As editors for “Nature in the Cracks,” we really got an interesting mix of inspiration and, we believe, discovered some new talent at the same time. The quantity and quality of the submissions made it both difficult and important to be selective, but we think overall this made for a very fine issue, one to be proud of, and one that places qarrtsiluni among the best of online magazines. The issue got a great lift from established poets like Todd Davis and David Graham, but other, emerging writers like Nathalie Boisard-Beudin, Fiona Robyn, RJ Gibson, Cynthia Cox, and especially Laura Ring really created so much flavor and texture through their wonderful, brilliant interpretations of the theme. Finally, we have to mention the photography and art, especially the collages by Cecelia Chapman and Ira Joel Haber. What a pleasure to have their impressive work in this issue! But it was all of the contributors, all of these fine artists, poets, and writers, that made this “Nature in the Cracks” issue of qarrtsiluni simply outstanding. We are honored to be part of it.
— Brent Goodman and Ken Lamberton
Click on the contributors’ names to see all their publications in qarrtsiluni to date.
Tricia Anne Baar is a poet, painter, and observer of the absurd, who lives on the edge of a forest in Arkansas. Or sometimes just on the edge.
Boe Barnett teaches composition at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, volunteers for the organization Classroom with a View, and stays at home with a two year old daughter, Enli. Boe’s poems have appeared here and there, including in Ice-Floe: International Poetry of the Far North, Crab Creek Review, Blueline, Slab, and DIAGRAM.
Jeffery Beam’s The Beautiful Tendons: Uncollected Queer Poems 1969 – 2007 is due in June 2008 in the White Crane Wisdom Series from White Crane Books/Lethe Press. His works include Visions of Dame Kind, An Elizabethan Bestiary Retold, and the online book, Gospel Earth. His CD, What We Have Lost: New and Selected Poems, was a 2003 Audio Publishers Award finalist. Life of the Bee, with composer Lee Hoiby, continues to be performed on the international stage and can be heard on Albany Records’ New Growth. His photographs are just beginning to be published and he had his first one-man show in 2006. Beam is poetry editor of Oyster Boy Review and a botanical librarian at UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Nathalie Boisard-Beudin is French yet currently living in Rome, Italy, working by day as in-house lawyer for the European space Agency and by night scribbling furiously, with results being published in the multi-national anthology Wonderful World of Worders (Guildhall-Press) in 2007, Six Sentences, Crime and Suspense, Micro Horror and Pen Pricks Micro Fiction.
Patricia Bralley (Seeing for My Self) writes, “Life is quite spare these days. All the pods have fallen. I go to work and I come home. I meditate (sometimes) and try to make some art when I am not doing science. I actually get paid for this last endeavor.”
Cecelia Chapman (website) is a graphic artist and writer currently living and working in Pacifica. Born in San Francisco, lived in New York, Los Angeles, Italy, Barbados, Mexico and Hawaii, she studied graphic design at Parsons School of Design, New York. She works as a designer and waitress while producing videos and stories and exhibiting her artwork.
Todd Davis likes to walk slowly through the woods of Central Pennsylvania. In February, along the Little Juniata River, he was pleased to follow a mink trail through the snow, the red sugar of blood mixed with piss telling him that spring was coming and the mink was in estrus. He hopes, if he can be as patient as a monk, he’ll see the offspring of this evidence in the summer. He is the author of two books of poems, Ripe (Bottom Dog Press, 2002) and Some Heaven (Michigan State University Press, 2007).
Justin Evans is the author of two chapbooks of poetry: Four Way Stop (Main-Travelled Roads, 2005) and Gathering up the Scattered Leaves (Foothills Publishing, 2006). He blogs at the Untalented Writer and teaches history in rural Nevada, where he lives with his wife and three sons.
Brent Goodman’s work has most recently appeared in Anti-, Diagram, Rattle, Court Green, Hobble Creek Review, Pebble Lake Review, and Barn Owl Review. He lives in northern Wisconsin with his partner and the cats, and blogs at The Brother Swimming Beneath Me. His first full-length poetry collection, also entitled The Brother Swimming Beneath Me, is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press.
David Graham (home page, Graham’s Poetry Library) has published two full-length books and four chapbooks of poems, most recently Stutter Monk (Flume Press). With Kate Sontag, he co-edited the essay anthology After Confession: Poetry as Autobiography (Graywolf Press). His poems, essays, and reviews have appeared widely, in print and online. He lives in Ripon, Wisconsin, where he is a professor of English at Ripon College.
Ira Joel Haber is a sculptor, painter, book dealer and teacher from Brooklyn, NY. His work has been seen in numerous group shows both in USA and Europe and he has had nine one-man shows, including several retrospectives of his sculpture. His work is in the collections of New York University, The Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum and The Albright-Knox Art Gallery. His paintings, drawings and collages have been published in many online and print magazines including Rock Heals!, Otoliths, Winamop, Melancholia’s Tremulous Dreadlocks, Barfing Frog, The Raving Dove, Foliate Oak, Siren, Prose Toad, and many others. Currently he teaches art at the United Federation of Teachers Retiree Program in Brooklyn.
Pamela Hart is a former journalist. Her chapbook, The End of the Body, was recently published by toadlily press. She is a writer-in-residence with the Katonah Museum of Art. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She blogs at A Walk Around the Lake.
Jo Hemmant is an ex-journalist/editor now indulging herself in creative writing: poetry, prose pieces… “I am even working on a, cough, novel,” she confesses. Jo posts working drafts of some of her work at her blog Florescence.
Ed Higgins’ poems and short fiction have appeared in various print and online literary zines. He lives on a small farm in Yamhill, Oregon with a menagerie of animals including an emu named To & Fro.
Matthew Hittinger (website) is the author of the award-winning chapbooks Pear Slip (Spire Press, 2007) and Narcissus Resists (Beauty/Truth Press, forthcoming 2008). Shortlisted for the National Poetry Series and Walt Whitman Award, Matthew’s work has appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Fine Madness, Michigan Quarterly Review, Mantis, Meridian, and elsewhere, including the anthology Best New Poets 2005. Matthew lives and works in New York City.
Dick Jones (Patteran Pages), a drama teacher and musician, has been writing seriously for the past 20 years. His poems and short stories have been published in a wide range of magazines, both on- and offline, and he is currently preparing a selection of poetry for submission to publishers.
Ken Lamberton (webpage) has published more than 100 nature articles and essays and four books, including Wilderness and Razor Wire (Mercury House, 2000), which won the John Burroughs Medal, and A Time of Grace: Thoughts on Nature, Family, and the Politics of Crime and Punishment (University of Arizona Press). He received a Soros Justice Fellowship to complete and promote A Time of Grace, which was based on his 12-year incarceration in the Arizona state prison system. Ken travels and lectures widely, from church forums to university campuses, reading from his books and discussing his work.
Dorothee Lang edits the BluePrintReview, an experimental online journal, and is the author of Masala Moments, a travel novel about India. Her work has appeared in Pindeldyboz, Hobart, Eclectica, The Mississippi Review, Juked, No Tell Motel, Subtletea and numerous other places. For more about her, visit her at blueprint21.de.
Susanna Lang’s collection of poems, Even Now, is forthcoming from The Backwaters Press. She has published original poems and essays, and translations from the French, in such journals as The Baltimore Review, Kalliope, Chicago Review, New Directions, Green Mountains Review, Jubilat, and Rhino, winning a 1999 Illinois Arts Council award for a poem published in The Spoon River Poetry Review. Her book publications include translations of Words in Stone and The Origin of Language, both by Yves Bonnefoy.
Dana Guthrie Martin (My Gorgeous Somewhere) lives and writes in the Seattle area. Her poetry has appeared in Fence, Canopic Jar, Juked, Boxcar Poetry Review, and Blood Orange Review, and is forthcoming at Blossombones. She edited the Hidden Messages issue of qarrtsiluni with Carey Wallace.
Colleen McKee is the author of a collection of poetry, My Hot Little Tomato (Cherry Pie Press, 2007). She is also co-editor of an anthology of personal narratives about women and health care, Are We Feeling Better Yet? (Penultimate Press, 2008). She lives in St. Louis and may be contacted at lilyofthegutter [at] yahoo [dot] com.
Edith Oberley began her career teaching and writing. After publishing two medical books, she co-founded a non-profit company and a medical education firm. Both organizations are dedicated to improving the quality of medical care and advocating for patients, and have generated many publications. She blogs at Bitterroot and Bergamot, named for wildflowers native to Montana and Wisconsin. The focus of her blog is on “pristine places,” beautiful areas that nourish the spirit and must be preserved. Many of her photos have appeared in environmental publications.
Katherine Durham Oldmixon (Katudi Artists Collaboration) is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Writing Program at Huston-Tillotson, an historically Black university on Austin’s East Side. She is guest-editing the Water issue of qarrtsiluni with Lucy Kempton; read more about her in the Call for Submissions.
Allan Peterson is the author of two books: All the Lavish in Common (2005 Juniper Prize) and Anonymous Or (Defined Providence Press Prize), as well as four chapbooks. Recent print and online appearances include: Gettysburg Review, Bat City, Salamander, Iron Horse, Segue, Caesura, Compass Rose, and Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry. He has work forthcoming in Poetry Daily, Gulf Coast, and Swink. A generous selection of his poetry and visual art is featured at Panhandler [PDF].
Monica Raymond is a prize-winning poet and playwright based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. She has taught writing at Harvard, the City University of New York, and the Boston Museum School. You can read an excerpt from her play The Owl Girl at the Massachusetts Cultural Council website. If you’re in the Boston area on May 11, you can catch her play Novices in the return of the Boston Theatre Marathon — “50 new plays by Boston-area playwrights, performed by 50 theatre companies in a 10 hour stretch.”
Laura Ring (Parts of a Bell) is an anthropologist who works in a research library in Chicago. Some part of her is always stomping through the woods of her native Vermont, or haggling with merchants at a South Asian bazaar. She writes poetry and nonfiction.
Fiona Robyn’s first poetry collection is Living Things, and a book based on her daily blog a small stone will be out during 2008. She lives happily in the country with her partner, cats Fatty and Silver, and vegetable patch. Visit her homepage at fionarobyn.com.
Nic Sebastian hails from Arlington, Virginia. She has two sons and travels widely. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Lily, The Adroitly Placed Word, River Walk Journal, Mannequin Envy, Poems Niederngasse, Avatar Review and elsewhere. Nic blogs at Very Like A Whale.
Prize-winning photographer Anne Morrison Smyth (website) grew up in Ripton, Vermont and in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She moved to Belchertown in 1999 after living in Amherst for 30 years, where she raised her four children. Anne’s love for wildernesses of all kinds informs her work with an intimate, unflinching celebration of the diverse small realities that create a larger truth.
Wendy Vardaman has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania, and has poems, reviews, and interviews published or forthcoming in a variety of anthologies and journals, including Poet Lore, Main Street Rag, Nerve Cowboy, damselfly, Free Verse, Pivot, Wisconsin People & Ideas, Women’s Review of Books and Portland Review Literary Journal. When not writing, she home-schools two of her three children and volunteers for small but enormously valuable arts organizations, such as the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets and Young Shakespeare Players.
We’d like to remind you
how built things arrive at collapse,
says the shed. The rust streaks
on my corrugated lid are not
for beauty, though they are beautiful.
We’d like to remind you
how things close in, says the boxwood.
Behind the gate
almost we meet. We could close the man
and child in the house. In the station
cry up through the rusted bottom
panel. A sedan
is best as a planter, says what’s
green. Say the sprouts
in the taupe-orange soil of the garden,
we are trim. We spill
over our tops like a fountain. It is
rare to live
among plants and stones, gray weathered
boards that gab.
Concrete has no words, that’s why
we adlib for it—
hearts and our names.
by Monica Raymond
by Justin Evans
Light is lifting, trees
a clearing, in the centre
an abandoned house,
bareheaded, on its
knees before an
Fire’s rough tongue
has melted glass,
flamed wood to smoke
leaving a husk of
Now grass grows in
insects sift detritus and
the wind that fanned
the fire mouths an
by Jo Hemmant
as if your blue black blur of brush
and paint can conjure swamp
or luminous maple bud,
tree frog croon
as if layers of saturation can restore
the vernal pool that was my all in all
as if your calligraphy of oil and wash
can contain jack-in-the-pulpit
early fern or tad pole swirl
as if the colors, oh your colors
Cezanne blue Van Gogh sun
flower yellow raging across three panels
as if for a while my rough
ecstasy hasn’t dulled to insight.
by Pamela Hart