Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Published in Written in Arlington

Written in Arlington
edited by Katherine E. Young has launched from Paycock Press. It’s a handsome 254-page anthology of poetry by approximately 90 or fewer poets. Overall the work is accessible and often connected in some way to Arlington, Virginia, where Kate Young has served as the Arlington Poet Laureate.  

Steiny, a.k.a. Karren Alenier, has one rather long poem (three pages) in this collection entitled “You Can Tell ‘Em I’ll Be There.” The poem is a letter to the poet’s step-father and makes reference to her half sister Nancy who at some point learned that Dad was not her biological father, but, worse, he and other family members over the years had the gall to die on the anniversary of her birth. “Pick another day,” she complains. The poem is pinpointed in time by the politics of the day. It’s a poem of memory like the poems by Susan Mockler and the late Karenne Woods that flank it. Alenier reads her poem on the Spoken in Arlington YouTube website where you can sample poems  by others, such as Miles Moore, Jacqueline Jules, and Henry Crawford. 

Sunday, November 1, 2020

On Flnding Other Writers to Blurb Your Book


One of the critical tasks in preparing a new book for publication is finding appropriate writers to blurb your book. I have written on this subject before but this post fine tunes the process.


After the new author determines who would be ideal to provide a short written comment, the question is what if I don’t know this person who is expert on my style of writing or my subject matter (or whatever your criteria is for selecting this person)? Assuming you can find a way to reach out to this writer who you don’t know personally, I suggest that your approach might be something like this.


Dear X,


While I don’t know you personally, I have been following your work for years. Recently Publisher X has selected my full-length poetry manuscript for publication in 2021.


Would you consider writing a blurb for my forthcoming book titled X?


Enclosed are 12 poems taken from the manuscript that best represent the work as a whole. If you like what you read and want to see more, I would be happy to send the entire manuscript. I need the blurb by X date.


Thank you so much for your kind consideration. I will understand if you prefer not to write a blurb for me.


All best wishes,

Your name


It’s possible that a blurb writer has everything needed to write something based on those 12 poems. The most important part of your request is making sure you have given a reasonable time frame. 3-4 weeks is not an unreasonable ask. If the person queried asks for more  time and you have that option, go for it. Three blurbs are usually enough. Good luck!


Thursday, October 1, 2020

Book Publication!

The crowning award in the writer’s life is book publication. I am thrilled to say my manuscript how we hold on has been accepted for publication by Broadstone Books of Frankfort, Kentucky.This is the manuscript that contains my poems about Jamaica as well as family poems, including a mini-series on my great grandfather who died in the 1918 pandemic known as the Spanish Flu.


Broadstone is a press that people who read poetry will be hearing more about because they are increasing the number of books they will publish over the next several years. The publisher, Larry Moore, is an editor of the old school in that he cares deeply about excellence. Therefore he makes suggestions for how to improve a manuscript. The publication date has not yet been set but will occur in 2021.


Some of Broadstones authors are: Susana Case, Richard CarrJudith KermanLynn McGee, and Mervyn Taylor. I am proud to join the Broadstone family and can recommend this community of fine authors. I encourage you to buy their books directly from the publisher, They are also distributed by Small Press Distribution.



Friday, September 4, 2020

Book Reviews—Their value and who reads them?


Since just before the Covid19 pandemic shut down in the United States, I have written 12 book reviews. It’s an aspect of publishing I rarely talk about and one that requires great concentration. It is also not clear who reads my reviews or what value they are to the author, despite the clamor to get reviews written. Each one presents its own challenges. It seems not to matter whether it is chapbook or a children’s book—the reviews all take a lot of time to develop and complete. Of the dozen reviews published between March and early September, the hardest to write were the translations.


Here is the list with their links.


09-01-20  Feminists Are Passing from Our Lives by Leslie McGrath (poetry) 


08-17-20  Dead Letter Office by Marko Pogačar, translated from Croatian by Andrea Jurjević



08-01-20  Discovery by Don Krieger (poetry) 


07-29-20  Women of the Big Sky by Liliana Ancalao in Mapuzungun and Spanish, translated

                   from Spanish by Seth Michelson (poetry)

07-01-20  A Little Called Pauline by Gertrude Stein with art by Bianca Stone (children’s book) 


06-20-20  Transformer by Kathleen Winter (poetry)


06-09-20  Binary Planet by Henry Crawford (poetry)


06-01-20  Dead Shark on the N Train by Susana Case (poetry)


05-02-20  The High Shelf by Nadia Colburn (poetry)


04-29-20  They Became Stars by Liz Marlow (poetry chapbook)


04-17-20  Spinster for Hire by Julia Story (poetry)


03-01-20  A Survivor Named Trauma by Myra Sklarew (memoir, history, poetry)

Image by Pixabay

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Written in Arlington is an anthology edited by Katherine E. Young that will be published in September 2020 that the Steiny Road Poet is part of due to her work with Arlington Public Schools and the Moving Words project which she won and later ran for multiple years.

Kate asked poets in the anthology to create videos to promote the anthology. So after fumbling around trying to use her smart phone, Steiny used Zoom to record herself reading "you can tell 'em I'll be there." Visit to see the video.

Thanks to Henry Crawford for his suggestion to use Zoom and for the opening screen to the video. Henry is also part of this anthology.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Anthology Bonanza

The latest pending acceptances have been for anthologies. I just received Heron Clan VII which is a beautifully produced book with eye-catching art on the cover. So far I like these poems: Charlotte Mandel’s “Ancient Love,” a poem written in terza rima about the bones of two people found in tight embrace and Doug Stouber’s “Black Waters of Tarpon” a rather complicated language-y poem addressing guitar, music, Florida, mental institution. Kudos to all involved in producing such a book in just under five months’ time—must be a record.

I also had my Sherman Alexie style sonnet “the bell sonnet” accepted for publication in This Is What America Looks Like: the Washington Writers’ Publishing House Anthology (Washington, DC, early 2021).

Sunday, May 24, 2020

The Heron Clan Congregates on Zoom

One of my longer poems “Cocks” was accepted this spring for an anthology called Heron Clan VII. The Heron Clan is a group headed by Doug Stuber of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Each anthology (this is the seventh) is about 300 pages. The expectation is that the printed book will appear in the fall of 2020 and will contain poems by 127 poets, including Valerie Nieman, Shelby Stephenson,  Andrena Zawinski, etc. What is impressive about the list of poets is that it is very diverse, including poets in Dublin, Ireland.

In May, Stuber set up a series of Zoom sessions to introduce with short readings those who will be in Heron Clan VII. On May 17, I presented three poems including the first section of “Cocks” which presents the story of a Jamaican youth and what happened to him when his father ran into trouble with the local police. I wanted to encourage curiosity and give the sale of the anthology a boost. Several of my friends attended the program.

Since the covid19 pandemic hit more readings of poetry have been popping up. One of the challenges of online readings, particularly on the Zoom platform, is making sure that the audience learn how to mute themselves or that the moderator does this for them. The listener is usually unaware of how low level noise is magnified on these platforms. I requested that everyone mute themselves before I started reading and when that didn’t happen I asked the moderator to do it and had to walk him through where to find the controls. As a consequence, I had a very successful reading.

The last session begins at 7pm EDT.
Zoom Meeting Identification: 826 1075 0045

More information about Heron Clan VII at

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Instant Gratification

On Monday, April 13, 2020, I sent a single poem to Poetry Super Highway for their 22nd annual issue of Holocaust Remembrance. By Saturday, April 18, 2020, my poem “what was hidden” was published. Granted the deadline for submitting was imminently close, but the editor/publisher Rick Lupert publisheda total of 59 poets, including three people I know Susana Case of New York, Judith Robinson of Pittsburgh, and Marianne Szlyk of Rockville, Maryland.

“what was hidden” is in Golden Shovel format, which means it uses a quote where each word of the quote is used as a writing prompt. The quote I use is “I know the dark delight of being strange, the penalty of difference in the crowd, the loneliness of wisdom among fools” by Claude McKay from his poem “My House.” These 21 words form the last word of the 21 lines of my poem about Anne Frank. Anne Frank, her family, and her diary are also mentioned by four other poets in this issue.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

National Poetry Month off to a great start!

Someone upstairs loves me. On April 1, 2020, the start of National Poetry Month, I got notice, as promised maybe two months ago,  of my poem “Garden Sex” going live in Spank the Carp

Not only is my poem published but I was featured in their “Mind of a Poet” series which you can see at the bottom of their table of contents page. On this 2nd page, you will see a discussion of my poem which I wrote as well as my poem, bio and photo.

If you go back to the table of contents page and access the individual poems and short stories, you will see in the upper right hand corner a box that reads “Vote for your favorite work.”

The editor Ken Schweda likes to know from the audience what work is favored. I think it is a kind of beauty contest myself but it’s fun.

I also want to say that the month of March, despite its frightening news and restrictions coming at us/me, had some personal publishing bright spots.

I sent a sample of 12 poems from my unpublished manuscript when it drops you gonna feel it  to a publisher of the old school and he got back to me a few days and said please send me the entire manuscript. One of his reasons why he liked it was that anyone who loved opera and reggae has got to be an irresistible read.

I also got an acceptance from Katherine E. Young for her poetry anthology Written In Arlington. The poets in this collection (coming out she hopes by fall 2020 from Paycock Press) all have a connection to Arlington, Virginia. My connection is that for years I taught in the Pick-a-Poet program that sent poets into the Arlington county public schools to do poetry workshops. I also won a Moving Words contest that put  my poem “Neapolitan Love Song” (OMG, in this time of Covid 19 this poem depicts being on a crowded bus!) and later I actually ran the Moving Words contest. Wisely, Katherine asked me for a poem set in Virginia if not Arlington.

On April 1, Katherine  starts promoting the anthology by featuring a poem from the collection on her website:   The anthology will showcase 150 poems from poets who are well accomplished as well as high schoolers, incarcerated, and speaking and writing in other languages. Do visit there frequently to see how this anthology is shaping up!

Monday, February 17, 2020

Publishing Flood

Let's call it a flood. Yes, I, the Steiny Road Poet, got another poem published.

"Hurt" is part of my circulating manuscript when it drops you gonna feel it. Of the 56 poems in this manuscript, there are 23 poems now published.

Find "Hurt" on pages 23-24 of Medical Literary Messenger Fall/Winter 2019. Yes, they published this edition in 2020 that reads 2019. Have  a look at There are many fine poems by poets with impressive credentials.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Publishing Wave Continues

The publishing wave continues with two poems taken at Beltway Poetry Quarterly now under the stewardship Indran Amirthanayagam and Sara Chahill Marron but hats off to Venus Thrash who, along with Indran, were on the selection committee.

“sunset from the cliffs” and “when it drops you gonna feel it” ( are from a small group of poems about Jamaica which are part of the manuscript when it drops you gonna feel it, that I am currently circulating. I’m particularly pleased  that “when it drops you gonna feel it,” a poem that was published in a print journal, is getting new attention.

Also included in this issue on the theme of revolutionary music (see Table of Contents  are such others as Ethelbert Miller, Terry Winch, and Cliff Bernier.

Something I would call publishing love rolled in during the wee hours of Valentine’s Day—one poems from my Jamaican series, was accepted by a print anthology.

Friday, January 31, 2020

2020—New Year Starts Off Well

The new year/new decade started off well with the publication of three poems in the Kelp Journal (see poetics at or go to my page directly at This journal used two of my photographs to illustrate my poems “upanddown in Mykonos,” “peace” and “visit to the Backside.” The photos throughout the journal are quite striking and feature coasts and waterways. I’m pleased to be published in this journal and like other work published there. I invite you to go to my page and make a comment.

I’m also pleased that the poem “peace” was published in Kelp. It is an important poem in when it drops you gonna feel it, the manuscript I am currently circulating for publication.

Additionally this month, I received acceptance notices of three poems from two other publishers.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Success: 3 Poems published in 2 hard copy publications

Two joyful acquisitions came during the winter holidays—I received two books where my poems were published.

The first was The Skinny, Poetry Anthology edited by Truth Thomas. Truth invented a form called the Skinny and regularly publishes poems in this form on his website. The rules of the Skinny are as follows:
·      Total of 11 lines where first and last lines contain the same words but not necessarily in the same order.
·      The lines between line 1 and 11 are only one word.
·      Lines 2, 6 and 10 are exactly the same word.

Typically, the poem looks like a square capital C.  I took liberties with the form and ran a line of single words down the righthand side so that my poem then looks like a square. The title of my skinny is “Weslaco Texas a dark comedy.” It was inspired by what my sister who lives in Weslaco said about hearing frequent gunshots. She lives in the Rio Grande Valley, the border between Texas and Mexico.

Other poets known to me include: Tara Betts, Brian Gilmore, Gregory Luce, Naomi Thiers, Truth Thomas, and Anne Harding Woodworth. It’s a handsome volume on glossy paper beautifully produced. It includes some poignant photographs of migrants coming into the United States. In his introduction, Truth writes that many of the poems are “drawn from the wellsprings of delight. However, a goodly number testify to acute social pain the twenty-first century’s troubling youth—particularly in America…”

The second book is #68 edition of Pudding Magazine, The Journal of Applied Poetry. In this handsome volume, I have two poems: “what was taken” and “thanksgiving on the rocks.” Both of these poems are from an unpublished manuscript now circulating entitled when it drops you gonna feel it. While I only recognize the name of Diane Kendig, the volume is filled with poets of substantial credits and poems that made me think. The magazine also includes a section of brief book reviews. So pleased to be published in this edition of Pudding Magazine.