Heavy Drinking, sponsored by Light in San Antonio on March 5, 2020. See poets congregate in large numbers! See them read poems into a (gasp!) shared mic! And see them thoroughly enjoy the sort of event that—we at Light dare to believe—we’ll get to repeat one of these days.

recently received by 
Light editors and contributors

We’re delighted to announced Light‘s nominees for the Pushcart Prize anthology (poems published in 2020). As usual, we’d love to nominate many, many more—if the Pushcart folks would only let us…

J.P. Celia: “The Quarantined”
Julia Griffin: “Singletwins”
Ed Shacklee: “The Elephants’ Graveyard”
A.E. Stallings: “Verses Starting with a Phrase out of Plato’s Republic”
Wendy Videlock: “Everybody’s a Critic”
Paul Willis: “Shakespearean Candidates”

And we’re very happy to announce Light‘s nominees for the Best of the Net anthology (poems published from July ’19-June ’20):

Barbara Crooker: “2020”
Robert Schechter: “Clerihews”
Gail White*: “The Canceled Tourist”
(*Gail, a contributing editor for Light, did not vote)

Meredith Bergmann has unveiled the first monument depicting non-fictional women in New York’s Central Park.

David Galef is the new editor in chief of Vestal Review, the world’s oldest flash fiction magazine.

Barbara Loots won first place in the 2020 Better Than Starbucks Sonnet Contest, Catherine Chandler won third place, and Richard Wakefield and Max Gutmann received honorable mentions. Read all their poems here.

David Southward‘s sonnet “An Aging Poet Explains” won the 2021 Kim Bridgford Memorial Sonnet Contest (single sonnet category).

Gail White received a Best of the Net nomination for “The Last Speaker of Akkala Sami,” which appeared in Better Than Starbucks

written, edited, or contributed to by Light poets

Brian Allgar: An Answer from the Past: being the story of Rasselas and Figaro (Kelsay Books, 2020). (Reviewed here.)
Bill Ayres:
What Passes for Wisdom (Finishing Line Press, 2020).
Melissa Balmain: The Witch Demands a Retraction: Fairy Tale Reboots for Adults (Humorist Books, 2021).
Jane Blanchard: In or Out of Season (Kelsay Books, 2020).
Dan Campion: The Mirror Test (forthcoming from MadHat Press, 2022).
Brooke Clark: Urbanities (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2020).
Maryann Corbett
: In Code (Able Muse Press, 2020).
Claudia Gary: Genetic Revisionism (a companion to her course “The Poetry of Science, the Science of Poetry”).
Midge Goldberg: To Be Opened After My Death (Kelsay Books, fall 2021).
Phil Huffy
: Rhymal Therapy (2020).
Allison Joseph: Lexicon (Red Hen Press, 2021); In Every Seam (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020).
A.M. Juster: Wonder and Wrath (Paul Dry Books, 2020). (Reviewed here.)
Julie KaneMothers of Ireland (LSU Press, 2020).
Daniel Klawitter: The Misuse of Scripture (2020). (Reviwed here.)
Richard KenneyTerminator (due in October 2020, from Knopf).
Barbara Loots: The Beekeeper and Other Love Poems (Kelsay Books, 2020).
Amit Majmudar: What He Did in Solitary: Poems (Knopf, forthcoming in 2020).
Leslie Monsour: The Colosseum Critical Introduction to Rhina P. Espaillat (Franciscan University Press, 2021).
James B. Nicola: Fires of Heaven: Poems of Faith and Sense (Shanti Arts, 2021).
Leslie Schultz: Larks at Sunrise: Light-hearted Poems for Dark Times (2021).
David Southward: Bachelor’s Buttons (Kelsay Books, 2020). (Reviewed here.)

The forthcoming haiku anthology Eating Salad Drunk (St. Martin’s Griffin, Sept. 2021) includes work by Paul Lander and dozens of others, including Maria Bamford, Mike Birbiglia, Margaret Cho, Jerry Seinfeld, and Sasheer Zamata.

The anthology Moving Images: Poems Inspired by Film (Before Your Quiet Eyes Publishing, 2021) includes poems by Bruce Bennett and Bob McKenty.

The Powow River Poets Anthology II (Able Muse Press, 2021), edited by Paulette Demers Turco, with a foreword by Leslie Monsour, includes work by many Light contributors. (Reviewed here.)

Three new Potcake Chapbooks (Sampson Low Ltd., 2020), edited by Robin Helweg-Larsen, include poems by
A.M. Juster, Chris O’Carroll, Marilyn L. Taylor, Robin Helweg-Larsen, Michael R. Burch,
A.E. Stallings, Jennifer Reeser, Maryann Corbett, Melissa Balmain, Nina Parmenter, Daniel Galef,
Bob McKenty, Robin Helweg-Larsen, R.S. Gwynn, Rob Stuart, Edmund Conti, and others.


The staff of Light is unable to vet every contest …
but we’re happy to pass the info along.