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Celebrate National Poetry Month with Red Hen Authors


This April marks the 19th year that the US has celebrated National Poetry Month! Isn’t that wonderful? In honor of National Poetry Month, Red Hen Press would like to present to you some of our Spring 2014 authors and how poetry has affected their lives.

We asked each of our Spring authors ”What poem has changed your life and why?” Below are their responses, both touching and inspiring.

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Gary Geddes

Gary Geddes author of What Does A House Want? 

As an author and editor of 45 books, my life has been changed incrementally by everything I’ve read and anthologized. However, one of my favourite poems of recent years is Robert Hass’s short narrative poem called “My Mother’s Nipples.” In seven pages, Hass sounds many emotional chords as he performs a skillful dance on the subject of displacement, comparing a child’s removal from the mother’s breast to our gradual and brutal displacement from the natural world. Technically, he foregrounds the competing impulses of story and song, or lyric and narrative, and with considerable irony privileges the prose passages with the most moving and unforgettable images and scenes, in one of which the speaker as a young boy, on finding his mother drunk and passed out in a park, sits down, leans back against a tree, and places her head in his lap so it looks as if they’re having a picnic and she’s only sleeping.

Lisa KruegerLisa C. Krueger  author of Talisman

Since I was young I have loved Lucille Clifton’s poem “Miss Rosie.” The poem is a call to action framed in a powerful lyrical declaration. Clifton’s condensation of language is masterful and conveys the essence of women’s fortitude. “I stand up/ through your destruction/ I stand up”.



David Mason in Delphi c. Chrissy MasonDavid Mason author of Sea Salt

Poems can and do change lives, like omens or revelations. I could go back to Lewis Carroll—read aloud to me by my father—and my delight in the line “Be off, or I’ll kick you downstairs!” But I think I’ll regress only as far as my serious teenage years and T. S. Eliot’s “Preludes,” one of the first poems I ever memorized for oral interpretation events.

Growing up in Bellingham, Washington, the only cities I had seen were Seattle and Vancouver, B. C., so these gritty images of Boston, where Eliot wrote the poem, only confirmed my sense of urban grayness and human isolation. I didn’t understand the philosophical subtext of knowledge and experience—Eliot was studying philosophy at Harvard, which to me might as well have been Mandarin on the moon.

What I got was a sound, the “burnt-out ends of smoky days” and “grimy scraps of withered leaves” and “newspapers from vacant lots.” Vacancy was cool to a teenaged pessimist, but the boy I was could also be “moved by fancies that are curled / About these images and cling: / The notion of some infinitely gentle, / Infinitely suffering thing.” Somewhere deep inside me lived such a creature, held at bay by the fledgling cynic: “Wipe your hand across your mouth and laugh; / The worlds revolve like ancient women / Gathering fuel in vacant lots.”

Bitter vacancy and bad weather—that was the stuff for a sixteen-year-old boy in the Viet Nam era. But there was a sound in the poem that won me from the start, a music I have always thought must be the stuff of poetry.

sj mishler author photo lg52b333a15047aSusanna Mishler author of Termination Dust

I discovered Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” in high school and was changed by its ferocity. It spoke to something that resided just under my skin – an unarticulated question and desire – it answered “YES”.




Dennis Must colorDennis Must author of The World’s Smallest Bible

In response to the question “What poem has changed your life and why?” I prefer to respond to it another way.

Being that we experience dissimilar seasons in life as we age, at this my 80th year I’ve chosen Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Lament.” I believe my explanation may be self evident. The poem embraces the innocence of a childhood parable and the wisdom of simple metaphors to illuminate the ineffable.


LISTEN, children,
Your father is dead.
From his old coats
I’ll make you little jackets;
I’ll make you little trousers
From his old pants.
There’ll be in his pockets
Things he used to put there:
Keys and pennies
Covered with tobacco.
Dan shall have the pennies
To save in his bank;
Anne shall have the keys
To make a pretty noise with.
Life must go on
And the dead be forgotten;
Life must go on
Though good men die.
Anne, eat your breakfast;
Dan, take your medicine.
Life must go on;
I forget just why.
Edna St. Vincent Millay

AndreaHeadshot6Andrea Scarpino author of Once, Then

Carolyn Forché’s “The Colonel” dramatically altered my understanding of what can be said in poetry the first time I read it, and continues to inspire me to write the world fearlessly and beautifully. Because one of the wonderful things about “The Colonel” is how it mixes absolute horror—the human ears the Colonel carries in a sack, glass embedded in the wall—with an unparalleled loveliness of language—the green mangoes, the moon that “swung bare on its black cord over the house.” Forché teaches us that poetry can say very hard truths with lyricism and beauty. That one does not preclude the other.

And she teaches the importance of writing with fierce complexity. No matter the number of times I have read “The Colonel,” each new reading yields something new: the wife’s traditionally gendered behavior, the Colonel’s wealth (his maid, his extravagant dinner), the two outsiders invited into a terribly dangerous political situation, the friend’s complicity in silence (“say nothing”) at least long enough to get them out of the Colonel’s house alive, the Colonel’s famous threat and challenge (“Something for your poetry, no?”), Forché’s use of reportage, how the poem builds tension, hinting throughout the opening lines of the horror to come (“a pistol on the cushion beside him”)—every sentence in “The Colonel” bears weight. Every word is put to good use.

And even in the ending’s horror, we have beauty mixed with political content: “Some of the ears on the floor caught this scrap of his voice. Some of the ears on the floor were pressed to the ground.” I guess what I’m trying to say is that when I read “The Colonel” for the first time, my previous thinking about what and how poetry can speak cracked wide open. And with every subsequent reading, I learn something new. And that is what makes it a life-changing poem—I return to it again and again and always find a new lesson, a new way of thinking about poetry, a new way of seeing the world.

AmySchutzerAmy Schutzer author of Spheres of Disturbance

Of course, there’s no one poem that changed my life, but a cascade of them over the years. Like a song captures the underlying music of a particular time, so, for me, does poetry. As a writer, poetry instructs through its content, its rhythm and structure. I have found that to be invaluable as a poet and a prose writer. Here then is one poem with the whys of its magic:


Again and Again and Again
By Anne Sexton

You said the anger would come back
just as the love did.

I have a black look I do not
like. It is a mask I try on.
I migrate toward it and its frog
sits on my lips and defecates.
It is old. It is also a pauper.
I have tried to keep it on a diet.
I give it no unction.

There is a good look that I wear
like a blood clot.  I have
Sewn it over my left breast.
I have made a vocation of it.
Lust has taken plant in it
and I have placed you and your
child at its milk tip.

Oh the blackness is murderous
and the milk tip is brimming
and each machine is working
and I will kiss you when
I cut up one dozen new men
and you will die somewhat,
again and again.

She doesn’t hold back, does she? The poem is in service to the poet’s incredible duplicity of feeling and what is put forth to the world. When I got into Anne Sexton’s poetry I was dropped into the calliope of wildness, obsession, unloosening of manners, emotions, and poetic structures. She was writing her way into a world, that at that time, didn’t have much room for her. There is a good look that I wear . . . I have made a vocation of it. This poem, then was a rallying cry, don’t pretend, find your own voice and use it.

Jim TilleyJim Tilley author of  Cruising at Sixty to Seventy

Of course, the full answer is that so many poems have moved me, made me think about life in some non-obvious way, that it’s almost impossible to choose but one.  But if I’m asked, as you have, to single out a poem, I would have to march all the way back to high school when my love of poetry took root and say it is Shelley’s sonnet, “Ozymandias.”  From its technical construction, showing that one can break rules, adopt unconventional rhyme schemes, to its content, I found it a marvel.  The sculpture in the poem speaks to a poem as sculpture.  A perfect sonnet with 140 syllables, same as the maximum number of characters in the original Twitter tweets.  Imagine that!

William TrowbridgeWilliam Trowbridge
author of Put This On, Please

I’d have to say the poem that changed my life is Howard Nemerov’s “Mousemeal,” which I came across  while studying for my P.hD. comps. Till then, I was planning to be a scholar, not a poet. My dissertation was on the novels of William Faulkner. But after reading and reading Nemerov’s poem, with its stunning combination of humor and darkness, I decided to try my hand at writing a poem. Then I wrote another and another. It didn’t take long for me to revise my life plan.  


Melina DraperMelina Draper author of Later the House Stood Empty

Take Care of the Little Box

by Melina Draper

 A poem by the Yugoslav poet Vasko Popa, “The Little Box” from a cycle of poems by the same name, changed my life back in 1999 when I aspired to write but didn’t know quite where to begin. I’d tried my hand at a few short stories, and I yearned for something more. I was 25, struggling in the messy chaos of a relationship with a brilliant and ineffectual alcoholic lobsterman. I was looking at graduate school as an exit ticket out of the life I’d made for myself, which had become a puzzle box of unfortunate and painful constraints.

Then I bought The Horse Has Six Legs, an anthology of Serbian poetry translated by Charles Simic, on sale at Gulf of Maine Books, from the friendly bearded storeowner who vaguely encouraged me to write, and I read the little box poems. The little box does unimaginable things, things that are unimaginable for a little box to do. She grows bigger, so big that the cupboard she was within is now inside her, and then everything is inside her, the whole world. And then, “The little box remembers her childhood/ And by a great longing/ She becomes the little box again.” What magical, expansive, delightful thing was this? She becomes the little box again, only this time, she carries the whole world in miniature within her. The last line reads, “Take care of the little box.” Was I the little box? Should I take care? Was this poem written for me?

How can a poem change your life? It seems too much to ask of a poem, any poem, especially one about nothing more and nothing less than a little box. Popa’s little box poems showed me play, light, gave me something to aspire to, an idea to write poems, to write funny and silly poems, to make a little box, a sweet lovable little box, into a powerful and dangerous thing. The poem for some reason provided a way to make sense of what was happening to me. The flavor of these Serbian poems was very different from the American poems I’d been reading. They didn’t seem to be personal snippets of someone’s life who I couldn’t relate to, so different was my point of departure and my daily agony and delight—and what a relief! The little box poems became snippets of my life in a more real, more fully imagined and imaginary way.

If the little box could do all these things, so could I. She was terrifying, mysterious, expansive, yet humble. All sorts of bizarre things go on to happen to the little box, and likewise went on to happen to me. I made my way to the University of New Hampshire, and studied with Charles Simic, who also happens to have the kind of odd sense of humor and eye for the bizarre that I so fell in love with on that day back in 1999 in Popa’s poems. I disentangled myself from the arms of the compelling lobsterman who loved to read.

The little box was a certain unexpected, expansive, and odd doppelgänger. I am so grateful to the little box! I would kiss the little box if I could. If you happen to see her, please convey my gratitude and devotion. But be careful, she can be dangerous and may be full of stars.

Frannie LindsayFrannie Lindsay author of Our Vanishing

The Poem that Changed my Life

Brother, by William Stafford

When I was an MFA student at Iowa, I brought with me, along with way too much luggage, a lust for words—as many as I could cram into a single poem. A fair number of us came to the Workshop with such extravagant poems. More was more. The three or four students astute enough to trim them back didn’t care much about popularity. They possessed, instead, a surgical clarity that the rest of us experienced as a lack of mercy.

Donald Justice was one of my teachers at Iowa, and I don’t think I knew how privileged I was.  The simplicity of his poems was fearsome; I thought it unnecessarily austere. So I hung onto my voluptuous over-writing for dear life. It was Don who urged me to read William Stafford, and so, grudgingly, I did. In comparison to what Don called my “pretty writing”, Stafford’s was plain whole wheat. I saw the discipline but none of the beauty. It was all so masculine.

Years later, wanting to re-examine that simplicity, I bought Stafford’s little book Smoke’s Way. It is not a well-known collection, but I gravitated toward books that most people had not heard of. This one is a compilation from previous limited-edition and out-of-print volumes. The poems are nearly monastic.

The poem in which I took up immediate residence is very short. It is called “Brother.” I still live in it. It reads, in its entirety:


It’s cold where Bob is:
I’m glad the rich have cozy
homes, and anyone can huddle.

Out there, it’s cold
and Bob has gone so far
no one in the world can touch his hand.

Such broken years as
he had, now belong
to others. I turn to them, to live.

But Bob was.
He lived.
I had a brother.

Stafford has stripped the language of all but the slightest imagistic gestures. I wanted to write like that. These were quickly-told secrets, and I wanted to tell my own.

It took me eleven years of not writing a thing—nothing—to come back to poetry. I stopped in 1990, having simply run out of words, and came back in 2001 with a much leaner, but not-very-good, poem in response to 9/11. I came back via Stafford—that book, that poem. I read it over and over, many times a day; and I read it before bed. It kept showing me new things. It kept showing the subtle power of meter, and the eloquence of white space.

Such broken years as/he had, now belong/to others. It is a sentence devoid of pity, either for the speaker himself or for the deceased sibling. It conveys sorrow through its halting linebreaks alone.

And so, in my newer work, I held every word that wasn’t a noun or verb as suspect. I started learning which ones were there on official business, and which ones were nothing but flirty little swoops. I was done writing “hippie poems”.

My paring-down of voice may not have changed me very much–I still wear long skirts and shawls and live much too subjectively. I may still be known for my eccentricity, but my work is leaner. A single word has a lot of work to do, and I like to think that I have chosen the few that are sufficiently muscular to do it.

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Poetry is life-changing, gorgeous, and thought-provoking. Treat yourself to an experience in poetry and celebrate National Poetry Month with Red Hen and our authors. You might even find your life-changing poem.

Sea Salt Goes Visual


David Mason’s poem, “Sea Salt,” from his latest poetry collection of the same name, got the Motionpoem video treatment. The amazing visual was created by Amy Schmitt, Kelly Pieklo, and Emily J. Snyder.  Sea Salt, Poems of a Decade 2004-2014 came out on April 1.


Click here to check out the video.

Red Hen Press at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books


Red Hen Press is sharing a booth with Poets & Writers this Saturday and Sunday at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Join us in the shade at Booth 346, grab a catalog, and ask us about our new releases, upcoming events, or Writing in the Schools program.  Plus, hen house authors Melody Mansfield, Douglas Kearney, Jessica Piazza, Bart Edelman, Laurel Ann Bogen, Kim Dower, and Rex Wilder will sign copies of their titles, too. Make sure to stop by!

New titles from RHP!

It’s April 1st, and we all know what that means…. the start of National Poetry Month, of course! In honor of this special month-long holiday, we’re releasing a number of new titles throughout April, starting today! Check out our release schedule below and get in on the goods:

April 1


Spheres of Disturbance - Amy Schutzer

“Spheres of Disturbance is a book the way books were when people got lost in them, lost hours and days in pages. It’s beautiful and musical and wise and curious, like your first trip to a library: go.”

—Carol Guess, author of Doll Studies: Forensics







Sea Salt, Poems of a Decade: 2004-2014 – David Mason

“Mason’s formal excellence is cause enough to celebrate these poems, but it is the emotional honesty, sentiment not sentimentality, that makes Sea Salt such a deeply moving and memorable reading experience.”

—Ron Rash





The Love Project: A Marriage Made in Poetry – Wanda Coleman & Austin Straus

“In the unique geography of any marriage, there are many and varied landscapes, cityscapes, main arteries, side streets, and dark alleyways. Wanda Coleman & Austin Straus have mapped theirs with courage, passion, anger, joy, exasperation, and gratitude in language that speaks—and sings—to anyone openhearted enough to hear.”

—Stephen Kessler, author of Moving Targets: On Poets, Poetry, & Translation





April 15



Talisman – Lisa C. Krueger

“In this collection, rational thought is turned into exquisite music to invent a kind of new language with which to express the human experience….There is hardly a line, let alone a poem… that isn’t surprising, memorable, and important.”

—Laura Kasischke





Later the House Stood Empty - Melina Draper

Later the House Stood Empty crosses borders, over the river and back again, where imagination and reality are neighboring countries. These finely wrought poems are both explorations and evolutions as they consider inner and outer landscapes, love and history.”

—Derick Burleson


Cruising at Sixty to Seventy: Poems and Essay - Jim Tilley

“Jim Tilley is a bracing and quietly confident writer, able to consistently surprise us, whether in missives from domestic life, topical poems, or poems which quirkily address what he calls ‘the big questions.’ These are wry, bittersweet, and unobtrusively instructive poems in the tradition of Wilbur, Schuyler, and Dunn, and they are very much worth reading.”

David Wojahn


The Book as a Boat: Reflections on Publishing by Brynn Saito

Described by Aimee Nezhukumatathil as ”a dazzling and gorgeous debut,” Brynn Saito’s recent and first collection of poetry, The Palace of Contemplating Departure, is an acclaimed force that won the 2011 Benjamin Saltman award and earned Brynn much respect in the literary community. Here are Brynn’s thoughts on how this book has impacted her, and what it means to be a published author:


Sunday evening in early spring, the moon rising over the Grapevine. I make the seven-hour drive from San Francisco down to the canyons of Los Angeles, where the book waits. I’m tired and singing my mind awake, imagining the ways my life will—and will not—change now that the book is here. My first book. A published collection of poetry. A tangible object to be bought and sold, exchanged for other art objects, submitted to big and small schools in an attempt to secure employment. I finally arrive to the Hollywood Hills, where poets like Eloise Klein Healy, Douglass Kearney, Rex Wilder, Red Hen Press publisher Mark Cull and managing editor, Kate Gale have gathered to support the independent press. The Oscars are on television. The home is warmly lit; white wine is poured. Mark hands me a copy of The Palace of Contemplating Departure when I walk through the door. It’s blue and beautiful, beyond anything I could have imagined. What has bloomed inside me for a decade is suddenly holdable, and I’m happy.

From there, it’s three months of touring the country, book in hand, poems recited to audiences in cities like Boston, New York, Kalamazoo, New Haven, Berkeley. I reconnect with old friends, past loves, former classmates, cousins. People I haven’t seen in years. Toward the end of the tour, I return to California to read in my hometown—Fresno—for the community of friends and family that, essentially, raised me—those who knew me when. I realize, then, the bounty of the book, the real gift and richness of publishing the collection: the connections and reconnections I’ve made because of it.

If writing is an act of solitude—a wildly lonely feat—then the book has been a boat, a way of carrying my solitude into the wider world. Like a boat, the book is cast out with collective effort, and I’m fortunate to have been a part of the tireless Red Hen publishing team. Like a boat, it’s bound for the unknown. The cover of The Palace of Contemplating Departure is an image by artist Liang Wei depicting a tiny red boat in dark waters headed for (or away from?) a shadowed mountain-scape. How appropriate—a completely surprising yet perfectly fitting image for the first collection.

“It was as though the book had become a door,” writes Rebecca Solnit in her most recent essay collection, The Faraway Nearby.“People were entering the book and then stepping into my life and drawing me into theirs.” This is how I’ve felt over the past year—full of new stories, buoyed by them. I’ve carried these poems in me for so long—now, they carry me along and into new communities, cities, small towns, homes. Perhaps I’ll make it all way to the “City of Poetry,” a beautiful, mythical place conjured in Gregory Orr’s latest collection of poetry, River Inside the River, a place “where every poem / Is a house; / And every house, a poem.” And if I’m lucky, perhaps the book will bring me to the edge of wonder, necessitating the crafting of entirely new poems and stories so that I can continue on the journey.






The Palace of Contemplating Departure is available for purchase here.






Brynn Saito reading_photo by Suzanne Roberts







For more about Brynn Saito, check out her website.




Red Hen Press at AWP Seattle

Drop by and show your support for Red Hen Press and our authors at the AWP conference Feb 26–Mar 1 in Seattle! In addition to holding author signings and organizing a number of exciting panels and events, we will be hosting both a RHP book reading and exclusive (free!) party in celebration of our 20th anniversary. 


Check out our schedule for details:


Thursday, February 27

10am-5:30pm – Author Signings

Booths 1802/4/6, Level 4, Washington State Convention Center, 800 Convention Place, Seattle, WA

See author schedule below.

12-1:15pm – Editing the Poetry Book

Room 602/603, Level 6, Washington State Convention Center, 800 Convention Place, Seattle, WA

Poetry editors from five leading publishing houses discuss the unique challenges and opportunities of editing books of poetry. Discussion topics will include: establishing and maintaining a mutually beneficial author-editor relationship, best practices for editing individual poems in the context of a full collection, editing a collection qua collection, and secondary but nonetheless crucial, considerations such as the choice of font and selection of cover art. Featuring RHP Editor and Author Kate Gale.

3-4:15pm – Writing the Midnight Sun: A Boreal Books Reading and Discussion

Room LL5, Western New England MFA Annex, Lower Level 

Now in its 7th year, Boreal Books, an imprint of Red Hen Press, publishes literature and fine art from Alaska. Please join four Boreal poets and the imprint’s editor for a reading and discussion. You’ll hear from a lyrical lesbian electrician, a poet whose work spans both Americas, a writer whose house overlooks KachemakBay’s eagles and otters, and a novelist in verse whose book is set in Gold Rush days.

7pm – RHP 20th Anniversary Party @ Barca

Barca, 1510 11th Ave., Seattle, WA

Join founders Kate Gale and Mark E. Cull, Red Hen staff, and our authors in celebrating our 20th anniversary! Stop by the mezzanine of Barca Seattle, where we’ve reserved a space for all to mingle and enjoy live music, appetizers, and drink tickets for the best literary cocktails. Free admission.



Friday, Februrary 28

9:30am-4pm – Author Signings

Booths 1802/4/6, Level 4, Washington State Convention Center, 800 Convention Place, Seattle, WA

See author schedule below.

1:30-2:45pm - Calling all Poets! You’ve Found Your Voice; Now Find Your Audience

Room 304, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 3

Tips and tricks, best practices and methodologies from poets who know how to make themselves heard (and read). We may write in silence, but we want people in the noisy, larger world to read our work. Outgoing or shy, there’s an action plan for you, and these poets will help you find it. Topics will include: literary citizenship, getting and staying organized, and defining your goals, among others. Featuring RHP author Kim Dower.

4pm – RHP 20th Anniversary Reading @ Richard Hugo House

Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., Seattle, WA

Red Hen Press invites you to join us at Richard Hugo House to commemorate our 20th anniversary. Featuring RHP authors Douglas Kearney, Lisa C. Krueger, Brynn Saito, Tess Taylor, Jim Tilley, and William Trowbridge.

8:30-10pm – Robert Hass, Eva Saulitis, and Gary Snyder: Writing Nature in a Scientific Age, Sponsored by Red Hen Press

Ballroom E, Level 6, Washington State Convention Center, 800 Convention Place, Seattle, WA

Author and marine biologist Eva Saulitis joins legendary poets Robert Hass and Gary Snyder for a reading followed by a conversation, moderated by Peggy Shumaker, about the task of writing about nature in a culture that often prizes easily commodifiable academic achievement over messier ways of knowing: the lyric, the spiritual, the sublime.



Saturday, March 1

9:30am-3:30pm – Author Signings

Booths 1802/4/6, Level 4, Washington State Convention Center, 800 Convention Place, Seattle, WA

See author schedule below.



Don’t forget to check out some great panels featuring RHP authors:

Writing the Monster Body, with Andrea Scarpino

The DIY Book Tour: Take Your Show on the Roadwith William Trowbridge

The Living Text: Writers on the Praxis of Performance, with Douglas Kearney

Reported Poem, Lyric Truth, with Tess Taylor

The Myth of the Inaccessible: Teaching Experimental Poetry in the Community, with Douglas Kearney

From Silver to Gold: A Case Study in Planning for the Next 25 Years of a Regional Writers’ Center and Its International Press, with Jim Tilley




Hope to see you there!


AWP Sign Schedule 2014_EXTERNAL_FINAL.xls

Red Hen Press 2013 Award Winners

Red Hen Press is pleased to announce the winners of its 2013 awards series. The Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award, the RHP Short Story Award, and the RHP Poetry Award are given each year for, respectively, an unpublished original poetry collection, short story, and individual poem. Red Hen Press also publishes the winner of the To the Lighthouse Poetry Publication Prize, awarded by the A Room of Her Own Foundation to a female author of an unpublished original poetry collection. Last year, Red Hen Press and The Los Angeles Review held the first annual Wild Light Poetry Contest for an original poem. All winners receive publication and an honorarium.


Winner of the 2013 Benjamin Saltman Award

This Is Not a Skyscraper by Dean Kostos

Benjamin Saltman Award Winner Dean Kostos

Benjamin Saltman Award Winner, Dean Kostos

Dean Kostos’s collections include Rivering, Last Supper of the Senses, The Sentence That Ends with a Comma (which was taught at Duke University), and the chapbook Celestial Rust. He co-edited Mama’s Boy: Gay Men Write about Their Mothers (a Lambda Book Award finalist) and edited Pomegranate Seeds: An Anthology of Greek-American Poetry (its debut reading was held at the United Nations).

His poems and personal essays have appeared in over 300 journals and anthologies, such as Boulevard, Chelsea, Cimarron Review, The Cincinnati Review, Mediterranean Poetry (Sweden), Southwest Review, Stand Magazine (UK), Stranger at Home, Token Entry, Vanitas, Western Humanities Review, and on Oprah Winfrey’s Web site Oxygen.com. He has been invited to read at Harvard, Princeton, Poets House, City Lights Bookstore, and elsewhere. His libretto, Dialogue: Angel of War, Angel of Peace, was set to music by James Bassi and performed by Voices of Ascension. His literary criticism has appeared on the Harvard UP Web site, in Talisman, and elsewhere

A multiple Pushcart-Prize nominee, he has taught at Wesleyan, The Gallatin School of NYU, The City University of New York, and he has served as literary judge for Columbia University’s Gold Crown Awards.

A recipient of a Yaddo fellowship, he has been twice nominated for a PEN Voelcker Poetry Award. Serving on the editorial board of Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora, he also compiled and translated Greek poetry for a Rockefeller Foundation event.

There were over 500 entries for the Benjamin Saltman Award.

Publication is set for Spring 2015.


Winner of the 2013 A Room of Her Own To The Lighthouse Award

River Electric with Light by Sarah Wetzel

2013 To the Lighthouse Poetry Publication Prize Winner: Sarah Wetzel

To the Lighthouse Poetry Publication Prize Winner, Sarah Wetzel

Sarah Wetzel is a poet and engineer who splits her time between Tel Aviv, Manhattan, and Rome.She holds an engineering degree from Georgia Tech and an MBA from UC Berkeley. After moving to Tel Aviv in 2004, she traveled back and forth to the states to complete her MFA in Creative Writing from Bennington College. Having lived almost full-time in Tel Aviv for seven years and having made her “home” on three different continents, Wetzel writes, “For me writing was a means of accepting other lives as valid. I won’t say that poetry saved my life, but it definitely saved my sanity.” Wetzel also received the Philip Levine Prize for Poetry in 2010 for her book Bathsheba Transatlantic (Anhinga Press). Next year, she will teach literature and poetry at the American University of Rome.

There were over 250 entries for the To the Lighthouse Poetry Publication Prize.

Publication is set for Spring 2015.


Winners of the 2013 Red Hen Press Short Story Award

“The Disassembly Line” by Cheyenne Baudy and “Dissection” by Elizabeth Kemper French

“The Disassembly Line” and “Dissection” were selected from over 300 entries, and will be published in a future of The Los Angeles Review.


Winner of the 2013 Red Hen Press Poetry Award

“Little Doomsday Clock” by Sam Witt

“Little Doomsday Clock” was selected from over 650 entries, and will be published in a future issue of The Los Angeles Review.


Winner of the 2013 The Los Angeles Review’s Wild Light Poetry Contest

“What’s She Doing Now” by Philip Shaw

“What She’s Doing Now” was selected from over 200 entries and will be published in a future issue of The Los Angeles Review.


Kim Dower’s Slice of Moon in O, The Oprah Magazine!

Oprah 3 web largeKim Dower’s Slice of Moon was recently featured in O, The Oprah Magazine’s “Put It In Words” segment. Slice of Moon is included as one of  “A dozen ways to say I get you,” and we couldn’t agree more! The magazine sings the collection’s praises, describing it as “Poetry set in the dressing room of Loehmann’s or inspired by a school cafeteria menu: unexpected and sublime.”

Check out the feature here or check out Slice of Moon directly on the Red Hen website here.

Winter Weather Sale: 40% Off Selected Titles

1597090034Summer is long gone yet we are still lamenting its loss. The blue skies and sunshine were swapped for clouds, rain, and an all-consuming grey tint. To lift ourselves from this seasonal melancholy, we thought we’d do something to brighten your day. Therefore, for the entire month of November you can receive 40% off all weather-related titles. Simply follow the links below, or enter “wintersale13″ at checkout on the Red Hen website. Some titles are as low as $4.77. Please peruse the titles below as you prepare for the winter weather.





Air Kissing On Mars

A poetry collection by Kim Dower9781597091664

(add to cart)

Blue Air

A poetry collection by Kate Gale

(add to cart)

But a Storm is Blowing From Paradise

A collection of poetry by Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

(add to cart)


Double Moon

A collection of poetry by Margo Klass and Frank Soos

(add to cart)

Memory and Rain

A collection of poetry by Jim Natal

(add to cart)


Slice of Moon

A collection of poetry by Kim Dower


 (add to cart)

Spoke and Dark

A collection of poetry by Carolyn Guinzio

(add to cart)

Stories of the Sky God

Short stories by Robert Reid

(add to cart)

This Quiet Sun


A collection of poetry by Sarah Bein

(add to cart)

The Sun Takes Us Away

A collection of poetry by Benjamin Saltman

(add to cart)

When Rain Hurts

A memoir by Mary Greene

(add to cart)


Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Bidding is open for Red Hen’s online silent auction!

 From today until November 7th, you can bid on any of the following items (and more):

Lita Albuquerque Studio Tour and Broadside Print

"Stellar Axis: Antarctica" by Lita Albuquerque; Photo by Jean de Pomereu

“Stellar Axis: Antarctica” by Lita Albuquerque; Photo by Jean de Pomereu

Nevada City Retreat Package:
Lodging, Local Wine, Fine Dining, and Outdoor Activities

Yuba River_Nevada City

Photo by Evans Phelps, www.outsideinn.com

Collected Poems, by Edith Sitwell (Signed, First Edition)
Online Only!


Bidding on all items excluding the inscribed Edith Sitwell collection will continue at
Red Hen’s 19th Anniversary Champagne Luncheon in Pasadena.

 Bidding for the Sitwell book will close on November 9th at midnight.

How to Bid:

Click here for instructions

Questions? Contact Chris Konish at development@redhen.org or (626) 356-4760 for more information.

All proceeds from this auction will support Red Hen Press and its 19th Anniversary Champagne Luncheon.

For tickets and more information about Red Hen’s 19th Anniversary, click here.