Off the Coast, Maine's International Poetry Journal
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Spring 2016                     VOLUME XXII              NUMBER 2                   ISSN 1945-0559

The Spring 2016 issue, "The Strong Indifferent Wind," is available now.

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With poems by Sheikha A., Wendy Drexler, Lisa Grove, Paul Hostovsky, Donald Illich, Rich Ives, Becky Kennedy, Aras Onur, Timothy Robbins, Jan Shoemaker, D. E. Steward, and others.

Cover image: Untitled by Justin Coelho.

Artwork and Photos by Justin Coelho, Peter Ingrasselino, Michael Burgholzer, Lynn Hoffman, Janet Barry, Sherman Poultney, Chaun Ballard, and Kathleen Gunton.

Books reviewed:

Moira Richards: Somewhere Piano by Sarah Busse

Carl Little: Plumb Line by Steve Luttrell

Moira Richards: Church of Needles by Sarah Sousa


Sheikha A. is poetry editor at eFiction India. Her blog is

Chaun Ballard teaches in the Middle East and West Africa with his wife. He is currently a graduate student in the University of Alaska.

Janet Barry has been included in Best Indie Lit New England. She judges for Poetry Out Loud.

Brad Bennett enjoys the haiku moments he encounters each day.

Michael Burgholzer, a programmer, has published poems and photographs in German and American journals.

Susana H. Case's newest book is 4 Rms w Vu (Mayapple, 2014).

Sara Clancy is an Associate Editor for Poetry at Kentucky Review.


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WINTER 2016: "Auguries of Peace"

The Winter 2016 issue, "Auguries of Peace," is available now.

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With poems by Lynn Hoffman, Lois Marie Harrod, Ruth Holzer, Latoya Kidd, Jenna Le, Darla Himeles, Michael McDonough, Saddiq Dzukogi, Susan Johnson, Arthur McMaster, Tahir Hamut translated by Darren Byler, James Valvis, and others.

Cover image: Third Bed by Meredith Abenaim.

Artwork and Photos by Michael Burgholzer, Sandy Olson, Jes Fritze, Karen Greenbaum-Maya, Douglas Haig, Peter Ingrasselino, Tendai Rinos Mwanaka, William Crawford, and Kathy Weinberg.

Books reviewed:

Mary Siobhan Brier: The Lost Child: Ozark Poems by Wesley McNair

Michael Brown: A Wolf Stands Alone in Water by Joseph Zaccardi

Valerie Lawson: This Summer and That Summer by Sanjeev Sethi

Michael Brown: The Ruined Elegance by Fiona Sze-Lorrain


Cover artist/photographer Meredith Abenaim has a traveler's soul, fantasies of living in a Woody Allen film, and a habit of lip-synching to herself while food shopping.

Jane Attanucci's chapbook is First Mud (Finishing Line, 2015).

Chaun Ballard has been teaching in the Middle East and West Africa for six years. He is currently an MFA student in the University of Alaska.

Ruth Bavetta has published two books, Embers on the Stairs (Moon Tide, 2014) and Fugitive Pigments (FutureCycle, 2013).

Brad Bennett has published haiku in Off the Coast and a handful of haiku journals and magazines. He teaches elementary school in the Boston area.

Roy Bentley has won fellowships from the NEA, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Ohio Arts Council. His most recent book is Starlight Taxi (Lynx House, 2013).


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FALL 2015: "The False Linearity of Seeing"

The Fall 2015 issue, "The False Linearity of Seeing," is available now.

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With poems by Graham Akhurst, Ace Boggess, Jennifer Freed, Alamgir Hashmi, Rage Hezekiah, Marcia Hurlow, Mercedes Lawry, George Looney, Tendai Rinos Mwanaka, Simon Perchik, Suzannah Spaar and others.

We are pleased to publish Laurence Coe's poem, "Before," winner of the 2015 Maine Postmark Poetry Competition sponsored by the Belfast Poetry Festival, and Prajakta Jamindar and Tabish Ahmed, winners of the Mood Indigo IIT Bombay "Just About Write" literary competition.

Front Cover image: Femme en pied by Ivan de Monbrison. Back Cover: A Delicate Dance by Carol Deprez.

Artwork and Photos by Michael Burgholzer, Thomas Gillaspy, Karen Greenbaum-Maya, Stewart Manley, Ivan de Monbrison, Bonnie Thompson Enes, Molly Touchie, and Kathy Weinberg.

Books reviewed:

Ellen Jane Powers: Salty Liquor by Gary Rainford

Michael Brown: Strata by Helen Eriksson, translated by Jan Teeland and Wendy Klein

Valerie Lawson: Figments by Gerald George


Graham Akhurst is an Aboriginal writer from the Kokomini of Northern Queensland.

Prerna Bakshi is a Macao-based poet of Indian origin. She tweets at @bprerna.

Brad Bennett has noticed that we published a bunch of his haiku over the years.

Daya Bhat is a freelance translator also interested in painting, reading and blogging.

Ace Boggess is an ex-con, ex-husband, ex-reporter, and completely exhausted by all the things he isn't anymore.

Michael Burgholzer, a programmer, has published poems and photographs in German language and American literary journals.

Peter Burzynski is a PhD student in Creative Writing-Poetry at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


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Pushcart Prize

We are pleased to announce our nominees for the Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses series. Published every year since 1976, the Pushcart Prize is the most honored literary project in America.

Moon for Migrants by Fabienne Sylvia Josaphat, Winter 2015, Get You Some Wings

Crawford County, 1968 by Alyse Alyse Richmond, Spring 2015, Pixelated and Wanting

Mr. Stripey by Linda Wojtowick, Spring 2015, Pixelated and Wanting

If Only Life Were Like Language by Paul Hostovsky, Summer 2015, Outliers with Boundaries

Handicapped Sailor by Richard Dey, Summer 2015, Outliers with Boundaries

My first real boyfriend was a cadaver by Erinn Batykefer, Fall 2015, The False Linearity of Seeing

Congratulations all, and best of luck!

We are pleased to announce our nominees for the Independent Best American Poetry Awards: Acadia and Sky Woman by Barbara Robidaux and Moon for Migrants by Fabienne Sylvia Josaphat. Barbara Robidoux is a student at the Institute of American Indian Arts in New Mexico. Fabienne Sylvia Josaphat has an MFA from Florida International U.

The anthologized poems will be published online as an extension of MiPOesias.

We have also nominated Moon for Migrants by Fabienne Sylvia Josaphat, Sexually Transmitted Leadership by Tendai Rinos Mwanaka, and Macaroni (Song for Bomkauf) by Jenson Leonard for the Bettering American Poetry anthology to be published in print by BlazeVOX books in February 2016.

Moon for Migrants and Sexually Transmitted Leadership appeared in our Winter 2015 issue, Get You Some Wings. We don't put all our poems on the website, so Tendai's poem only appeared in the print edition. Tendai R. Mwanaka has two books coming in 2015: A Dark Energy (Aignos) and Zimbabwe: The Urgency of Now (Langaa RPCIG).

Macaroni (Song for Bomkauf) appeared in print in our Fall 2015 issue, The False Linearity of Seeing. Jenson Leonard is engaged in exploration of the esoteric and liminal spaces of the marginalized, particularly via the black body and the confines of the white literary establishment.

SUMMER 2015: "Outliers with Boundaries"

The Summer 2015 issue, "Outliers with Boundaries," is available now.

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Featuring translations by Frederick Lowe and J. Kates, poems by Erin Batykefer, Ray Skjelbred, Paul Hostovsky, Kathleen McCann, Sonja Johanson, Noel Sloboda, Susan Eisenberg, K.S. Hardy, Noel Sloboda, Jenny Qi, Joannie Stangeland, Sanjeev Sethi, and others.

We are pleased to publish Rachel Contreni Flynn's poem, Blue Canoe, winner of the 2015 Maine Literary Awards Poetry Short Works Competition. Congratulations, Rachel!

Front Cover image: Nautilus by Peter Ingrasselino. Back Cover image: no plastic ties need apply by Bonnie Thompson Enes.

Photos by Michael Burgholzer,Carol Deprez, Kathleen Gunton, Tendai Rinos Mwanaka , Steve Patterson, Sammy Saladino Jr., Deborah Singer, and Kathy Weinberg .

Books reviewed:

Michael Brown: Dawnland Voices: An Anthology of Indigenous Writing from New England edited by Siobhan Senier

Carl Little: In Praise of Usefulness by Angela Patten

Valerie Lawson: A Ladder of Cranes by Tom Sexton


Erinn Batykefer has an MFA from the University of Wisconsin and is a Programming Librarian at New Canaan Library, and Co-founder & Managing Editor, The Library as Incubator Project.

Lana Bella lives bi-continental in the US and the coastal town of Nha Trang, Vietnam.

Brad Bennett's haiku are regularly published in Off the Coast.

Michael Burgholzer, a programmer, has published poems and photographs.


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Off the Coast is pleased to present Rachel Contreni Flynn's poem, Blue Canoe, which won the Poetry Short Works Competition at the 2015 Maine Literary Awards sponsored by the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Congratulations, Rachel!

The Maine Literary Awards is an annual competition sponsored and coordinated by the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Nominations are open to all Maine residents, including seasonal residents. The statewide competition is for published books, as well as drama, short works (either published or unpublished), and student writing. Maine writers may self-nominate, or be nominated by others.

For more information, visit MWPA's website.

SPRING 2015: "Pixelated and Wanting"

Cover, Spring 2015 issue

The Spring 2015 issue, "Pixelated and Wanting," is available now.

With poems by Gaylord Brewer, Nancy Hewitt, Paul Hostovsky, Jill McDonough, E. B. Paige, Simon Perchik, J.D. Scrimgeour, Karen Skolfield, Linda Wojtowick, and others.

Front Cover image: Clutches Onto Gristle by Eleanor Leone Bennett. Back Cover image: Boogie Woogie by Stanley Horowitz.

Photos by Susanna Case, Louis Staeble, Lavinia Roberts, Michael Burgholzer, Allen Forrest, Jeannie Roberts, Stephen Ajadi, Brad Garber, Rebecca Oet, and Sherman Poultney.

Books reviewed:

Carl Little: The Fool Sings by Weslea Sidon

Moira Richards: Handing Out Apples in Eden by Malisa Garlieb


Stephen Ajadi, Nigerian artist and architect, won the 2012 Yakubu Gowon National Prize for Writing.

Felice Aull began writing poetry in her 60s and has published a chapbook, The Music Behind Me (Alabaster Leaves, 2012).

Jan Ball's chapbooks, Accompanying Spouse (2011) and Chapter of Faults (2014), were published by Finishing Line.

Brad Bennett's haiku have been widely published.

Eleanor Leonne Bennett has won first places with National Geographic,The World Photography Organisation, and more. Her website is

Gaylord Brewer has a cookbook/memoir The Poet's Guide to Food, Drink, & Desire (Stephen F. Austin University, 2015) and a ninth book of poems, Country of Ghost (Red Hen, 2015)
... More...

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Off the Coast in Best IndieLit New England anthology

We learned this week that two poems from Off the Coast, "The White Camels of Somalia" by Danny Earle Simmons and "Ntarama, Rwanda" by Inga Schmidt were selected for inclusion in the Best Indie Lit New England, Volume Two anthology from Black Key Press.

Danny Earl Simmons is a friend of the Linn-Benton Community College Poetry Club and an active member of Albany Civic Theater. "White Camels" appeared in the Fall 2013 issue, This Metonymic Chain. Inga Schmidt was a 2013 winner of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs' Intro Journals Project. "Ntarama, Rwanda" appeared in the Spring 2014 issue, Tunneling Toward the Sun.

Off the Coast Seeks Submissions of Poetry and Art/Graphics/Photos

Our next deadline for submissions is June 15 for an open theme issue.

Click here for guidelines.

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To purchase Off the Coast online, visit our Ordering Page.

Valerie Lawson & Michael Brown, Editors

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