Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Heron Clan XII accepting submissions



Heron Clan XI: 2024 Poems from Katherine James Books has been published. It includes such poets as Lola Haskins, Hiram Larew, Ed Lyons, Doug Stouber, Brad Strahan, and Karren Alenier (a.k.a. the Steiny Road Poet).

Here are some snippets from poets that caught Steiny’s attention


What There is to Lose  [excerpt]

A Golden Shovel with thanks to Louise Gluck

     by Frances Klein


Leather shoes in the rain, of course, and the endless why

of your child’s third year. A pillowy slice of cake. Love.






Cloud-Speak  [excerpt]

     by Brad Strahan


What comes from this cloud of words?

Surely not rain. – Blood perhaps?

Surely not coins. – Maybe stones?

Not hail, perchance pale maidens

dressed in wet veils.



Stage Fright  [excerpt]

     by Earl Carlton Huband


You sit, staring straight ahead.

Your jaw tight. Hot. The spotlight

focused, overhead a hood

poised, the final curtain drops.



To submit for the 2025 Heron Clan anthology, send three poems and a 50-word bio to

Friday, March 29, 2024

Checklist for an Excellent Poetry Manuscript


What does a poetry manuscript in the 21st Century include? Here are some of the elements possible.


[ ]        Prologue Poem


This is a poem that sets up the major themes of this collection and ties its sections together. It should be short and easy to enter.


[ ]        Sections


A typical collection might have three to five sections. Fewer seem better but it depends on the work. There are collections where the work is one long poem without sections.


[ ]        A Repeating Title


This is a technique for demonstrating that the collection contains poems that talk to each other and deepen the subject matter. Such poems might open or close each section. To identify these poems with exactly the same title consider picking up a few words from the first line of the poem.


[ ]        Forms


While there are successful collections that use the same form for every poem in the collection (e.g. the sonnet is a popular form), variety shows the poet’s mastery of craft. Creating your own form and then, if possible, writing another poem in that form also shows craft.


[ ]        Poems in a Series


Poems that repeat some aspect such as subject matter, character, linguistic marker, add glue to a collection. The question is whether to group these together or spread them out in the manuscript.


[ ]        Poems that Contain Research


Whole collections of poetry might be based on extensive research but poems in a series might also operate under the magnifying glass of  researched information. Be careful about keeping end notes to a minimum.


[ ]        Metapoems


Poems that are about writing poetry. This is another way to demonstrate your knowledge of poetic craft.


[ ]         A Repeating Word 

A word or a version of a word that repeats throughout every poem of the collection creates an undercurrent of meaning to deepen the subject matter.


[ ]        Punctuation & Capitalization

Many poets have quit using punctuation and capitalization. Whatever you decide, just be consistent.





Friday, March 1, 2024

Don't Go into the Steinian Woods Alone


Because the Stockbridge Library poetry series airs on Zoom at midday Eastern time, it's a great opportunity to include poets in Europe and on the US west coast. So Steiny (a.k.a. Karren Alenier) is taking her own advice about don't go into the Steinian woods alone.




Mark your calendars now!


March 20, 2024 12:30 pm Eastern


On Zoom



Who: Karren Alenier with Andrea Carter Brown & Margo Berdeshevsky


What: Stockbridge Library presents The French Connection—Karren Alenier reads with Andrea Carter Brown & Margo Berdeshevsky their poems in From the Belly: Volume I "Objects" and much more.


How: Visit (close to the date, go to events calendar to register or email and she will make sure you get the link.)






Thursday, February 1, 2024

About the Words Being Spoken: upcoming reading




Part of publishing poetry is getting the words spoken, getting the poems read out loud to an audience. The Steiny Road Poet is pleased to say she has lined up another reading of From the Belly: Poets Respond to Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons.


This time Steiny goes solo. This means she will focus on poems she wrote in response to Tender Buttons Objects. There are over 20 poems of Alenier's to choose from. She will also be reading the Tender Buttons that inspired Alenier's poems and shining light on those buttons. It is a one-hour program. Here’s an example:






     from Tender Buttons Objects by Gertrude Stein


A charm a single charm is doubtful. If the red is rose and there is a gate surrounding it, if inside is let in and there places change then certainly something is upright. It is earnest.


about the word

     by Karren L. Alenier


the pen is the

pen is an organ

flaccid or sound


muscular music

flowing milk or ink

Horace said pen


is tongue of

mind who needs

articles point is


pen is maker

of kind teacher

teaching us




Mark your calendars now.


March 20, 2024 12:30 pm Eastern Standard Time

On Zoom

Who: Karren Alenier

What: Stockbridge Library presents Karren Alenier reading her poems in From the Belly Volume I Objects—reading & discussion



Contact Karren at and she will make sure you get the zoom link.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Poetic Honoraria: One Breath at a Time


The issue of getting paid for presenting poetry is ever present among poets. Most of us present without any promise of honorarium because we need to reach audience.


Recently, the Steiny Road Poet organized a reading featuring four other poets and herself based on her anthology From the Belly: Poets Respond to Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons through the Brooklyn, NY organization One Breath Rising. The reading was spectacular with lots of great questions posed by our host. Although there was some mention that we might get an honorarium, we had no expectation. Some weeks later we each received a check for $100 thanks to funding from the Brooklyn Arts Council and Poets & Writers (NY).


Stepping back to see the bigger picture, one should note that was $500 for one program. Some speakers easily get that kind of money, insist on that level of funding.  Just saying that poetry is an art form that brings spiritual benefits if not entertainment and that we poets are much like monks sitting with our begging bowls. Kudos to One Breath Rising for their generosity in sharing their resources.