May 9, 2017

     "On The Edge" Painting by Artist Carlos Franco-Ruiz

Welcome to the 34th issue of Indiana Voice Journal.  

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful people raising, nurturing, and caring for our children. You are a blessing! This issue reminds me of a spring flower garden. It shimmers, shakes, shines, and is absolutely blooming with poetic beauties!  Grown and tended with love. Enjoy, and let us know what you think. ~Janine Pickett

"There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anais Nin



Visual Art by Carlos Franco-Ruiz


JD DeHart is a writer and teacher.  He blogs at

Adreyo Sen recently finished his MFA from Stony Brook, Southampton.  His interests lie in magic realism, fantasy, and Victorian Literature.

Andrew Hubbard recently moved back to Indiana after ten years in Houston, Texas. He has had five books published, including, most recently, his first book of poetry, "Things That Get You," which was produced by Interactive Press. He was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2015. His new book, The Divining Rod, is available at:

Ann Christine Tabaka, is better known by her middle name, Chris. She has been writing poems and rhymes since she was fourteen. She was an artist, a chemist, and a personal trainer. She recently had 4 poems accepted into the upcoming Contemporary Group’s anthology “Dandelion in a Vase of Roses,” and 2 poems accepted by “The Society of Classical Poets,” and will have poems in the summer 2017 issue of “Halcyon Days Magazine.”

Sarah Henry is a former student of two U.S. Poet Laureates at the University of Virginia. Today she lives near Pittsburgh, where her poems have appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pittsburgh Poetry Review and The Loyalhanna Review. Farther afield, Sarah's work was published by Soundings East, and The Hollins Critic. Her poems have been included in six recent anthologies. CheapPop and Donut Factory featured her humorous prose.

Bevan Boggenpoel is a South African poet. Although his poetry is written in a South African context that covers different issues in daily life, his writing also strives to tell a story or teach a lesson that will inspire and motivate readers globally. He completed a Baccalaureate in Education at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and currently teaches in Port Elizabeth. His poetry has been published in Dissident Voice, Indiana Voice Journal, The Poetry Community, The Voices Project, Whispers, Prachya Review, Dead Snakes, Tuck Magazine, Visual Verse, Section 8 Magazine and Syzygy Poetry Journal. A recent anthology, "Shades of the Same Skin" was published by Creative Talents Unleashed.

Cydney Clouse is a twenty year old from Inidnapolis, Ind., with a passion for writing, but never having enough courage to share it. You can either find her on Tumbler at Sincerely-Cydney posting nightly using #CydClo, or eating Sherbet ice cream… probably both.

Michael Lee Johnson is a poet, editor, publisher, freelance writer, amateur photographer, small business owner in Itasca, Illinois. He has been published in more than 915 small press magazines in 27 countries, and he edits 10 poetry sites. His author's website is at: Michael is the author of several chapbooks of poetry and has more than 108 poetry videos on YouTube ( He has been nominated two Pushcart Prizes and Best of the Net 2016. He is also the editor/publisher of anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, available at Amazon. A second anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses, Editor Michael Lee Johnson, is available on Amazon.

Cynthia Eddy lives on the eastern shore of Virginia and holds a BA in Art History, Her poetry has been published in Willard and Maple, Emerand several other journals. She has been published in Third Wednesday, Eunoia Review, Epiphany, Z-composition, Deep South Magazine and in Emerge Literary Journal.

David Lohrey grew up in Memphis. His poetry can be found in Otoliths, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Easy Street and Quarterday. In addition, recent poems have been anthologized by the University of Alabama (Dewpoint), Illinois State University (Obsidian) and Michigan State University (The Offbeat). Work can also be found in The Stony Thursday Book (Limerick) and Hidden Channel Zine (Mall Sligo). David is a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective in Houston. Recent fiction can be read in Crack the Spine, Brilliant Flash Fiction and He teaches in Tokyo.

David Rodriguez is a writer and teacher with an MFA from Florida State University. He has previously been published in the New Orleans Review, The Southeast Review, Poetry Pacific, The Literateur, and The Double Dealer Redux, among other places.

Edilson Afonso Ferreira, 73, is a Brazilian poet who writes in English rather than Portuguese. His poetry has appeared in Right Hand Pointing, The Lake, Spirit Fire Review, Young Ravens, Indiana Voice Journal, Creative Talents Unleashed, Algebra of Owls and others. Ferreira lives in a small town with his wife, three sons and a granddaughter and, unhurried, is trying to publish his first Poetry Book. He began to write at age 67, after retirement as a Bank Manager. He was nominated for The Pushcart Prize in 2016.

Faleeha Hassan is a poet, teacher, editor, and writer born in Najaf, Iraq, in 1967. She now lives in the United States. She is the first woman to write poetry specifially for the children in Iraq and was part of the feminist movement in the holy city of Najaf. She is considered one of Iraq's most celebrated poets and her work has been heavily awarded and translated into dozens of languages. She has a master's degree in Arabic literature, and published sixteen collections of poetry in Arabic. Hassan emigrated to the US in 2012 after her books of poetry landed her on "death lists" published by radicals. Her poems and short stories have been published in several American magazines, such as The Galway Review, Words Without Borders, Scarlet Leaf Review, and the Inner Child press. The Guardian published this interview of Hassan in 2016:

James D. Casey IV  is a published author of two poetry books: "Metaphorically Esoteric"’ & "Dark Days Inside the Light While Drunk on Wine." He is also working on his third under the title “Tin Foil Hats & Hadacol Coins” that is expected to be published within the next few months. Mr. Casey’s writings have been published in international ezines and on several websites. Poetry Life & Times, Artvilla, Realistic Poetry International, and Poetry Super Highway have him listed in their poet archives as well. You can find links to his books, social network profiles, and other projects on his website at

Joe Gianotti grew up in Whiting, Indiana, an industrial city five minutes from Chicago. He currently teaches English at Lowell High School. He is a proud contributor to Volume II of "This is Poetry: The Midwest Poets." Among other poets, he represented Northwest Indiana in the 2014 Five Corners Poetry Readings. His work has been published in Blotterature, The Chaffey Review, Folly, Mouse Tales, Steam Ticket: A Third Coast Review, This, Yes Poetry, and other places. You can follow him on Twitter at @jgianotti10.

David Allen is a freelance writer and poet now living in Central Indiana. He is the poetry editor of the online Indiana Voice Journal and vice president of the Poetry Society of Indiana . A native of Long Island, he is retired journalist, reporting for papers in Virginia, Indiana and the Far East. He was part of the “Eat Write Café and Traveling Poets Society” on Okinawa, doing open mic readings and publishing an E-zine. His poems and short stories have been published in several journals and he has two books of poetry, "The Story So Far," and "(more)," both available from Amazon. He has a blog, “Type Dancing,” at  Here's some poems for Mother's Day.

Lois Greene Stone, writer and poet, has been syndicated worldwide. Poetry and personal essays have been included in hard & softcover book anthologies. Collections of her personal items/ photos/ memorabilia are in major museums including twelve different divisions of The Smithsonian.

Milt Montague was born and raised in New York in the 1920’s, fought in world war ll, graduated as an engineer, was in several businesses, found love, marriage, raised three lovely daughters, while pursuing a career, with his wife, in high fashion ladies clothing. He has recorded many tales from a long and busy life, all true. So far, 15 of his memoirs and 118 of his poems have been published in under 4 years.

Nan Friedley was born in Huntington, Indiana, but spent most of her formative years in the Fort Wayne area. She graduated from New Haven High School and received a BA and MS degree from Ball State University in the area of Special Education/Deaf Education. She retired from a 30-year teaching career in Indiana and California. She has published a poetry collection related to teaching special kids called "Short Bus Ride" by BadKneePress. Her poetry has  appeared in the Inlandia Institute's Anthology, "Orangelandia," and PushPenPress.

Shelley Converse-Rath attended Whittier College and graduated in 2010 with a major in English and a minor in Sociology. She is an active member of Sigma Tau Delta and Alpha Kappa Delta. She was the President of the Creative Writing Society at Indiana State University, where she received her Master's in English and was a Teaching Assistant for the English Department. She was also Editor-in-Chief of Indiana State University's Allusions Magazine.

Carlos Franco-Ruiz (°1987, Managua, Nicaragua) is an artist who mainly works with painting. In 1988, as the civil war was winding down his parents immigrated to Miami, FL.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Miami in 2011. In 2013, he moved to Uruguay and continues to follow his passion for painting where he recently had a group exhibition "La Mirada del otro" at Museo de las Migraciones to showcase his latest body of work. Currently lives and works in Sauce, Uruguay.

Lois Greene Stone, writer and poet, has been syndicated worldwide. Poetry and personal essays have been included in hard & softcover book anthologies.  Collections of her personal items/ photos/ memorabilia are in major museums including twelve different divisions of The Smithsonian.

Janine Pickett is Founding Editor of Indiana Voice Journal and Spirit Fire Review. Her work has been published in various online and print journals, and commercial magazines.

Nancy de Guerre is a freelance writer and editor happily pursuing her passion for creative writing. While her degree in English Literature and French has taken her in many directions, she is delighted to come back to what she loves most. She writes short stories, poetry and creative non-fiction and has been published in the Globe & Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, among others.

Mumbai-based, Sunil Sharma is a widely-published Indian critic, poet, literary interviewer, editor, translator, essayist, freelance journalist and fiction writer. He has already published 14 books: four collections of poetry, two of short fiction, one novel, one a critical study of the novel and co-edited six anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism. His six short stories and the novel Minotaur were earlier prescribed for the undergraduate classes under the Post-colonial Studies, Clayton University, Georgia, USA. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award---2012. Another milestone is that his poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015.

Sunil edits the English section of the monthly bilingual journal Setu published from Pittsburgh, USA:

For more details, please visit the blog:

DC Diamondopolous is an award-winning short story and flash fiction writer published worldwide. DC’s short stories have appeared in online literary magazines: Antioch University’s Lunch Ticket, Fiction on the Web, Eskimo Pie, Five on the Fifth, Five 2 One and many more. DC’s stories are also in print anthologies: Crab Fat Lit, Blue Crow and Scarborough Fair. DC won second place in the University of Toronto’s Literary Contest for 2016 for the short story, Taps, and won two Soul Making-Keats honorary mentions in 2014 for the short stories,The Bell Tower and Taps.

Robert Wexelblatt is professor of humanities at Boston University’s College of General Studies. He has published the story collections, Life in the Temperate Zone, The Decline of Our Neighborhood, The Artist Wears Rough Clothing, and Heiberg’s Twitch; a book of essays, Professors at Play; two short novels, Losses and The Derangement of Jules Torquemal, and essays, stories, and poems in a variety of scholarly and literary journals. His novel Zublinka Among Women won the Indie Book Awards first-place prize for fiction.  A collection of essays, The Posthumous Papers of Sidney Fein, is forthcoming.

I am an author of short and long form fiction.  I have earned degrees from the Community College of the Air Force, Liberty University, and Denver Seminary, and am currently in the Creative Writing Graduate program at the University of Denver.  My wife and I reside in Colorado with our four children where we enjoy hikes, camping, and many other outdoor adventures. @zsdiamanti

Zimbabwean poet and prose writer of Malawian extraction (b. Harare,Zimbabwe, 1959). Published in Australia, The US, Germany, Ireland,Ghana, Malawi and South Africa among other places in the English-speaking world. Studied at the University of Malawi,Chancellor College. Briefly at Dalhousie in Nova Scotia for Graduate Studies. New Leftist by inclination. Interested in Poststructuralist Theories and Children’s Literature. Taught in Zimbabwean high schools and the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU). Now an independent researcher.

Colin Dodds is the author of  four books, Another Broken Wizard, WINDFALL, The Last Bad Job, and Watershed.  His writing has appeared in more than two hundred publications, and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net Anthology.  Colin’s book-length poem That Happy Captive was a finalist for the Trio House Press Louise Bogan Award as well as the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award in 2015. His his screenplay, Refreshment, was named a semi-finalist in the 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. Colin lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and daughter. See more of his work at

This month, we are once again featuring a few books written by authors published in IVJ. We've also opened an amazon bookstore page where you can purchase these books, and many more, written by our authors. If you have published content in Indiana Voice Journal, and you have a new book out and would like it listed in our bookstore, please let me know and I will add your book to our Bookstore page.

Setu, a monthly journal is edited by an international board of talented Hindi and English authors, poets, journalists and critics from across the planet.

This artistic venture focuses on diasporic writings in Hindi and English and features most happening, cutting-edge works in both the important languages.

We will publish a "Summer Edition" the first of June, then close up shop until September 1, 2017. Thank you to everyone who supports IVJ in various ways. You are the best.

I am looking forward to spending time with my family, and taking a much needed summer vacation. Thank you all for your understanding. ~Janine Pickett

April 5, 2017

My Body Knows Unheard of Songs by Toni Cogdell

Welcome to the 33rd issue of Indiana Voice Journal.  Our featured visual artist for this edition is Toni Cogdell.  Her work is stunning! She has also honored us with a couple of creative nonfiction essays that rock. Be sure to check out the other essays, visual art, stories, and poems by authors whose words will take your breath away.

With the publication of this issue, we've added a few new features to our journal. Check out our new Bookstore!  We are featuring books written by authors published in IVJ. It is not yet complete. If you have written a book, published content with us, and would like your book listed on our bookstore page, please send the Amazon info.We are also giving space, occasionally, to a new feature titled "Literary Places". We hope you enjoy this issue!






Michael Chin was born and raised in Utica, New York and is a recent alum of Oregon State's MFA Program. He won Bayou Magazine's Jim Knudsen Editor’s Prize for fiction and has work published or forthcoming in journals including The Normal School, Passages North, Iron Horse, Front Porch, and Bellevue Literary Review. He works as a contributing editor for Moss and blogs about professional wrestling and a cappella music on the side. Find him online at or follow him on Twitter @miketchin.

Michael Kagan is a jazz musician from Toronto Canada.  A few years ago he heard a poem in the music and he's now "trying to say it right." He's been published in The Poet Community and Leaves of Ink.

Philip Matthew Butera grew up in Buffalo, NY, earned a BS degree From Gannon College in Erie, PA, went on to serve in the US Navy then received a MA in Psychology from Simon Fraser U. in Vancouver, Canada. He expanded his education with post graduate courses in Psychology and Creative Writing. He is the author of two books of poetry, “Mirror Images and Shards of Glass” and "Dark Images at Sea." His first novel, “Caught Between” – the true story of an off duty NYC cop who killed a mafia leader’s son is due out shortly. He is a contributing editor who writes a weekly Art and Literature column for He also has a column in the quarterly magazine, Per Niente. He lives in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. His fiction, nonfiction and poetry have appeared in various publications, including The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Christian Science Monitor, The Chicago Tribune and Commonweal. Some of his work can be found at

John Grey is an Australian poet and US resident. He has been published in New Plains Review, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review, and has work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Columbia College Literary Review and Spoon River Poetry Review.

Joseph Kleponis is, a retired teacher of English & American Literature lives north of Boston, Massachusetts. He has had poems published in Boston Literary Magazine, Leaflet, the Journal of the New England Association of Teachers of English, paperwasp, Eucalypt and other small literary journals.

Ken Allan Dronsfield was been nominated for The Best of the Net and 2 Pushcart Awards for Poetry in 2016. His poetry has been published in various publications throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. Ken loves thunderstorms, walking in the woods at night, and spending time with his cat Willa. Ken's new book, "The Cellaring", a collection of haunting, paranormal, weird and wonderful poems, has been released and is available through He is the co-editor of the poetry anthology titled, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze available at A second anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses will be released soon.

Kevin Doherty is a 63-year-old native Californian who lives in Long Beach. He enjoys freelance writing, visual art making and creating autobiographical poetry as a means to process and make meaning of personal experience. He works as a designer and art teacher by day and plays solo pre-war Country Blues on acoustic guitar in small venues on weekends.

Bob Eager’s work has appeared in Stray Branch, Leaves of ink, Camel Saloon, Vision With Voices among others. Bob also can be seen reciting poetry on a video channel called Charisma Corner:  In this poem, Bob addresses the question: "Is Melba Fake or Real Toast?"

Robert Ronnow's most recent poetry collections are New & Selected Poems: 1975-2005 (Barnwood Press, 2007) and Communicating the Bird (Broken Publications, 2012). He lives in Williamstown, Mass. Visit his web site at

April 4, 2017

Sarah E. Morin has three great passions in life: God, books, and working with young people. She serves as a kidwrangler at Conner Prairie History Museum in Fishers, Indiana. She writes and performs unruly fairy tales and poems. Her first Christian fantasy novel, Waking Beauty, was published in April 2015. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a state officer of Poetry Society of Indiana. When she grows up she wants to be a child prodigy. Visit her at

Anwer Ghani is an Iraqi poet and writer. He was born in 1973 in Alhilla city. His writing has appeared in Adelaide, Peacock, Otoliths, Algebra of Owls, and others literary journals. He is also featured in the Inner Child Press anthology "The Year Of The Poet" by William Peters. Anwer Ghani is the founder of "Expressive Narrative’s Group" and the chief editor of "Arcs" an expressive narrative’s magazine. He had, in Arabic, forty books in poetry, literature, and religious sciences. His books are available at Amazon:  Here is his website; Anwer Ghan Writing .

Denny E. Marshall has had art, poetry, and fiction published in various journals. Most recently, he has had poetry published in Bewildering Stories #696. His website is at

Dan Jacoby is a former principal, teacher, coach, and counterintelligence agent. He is a graduate of St. Louis University, Chicago State University, and Governors State University and lives in Beecher and Hagaman, Illinois. He has published poetry in Anchor and Plume (Kindred), Arkansas Review, Belle Rev Review, Bombay Gin, Burningword Literary Review, and Indiana Voice Journal, to name a few. He He is a member of the American Academy of Poets and the Carlinville Writers Guild and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He is currently looking for a publisher for a collection of poetry.

Carter McClure is a senior Elementary Education Major at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He says he has lived in Muncie for 22 years, and people make fun of him when he  tells them he has no desire to leave. More of his poems can be found at:

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