December 10, 2017

"Home" Photography by Janine Pickett

Merry Christmas to all our friends at Indiana Voice Journal. This is an all-star issue from an amazing group of poets, artists, and writers. I know it came out more than a little late, but I promise, you will enjoy reading the vast variety of content in this issue. I thank each and every one of you for your contributions and support in various ways. 

It's true, we are going on hiatus for a minute, but we'll be back revitalized with new themes, ideas, contests, and more! Stay tuned...Sending love and good wishes to all! Now for the great stuff...








Congratulations to the winners, and thank you to everyone who entered the Poetry Society of Indiana's 39th Annual Fall Rendezvous Poetry Contest 2017. Indiana Voice Journal was proud to be a part of this amazing contest, and we look forward to participating next year as well.The anthology, Ink to Paper is available here: Amazon

Adam J. Sedia lives with his family in his native Lake County, Indiana, where he practices law as a civil and appellate litigator. He has published two volumes of poetry, "The Spring's Autumn" and "Inquietude," and has published scholarly articles in various legal journals. He also composes music, which may be heard on his YouTube channel.

Cecilia is a published poet from Kanonah, N.Y. She writes stories; and has also published 3 small books. The science and observation of the wild, and natural environment are her subjects and inspiration. She also has endless fascination with the human psyche in all its complexities of expression.

A Poem by Phillip Brown

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois. Mr. Johnson published in more than 989 publications, his poems have appeared in 34 countries, he edits, publishes 10 different poetry sites. Michael Lee Johnson, Itasca, IL, nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards for poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/and 2 Best of the Net 2017. He also has 138 poetry videos on YouTube: He is the Editor-in-chief of the anthology,Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze: and Editor-in-chief of a second poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses which is now available here:

Alex DeBonis grew up in Seymour, Indiana and graduated from Indiana University. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Buck Off Magazine, Tipton Poetry Review, Hartskill Review, Indiana Voice Journal, Yellow Chair Review, Parade, and Ilanot Review.

Anwer Ghani is an Iraqi poet and writer. He was born in 1973 in Hilla. His work has appeared in Otoliths, Adelaide, November Bees, Zarf, Peacock, Eunioa, Rabbit and many others. He is the author of several books, including "Narratopoet" (Inventives Cloud 2017), "Antipoetic Poems" (Create Space 2017), "TRUMP; a poetry collection" (Inner Child Press 2017) and "The Narratolyric Writing" (Smashwords 20170).  Visit his blog at:

Daginne Aignend is a pseudonym for the Dutch writer, poetess, and photographic artist Inge Wesdijk.
She likes hard rock music and fantasy books. She is a vegetarian and spends a lot of time with her animals. Daginne posted some of her poems on her Facebook page and on her fun project website: . She's also the co-editor of Degenerate Literature, a poetry, flash fiction, and arts E-zine. She has been published in several magazines and two anthologies: "Where Are You From" and in the Contemporary Poet's Group's "Dandelion in a Vase of Roses."

Adam Levon Brown is an author, poet, amateur photographer, and cat lover. He identifies as Queer.
He has had poetry published internationally in several languages. He enjoys long walks through the inner­ insanity of his psyche. He is an anti-imperialist with a love for books. When not tripping on his own musings, he enjoys reading fiction. He has been published in venues such as "Burningword Literary Journal," "Harbinger Asylum," "The Stray Branch," and others. Adam can be contacted via his website at

Duane Vorhees was born in Germantown, Ohio, near the Indiana border. He moved to nearby Farmersville when he was 10 and spent his adolescence there -- or, rather, his adolescence spent him! After high school he briefly attended "The" Ohio State University before graduating from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio with a degree in American Studies. And then, predictably enough, he left Ohio for good (or bad, of course, depending on one's preference). He has spent most of his life abroad, mainly teaching in Korea and Japan for the marvelously redundantly named University of Maryland University College. Now he is happily retired in Khon Kaen, Thailand, where he publishes a daily creative arts magazine,

Elizabeth P. Brooks is originally from Trinidad and Tobago and now calls Tampa Bay home. She is deeply concerned about human dignity and the need for social justice. She is a performance poet and has had several poems and non-fiction essays published in Indiana Voice Journal. She has a chapbook, “You May Applaud Now and Other Poems” and is currently working on a novel.  She is a contributor to the Huffington Post and writes a column, "A Call to Love," for Spirit Fire Review. Her latest book, "Freedom Fighter," presents a unique perspective on her experience as an immigrant and a woman of color.  You can visit Elizabeth at her Facebook page here: Elizabeth Brooks

Born a Hoosier, editor and English professor emerita Ellae Lawton has lived and worked in Manhattan and Florida and now lives near her daughter in southeastern North Carolina. Some of her poems have appeared in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Referential, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Iodine Poetry Journal, and When Women Waken.

Harry Youtt is a frequently published poet, essayist, and writer of short stories. He is a long-time faculty member in the UCLA Extension Writers Program, where he teaches courses and conducts workshops in fiction writing, memoir writing, and poetry. He is author of several poetry collections, including Getting Through, Elderverses, and Outbound for Elsewhere.

Janice Canerdy is a retired high-school English teacher from Potts Camp, Mississippi. She's been writing poems for decades. She writes: "I especially enjoy rhymed-metered poetry and get a kick out of writing parodies of the classic poems I taught." Her poems and stories have appeared in several magazines and journals, including "Light Quarterly," "The Road Not Taken," and "Better Than Starbucks." Her work has also appeared in anthologies. Her first book, "Expressions of Faith" (Christian Faith Publishing), was published in December 2016.

A multi-media artist living near Washington, DC, Jeff Bagato produces poetry and prose as well as electronic music, and glitch video. Some of his poetry has appeared in Empty Mirror, Futures Trading, In Between Hangovers, Otoliths, Your One Phone Call, and Zoomoozophone Review. His published books include Savage Magic (poetry), Cthulhu Limericks (poetry), The Toothpick Fairy (fiction), and Dishwasher on Mars (fiction). A blog about his writing and publishing efforts can be found at

Jon Bennett writes and plays music in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood. You can find more of his work on Pandora, iTunes, and Spotify. Most recently, he's been published in In Between Hangovers, Mad Swirl, and Your One Phone Call. For more, visit these links:

Lance Carpenter is a poet and undergraduate in Purdue University's Creative Writing program. His work has appeared in Tributaries from IU East and The Eunoia Review.

Mark Danowsky’s poetry has appeared in About Place, Cordite, Gargoyle, Grey Sparrow, Right Hand Pointing, Shot Glass Journal, Subprimal, and elsewhere. He is originally from Philadelphia, but now lives in West Virginia. He is Managing Editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal and Founder of the poetry coaching and editing service VRS CRFT.

Linda Simone is the author of Archeology and Cow Tippers. Her Pushcart-nominated poems appear in numerous journals and anthologies, most recently in Bearing the Mask: Southwest Persona Poems (Dos Gatos Press, 2016). A native New Yorker, she now lives in San Antonio, Texas.

Sanjeev Sethi is the author of three books of poetry. His most recent collection is This Summer and That Summer (Bloomsbury, 2015). His poems have appeared venues around the world, including Spirit Fire Review, Empty Mirror, The Paragon Journal, Grey Sparrow Journal, Soul-Lit, New Mystics, Stride Magazine, London Grip, Communicators League, and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India.

Steven J. Jacobson is a poet living in Hopkins, Minnesota. He has been published in more than two dozen magazines, including Access Press, Linnet’s Wings, Burningword Literary Journal, Eunoia Review, Little Red Tree Publishing, Indiana Voice Journal,  Leaves of Ink, Thought Notebook and Storyteller Magazine. He is a featured poet in Metric Conversions: Poetry of Our Time (Editura STUDIS, 2013).  An e-book, Spiritual Gait, was published in June 2016 by Storyteller Magazine.

Saloni Kaul, author and poet, was first published at the age of ten and has been in print ever since. As critic and columnist Saloni has enjoyed thirty eight years of being published. Her first volume, a fifty poem collection was published in the USA in 2009. Subsequent volumes include "Universal One" and "Essentials All." Her poems have appeared in the Tipton Poetry Journal, Eye On Life Magazine, Inwood Indiana, Misty Mountain Review, Poetry And Paint Anthology, Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum, and others. She lives in Toronto, Canada.

Nan Friedley is a retired special education teacher and graduate of Ball State
University. She was born in Huntington, IN, but spent most of her formative years in the Fort Wayne area. She graduated from New Haven High School. Her writing has been published in a poetry chapbook, Short Bus Ride, and in Indiana Voice Journal, Inlandia Anthologies, and Three, a nonfiction anthology collection. She published a poetry collection related to teaching special education kids called "Short Bus Ride" by BadKneePress. Nan lives in Riverside, CA.

Toti O'Brien is the Italian Accordionist with the Irish Last Name. She was born in Rome then moved to Los Angeles, where she makes a living as a self-employed artist, performing musician and professional dancer. Her work has most recently appeared in Fiction South East, NonBinary Review, OVS Magazine, and The Adirondack Review.

CHARLES E.J. MOULTON has been a stage performer since age eleven. His trilingual, artistic upbringing, as the son of Gun Kronzell and Herbert Moulton, lead to a hundred stage productions, countless cross-over concerts, work as a bandleader and as an acting teacher. He is a regular contributor for Idea Gems, has written for Shadows Express, Cover of Darkness, Vocal Images and Pill Hill Press. He is a tourguide, a big-band-vocalist, a filmmaker, a painter, a voice-over-speaker, a translator, is married and has a daughter. Charles E.J. Moulton's passion is creative versatility. His short story collection, Aphrodite's Curse: 21 Tales of Love and Terror can be purchased by clicking the link. Homepages:

Ann Christine Tabaka was born and lives in Delaware.  She is a published poet, an artist, a chemist, and a personal trainer.  She loves gardening, cooking, and the ocean.  Chris lives with her husband and two cats.  Her poems have been published in numerous national and international poetry journals, reviews, and anthologies. Chris has been selected as the resident Haiku poet for Stanzaic Stylings.

Visit her author page:

Linda Simone is a poet living in San Antonio, TX. Her work includes two poetry chapbooks and numerous poems published in journals and anthologies, most recently in Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems (Dos Gatos Press).  Her interviews and book reviews have appeared in Valparaiso Review, Woven Tale Press, First Literary Review-East, Red Paint Hill, and other venues. She also expresses herself as a watercolor artist.

                           Poison in Paradise
by Scott Thomas Outlar

Published by Alien Buddha Press

Available on Amazon

Meditations by Jonel Abellanosa is a beautiful book of 27 poems that seem to be written straight from the author's heart. I found the poems touching, meditative, and very much "alive" in a divinely inspired way. Many are written in the first person, which gives you a sense of the inner strength and character the poet draws upon to craft these poems.

Strong in visual imagery. Lyrical, whimsical, magical...They beckon to you from the page, then leave you reeling in a profound and quiet way. Few poets can invoke that sense of wonder and awe we long for after the book has been closed, but Jonel Abellanosa is one who can and does, whether intentional or not.

The Salamander Chronicles 

The Salamander Chronicles by Don Beukes is a well-crafted book containing 79 pages. The cover is beautiful and points clearly to the remarkable words found inside.

Conor O'Sullivan received a BA in History and Political Science from UCD and an MA in International Affairs from NYU. His short fiction has been published in the Lakeview Journal, the Bitchin' Kitsch and accepted to Dual Coast Magazine, an affiliate publication of Prolific Press. The Short Story, a UK independent publisher, will publish his work, 'Out to Wreck', as a chapbook in 2018. He lives in London where he works as a sports journalist.

Sheehan served in the 31st Infantry in Korea 1951-52, graduated Boston College 1956, published 30 books, multiple works in Rosebud, Literally Stories,Linnet’s Wings, Serving House Journal, Copperfield Review, Literary Orphans, Eastlit, Indiana Voices Journal, Frontier Tales, DM du Jour, In Other Words-Merida,Literary Yard, Rope & Wire Western Magazine, Greensilk Journal. He has received 32 Pushcart nominations and 5 Best of Net nominations, sundry other awards. Newer books are Swan River Daisy, Jehrico, and The Cowboys, with 3 books being considered, and one to be published on November 1, by Pocol Press, Beside the Broken Trail.

Alice Frances Wickham is from Ireland. She has lived in London since 1987 and has been writing on and off during that period.  In 2011 Alice completed her Masters in Writing and Literary Criticism at Birkbeck in London and she has embarked on a novel, which has morphed into a perpetual saga, and Alice hopes it will end before she does. Alice is also working on a satire about the Health Industry, which is nearing completion.  She runs the popular blog,, and her work has appeared in Edge magazine, Litro magazine, New London Writers, Paradise Press, and other outlets. 

Andrew Hogan received his doctorate in development studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before retirement, he was a faculty member at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, where he taught medical ethics, health policy and the social organization of medicine in the College of Human Medicine.

Jenny Sturgill is a nurse living in Louisville, Ky with her husband. When she is not writing she enjoys cooking and gardening. She's had stories and essays published in The Kentucky Explorer, Ky Story, Indiana Voice Journal, The Pink Chameleon, Enchanted File Cabinet, Page&Spine, Longstoryshort, Edify Magazine, and numerous more. She is also the author of Against the Wind: How I survived my life with Grandma.

I live with my children and crazy dogs in Middletown, Kentucky, a stone's throw from the beautiful horse farms Kentucky is always bragging about. During my career in education, I served as middle school principal in one of the largest school districts in the US; I share many skills with cat-herders. I love to read, write, cook, and sit in the sand watching the waves when I can. My poems and stories have appeared in several journals and anthologies. I'm also published in children's literature.

Cecilia is a published poet from Kanonah, N.Y. She writes stories; and has also published 3 small books. The science and observation of the wild, and natural environment are her subjects and inspiration. She also has endless fascination with the human psyche in all its complexities of expression.

Muhammad Nasrullah Khan is a fiction writer from Pakistan, currently living in Saudi Arabia where he is lecturer in English at Taif University. He is known for weaving Asian culture into creative evocative settings and memorable characters. In a profile of Nasrullah’s work titled “A Man Who Was Donkey,” The Gawanus Book called it “stunning.” This short story was selected among the Notable Online Short Stories of 2003. His short story ‘In Search of God’ was included in Silverfish Book’s Twenty-Two New Asian Short Stories, published in 2016. He has been published in Evergreen Review, Indiana Voice Journal, Newtopia Magazine, Gowanus Books, Offcourse Literary Journal, The Raven Chronicles, and many others. His debut story collection, In Search of God can be found here:

This month's featured books will make wonderful Christmas presents!  "Across the Light" by Bruce Owens, "The Wild Essential" by Claudine Nash, "Languid Lusciousness with Lemon" by Joan Leotta, and "Have We Been Screwed?" by Teresa Roberts.

September 13, 2017

Photograph Courtesy of Ken Allan Dronsfield

With this issue, we're sending thoughts, prayers, good vibes, and positive energy to our poetry editor, David Allen as he recovers from surgery, and to Jennifer Criss, our art editor, as she has made the decision to leave Indiana Voice Journal. We are going to miss her, and we appreciate all the hard work she has poured into IVJ. For now, all visual art and photography should be sent to I've updated our guidelines page to reflect that change and a change concerning reprints and multiple category submissions as well. Be sure to check before submitting.

If you haven't heard of Twitter-famous parenting comedian James Breakwell, be sure to check out our interview, and an excerpt of his first book "Only Dead on the Inside: A Parent's Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse." His story is inspiring, and his humor, hilarious!

A huge thank you goes out to all the poets, artists, and writers in this issue who continue to lift us with their wisdom and their words. Thanks, everyone, for truly making this a wonderful edition of Indiana Voice Journal. Best of the Net and a few other announcements are coming soon. ~Janine Pickett


Interview and Book Excerpt with James Breakwell 


James Breakwell, an Indianapolis-based comedy writer behind the viral Twitter account @XplodingUnicorn built up nearly a million followers by writing family-friendly jokes about his four daughters, ages 7 and under.

James parlayed this meager (his words) internet accomplishment into a book deal. His comedy book, "Only Dead on the Inside: A Parent's Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse" comes out October 10th. It's being published by BenBella Books, and is available for pre-order.

James Breakwell is a professional comedy writer and amateur father of four girls, ages seven and under. He is best known for his family humor Twitter account @XplodingUnicorn, which has more than 700,000 follow- ers. The account went viral in April 2016 thanks to a feature article on the front page of Buzzfeed. The resulting attention from media outlets around the world transformed Mr. Breakwell from a niche comedy writer into one of the most famous dads on social media.

Blanca Alicia Garza is a Poet from Las Vegas, Nevada. She is a nature and animal lover, and enjoys spending time writing. Her poems are published in the Poetry Anthologies, "Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze", and "Dandelions in a Vase of Roses" now available at Blanca's work can be found in The Poet Community, Whispers, The Winamop Journal, Indiana Voice Journal, Tuck Magazine, Raven's Cage Ezine, Scarlet Leaf Review as well as Birdsong Anthology 2016, Vol 1.

Henry Ahrens lives, writes, and teaches a variety of high school English classes in the leafy hills of Cincinnati, Ohio. His work has appeared in Tipton Poetry Journal, From the Edge of the Prairie, and Pudding 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.

Michael Griffith began writing poetry to help his mind and spirit become healthy as his body recovered from a life-changing injury. His works have recently appeared both online and in print in The Good Men Project, the Starving Poets Tour anthology book, Stanzic Stylings, Degenerate Literature, NY Literary Magazine, and Wild Words. He teaches and resides near Princeton, NJ.

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been featured in numerous literary magazines and anthologies , including Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Blueline, and Halcyon Days. Three Bright Hills Press Anthologies, Journals, and others..Her latest collection is "Having Lunch with the Sky." She has four Best of the Net nominations.

Judy Moskowitz started playing piano at the age of three and became a professional jazz musician. She has performed throughout the New York City area and was part of the jazz scene in New York. Judy started writing poetry three years ago and has been published in Indiana Voice Journal, Midnight Dreamers Of The Yellow Haze, The Poet, Whispers Of The Wind, Leaves Of Ink, and Poetry Life & Times. She currently resides in Boca Raton Florida where she continues to play jazz and write poetry. They live side by side in her veins and soul.

Edilson Afonso Ferreira,73, is a Brazilian poet who prefers to write in English rather than Portuguese. He began his literary life when he was 67 and has been published in numerous literary journals. Ferreira lives in the small town of Formiga with his wife, three sons and a granddaughter. His first Poetry Book, “Lonely Sailor,”is scheduled for publication in 2018 by Olympia Publishers, London, UK. He was been nominated for The Pushcart Prize 2016.

Soodabeh Saeidnia lives in NYC but originally is from Persia. She has a PhD in Pharmacognosy and has worked as a researcher, assistant and associate professor in the Kyoto University (Japan), TUMS (Iran), the University of Saskatchewan (Canada). She is interested in English literature and poetry, and has published a collection of her poems, "Words for Myself," in Farsi. Her English poems have been published in various American and Canadian anthologies and literary magazines including Pharmacognosy Magazine, Great Weather for Media, Squawk Back, Indiana Voice Journal, Sick Lit Magazine, Tuck Magazine, Duane's PoeTree, and others. Her first collection of contemporary poems, “Street of the Ginkgo Trees," and  several anthologies where she is  both the editor and contributor, are available on Amazon.  Visit her blog at

Rafik Massoudi was born in Tunisia iand now lives in Oman. He received an M.A. in English Language and Literature in 2008 from the Higher Institute of Languages in Tunis. Currently, he is Lecturer of English Language, English Language Unit, Arab Open University-Oman Branch. He is also a researcher in English literature and published an article entitled “The Impure Identity in Neruda`s Poetry: Plural Identities” in the International Journal of Literary Humanities. He recently published another article titled "Narrating Irish Identity: Retrieving Irishness in the Works of William Butler Yeats and Seamus Heaney." His research interests include, among others, post-colonialism and postmodernism and their deal with identity, culture and history.

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, Forge, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker and elsewhere. His most recent collection is The Osiris Poems published by box of chalk, 2017. For more information, including free e-books and his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities,” please visit his website at

JD DeHart is a writer and teacher. His work has appeared recently at Oddball Poetry and Cacti Fur, among other places. He blogs at

Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. Her poem  "A Rose For Gaza" was shortlisted for the Theatre Cloud"'War Poetry for Today" 2014 competition. This and many other poems, have been widely published, in recent anthologies such as - "Alice In Wonderland" by Silver Birch Press, "The Border Crossed Us" and "Rise" from Vagabond Press, as well as many other online and print publications. Find Lynn online at:

Sreyash Sarkar , is a poet, painter, practicing Hindustani Classical musician, and an aspiring researcher in Microelectronics and Nanotechnology. Educated in Kolkata, Bangalore and Paris, he has been a student correspondent at The Statesman, Kolkata from his school, South Point. In 2012, in an international poetry competition organized in memory of Yeats, his poem was shortlisted among 40 other poets from all over the world.  He has been featured in “Five Poetry Magazine,” “Muses,” “El Portal,” “Tagore for Us,” “The Country Cake-Stall,” “The Orange Orchard,” among others. He is also editor-in-chief of Kalomer Kalomishak, a bilingual magazine, which he founded in 2013. He currently divides his time between Kolkata and Paris.

Ken Allan Dronsfield was nominated for The Best of the Net and two  Pushcart Awards for Poetry in 2016. His poetry has been published world-wide in various publications throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. His work has appeared in The Burningword Journal, Belle Reve Journal, Setu Magazine, The Literary Hatchet Magazine, The Stray Branch, Now/Then Manchester Magazine, and many more. He 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 two poetry anthologies, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze and Dandelion in a Vase of Roses, both available from

Laurie Kuntz is an award-winning poet and film producer. She taught poetry in Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines. Recently retired, she lives in an endless summer state of mind.

Sergio A. Ortiz is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a four-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016 Best of the Net nominee. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in FRIGG, Tipton Poetry Journal, Drunk Monkeys, and Bitterzeot Magazine. He is currently working on his first full-length collection of poems, Elephant Graveyard. He lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Teresa Roberts is a writer and a wanderer. She's the author of "Finding the Gypsy in Me," "Tales of an International House Sitter and Creative Paths to Freedom," "How to Live Your Dream Life ASAP."  Her latest book, "Have We Been Screwed? / Trading Freedom for Fairy Tales" is available on Amazon. Teresa has lived all over the world and now resides during the winter in Spain. She notes: "I was bitten by wanderlust many years ago. I was also born with an independent spirit. That might explain my gypsy soul."

Angel Edwards, a member of SOCAN, BMI and VMA owns a small music publishing company. A dozen of her songs are published by Saddlestone Publishing. She currently performs as a solo acoustic electric singer songwriter guitarist. Her poems have been published in numerous magazines and journals. Angel is preparing her first book of poetry and short stories and has one completed fantasy novella. She is seeking a publisher for her works.

Ken Williams worked as a social worker for the homeless, primary the mentally ill, but including veterans, women, the elderly, drug and alcohol addicted and the physically disabled in Santa Barbara CA, for over thirty years. His dedication to his clients has been acknowledged by the Board of Supervisors, the State Senate, State Assembly, A.C.L.U. Santa Barbara Chapter, Housing Authority, California chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and other organizations. His work was  highlighted in the documentary, "Shelter," and his writings have appeared in Columbia University’s: Columbia Journal, Cecile’s Magazine, the Huffington Post, The Potomac,  Mobius, Better Than Starbucks, The Criterion, and other journals.  He is a disabled combat Marine veteran of the Vietnam War. "Fractured Angel," is his most recent novel. His blog is at:

Ann Christine Tabaka was born and lives in Delaware. She is a published poet, artist, chemist, and personal trainer. She loves gardening, cooking, and the ocean. Chris lives with her husband and two cats. Her poems have been published in numerous national and international poetry journals, reviews, and anthologies.

Jordan Krais is a tall windblown poet from the suburbs of Long Island. He comes from a long line of liars, poets, and story tellers.

In the fall of 2008, Lynda McKinney Lambert retired from her teaching career at Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA where she was Professor of Fine Arts and Humanities. She now divides her days between writing, knitting and creating mixed-media fiber art. She exhibits her art in national & international exhibitions. Lambert’s writing focus is poetry and creative non-fiction. Currently, she has three new books in development. One is creative non-fiction essays, and two are poetry books. She is the author of "Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage," published by Kota Press.

Goutam Karmakar is a PhD Research Scholar at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at National Institute of Technology Durgapur, India. He is a bilingual writer and his articles and research papers have been published in many International Journals. He has contributed papers in many edited books on Indian English Literature. He loves to read and write poetry and his his first book of poetry is planned for later this year. He is interested in Indian English Literature, especially poetry, and Postmodern and Postcolonial literature.

G. Louis Heath, Ph.D., Berkeley, is Emeritus Professor at  Ashford University. Clinton, Iowa. He enjoys reading his poems at open mic events and often hikes along the Mississippi River, stopping to work on a poem pulled from his back pocket, His books include :Leaves Of Maple," "Long Dark River Casino," and "Redbird Prof: Poems Of A Normal U, 1969-1981." He has published poems in a wide array of journals, including Eunoia, Episteme, Black Poppy Review, Lunaris Review, Whispers, Dead Snakes, Raw Dog Press, Weird Reader, Literary Yard,and Houseboat Literary Magazine.

CHARLES E.J. MOULTON has been a stage performer since age eleven. His trilingual, artistic upbringing, as the son of Gun Kronzell and Herbert Moulton, lead to a hundred stage productions, countless cross-over concerts, work as a bandleader and as an acting teacher. He is a regular contributor for Idea Gems, has written for Shadows Express, Cover of Darkness, Vocal Images and Pill Hill Press. He is a tourguide, a big-band-vocalist, a filmmaker, a painter, a voice-over-speaker, a translator, is married and has a daughter. Charles E.J. Moulton's passion is creative versatility. His short story collection, Aphrodite's Curse: 21 Tales of Love and Terror can be purchased by clicking the link. Homepages:

Anshu Choudhry holds degrees of Masters level in Mathematics and English. She is based in New Delhi, India and works for the Government of India. Her poems and short stories have appeared in several Indian and international magazines and journals, including Kritya, Ken*again, Full of Crow, Asian Signature, Muse India, East Lit, Hans India, Setu Journal, Silver Birch Press, and anthologies amongst others.

Todd Outcalt lives in Brownsburg and is the author of over thirty-five books in six languages. His  recent titles include "All About Martin Luther King, Jr.," and "The Seven Deadly Virtues." These poems will be included in an upcoming book entitled "Circus."

Lisa Keifer is a writer, blogger, and stay-at-home mom who enjoys life in Indiana with her husband and son. She has recently been published in Indiana Voice Journal's March 2017 Women's issue and also TWJ Magazine's April 2017 issue. Her work of short fiction entitled "Pre-Calc Predicament" was included in the June 2017 issue of Silver Pen's Youth Imagination. Lisa blogs about family, relationships, and mental health issues at

Denny Kolakowski has had short stories, essays and poetry published in numerous outdoor magazines, literary journals, and periodicals throughout the 70’s and 80’s. Writing throughout the past ten years has included screenplays currently in pre-production and development. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association and a mechanical engineering graduate of Pennsylvania State University, serving as operations manager for the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, the University of Pittsburgh Applied Research Center and the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office. Please see

Marianne Lyon has been a music teacher for 39 years. After teaching in Hong Kong she returned to the Napa Valley and has been published in various literary magazines and reviews. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2016. She is a member of the California Writers Club, Healdsburg Literary Guild. She is an Adjunct Professor at Touro University Vallejo California

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Tau, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Naugatuck River Review, Abyss and Apex and Midwest Quarterly.

Gretchen Ford is a Los Angeles based artist. She paints public space murals as well as smaller works.   Website:, Instagram: harlequinjester99, 2protectandserve, dtlafaces.

Amy Nemecek lives in northern Michigan with her husband, son, and two cats. Her poetry and prose have appeared in The Windhover,Topology, The 3288 Review, Mothers Always Write, Foliate Oak, and Indiana Voice Journal. When Amy isn’t working with words, she enjoys taking long walks along country roads and watching baseball. She shares her thoughts on writing and life at

Ilhem Issaoui is a 23-year-old Tunisian translator, poet, and short story writer. Some of her poems and short stories have appeared both online and in print in magazines including: Three Line Poetry, Salis Online Magazine, Mind Magazine, Mad Swirl Magazine, and Danse Macabre. She has one book of poetry entitled "Fragments of a Wounded Soul."

Poetry in the Dark

Where there is no Light, Darkness Lives

The darkness; some of us flee from its macabre peculiar shadows, while others fall right into the fiery arms of its boundless abyss; where there are zilch traces of light and chambers of repulsive undesirable secrets! And Author Ken Allan Dronsfield unveils them all! But there are not just skeletons hiding inside the closet of a shadowed mind in this riveting chillers edition; there are also poetic vessels stowed with centuries of twisted tales and gluttonous nightmares, containing unfathomable evils of iniquities that harvest and grow the black, dark seeds of infinite sin and transgression, birthed with warped roots. So beware, don’t ever become a lost soul of the cellaring, it’s nothing like being lost in the dark. No. It’s much, much worse.

Author Ken Allan Dronsfield numbs our hearts, literally, with his bone-chilling poetic narrations from, The Cellaring; where we read of the explicit terror that vengefully rapes the earth of lost souls and deliberately opposes the light. The author extracts these morbid depictions directly from the depths of what he references to as, a Shadowed Mind; the perfect host to accompany you as each poem travels beyond the blackness of the universe, and deeper than the blank silence that exists at the depths of the sunless ocean!

To begin, the title seems to signify someone possibly confined to a cellaring, hence the title of the book, which happens to also be the name of his first featured poem. Now, what’s in this cold underground crypt-like place is the important question! Normally, it is used to store wine, but this cellaring holds something a bit more sinister!

Close your eyes and imagine…an anonymous and strange character standing ‘in a burial dress with a purple lilac purse and Easter bonnet’. Your nose struggles to breathe as you try your best to avoid suffocation, as the cellaring reeks of disintegrating bodies! Oddly enough, the clandestine character in the poem can actually bear the foul aroma! Considering the theme of this book, whoever, or better yet, whatever it is…must not be human. Perhaps, the hidden warning in this poem is: beware of what may exist in the cellaring!

Many of his poetic thrillers are written in brevity, yet do not lose the moment or eliminate useful detail; because of this, the result is mini poetry-tales of horror with a beginning, middle, and end. Moreover, the arrangement and clever writing style identified with the horror genre perfectly! He made every word count and relate to the specific cadence the poem presented, crafting metaphors that incite graphically striking and realistic imagery that is unsettling to any good spirit. Reading selected poems make you feel as if you are becoming lost in the thick, cloudy, blackness of the noxious smoke from the fiery flames of wickedness, the entire time searching and seeking for some beacon of light, a small glimmer of hope. But on this riveting journey, there is none. Only the noise of the ‘Soulless Symphony’, the title of our favorite featured poem.

In contrast to some of Ken’s other poems, it possesses a certain type of beauty and tranquility that almost seems peaceful. The author uses soothing and fascinating metaphors, saying, “enticed lyrical pearls…harmony upon heart” and “caged essence sings of red strawberry fields”; completely tantalizing! This piece was an ingenious creation of imagination and creativity, painting an abstract portrait of an unknown world where there is a feeling of uneasiness that something sinister lives within the seducing metaphorical compositions.

The poem, ‘Penny For Your Soul’ is written like a classic, with a ‘grim-reaper-like’ character out hunting for souls. And guess what he’s offering for them? A penny. The beast apparently doesn’t feel a soul is worth too much, or this is just simply another hateful and evil act that feeds the beast’s ego. Either way, the lost soul wandering outside on a warm day, the month of May, is the perfect prey for this frightening nightmarish monster. The character has no natural zest for life, and the narrator tells us that they do not care if they live or die. Is this a sign of a carefree, content, and self-elevated individual? Or a snapshot of someone with, for some reason or another, a curiosity for the darkness? It isn’t hard to tell when we continue to read and the narrator tells us that the character dares to ‘nervously grin’ at the creature, and when he does, ‘the sky rumbles, the clouds part, and the winds blow’. Something sinister happens and we aren’t sure if our imaginations want to find know what!

‘Pink Flower (A Requiem for Death)’ serenely ushers expired souls who say “please take me home…” desiring a blanket of light, for death’s icy touch can be uncomfortably cold. This poem goes far into the earth where the spirit accepts it’s new place and home, buried underneath the ground, and one of the most chilling scenes depicted in this poem is when the narrator says “here I now lie deep in this hallowed ground, listening for the sounds of the infernal digging” as if the spirit or being is still alive…but are they? Pleading, the spirit listens to the sound of the infernal crew cover it’s burial to seal the end, once and for all, joyfully anticipating the new home that awaits it, where the pink flowers grow.

And what of the place known as, “Old Haunted Grove”? In this torturous terror, Ken writes about a ‘tortured banshee’ and mentions a ‘long coiled rope’ to possibly suggest the torture originated from the suffering of a lynching, or hanging (a common punishment for women deemed as witches long ago). The style of this poem is unique, with the tortured banshee speaking directly to the audience, offering her hand to assist those who dare to walk the ‘slippery slopes’ of Old Haunted Grove, for it must be easy to fall along the long raucous ride (according to the banshee).

There is also a poem entitled ‘Final Fate’ which stamps imprints on your mind and captivates you with it’s strange characterization, saying “I’m a lover without love; dishonest to the honest, beautiful without beauty” and “lost, but not alone”, a labyrinthine explanation in a parable-like format that challenges your mind to decipher the underlying meaning. Whereas poems such as ‘Hood of the Spineless Drivel’ are a lot more easy to decipher. This particular selection re-creates a moment that blood has forever stained and tainted human history, when ‘whips of black would splatter dark skin blood’ and dancing murderers ‘burnt crosses’ at the smell and taste of death. It is quite a disturbing poem and denotes cruel and inhumane behavior at the hands of man towards one another. Do where do the boundaries of the darkness lie? Conceivably, none. From earth to underworlds, the darkness can be hard to escape…our best advice; avoid it at all costs!

To summarize our experience, Author Dronsfield did an exceptional job at bringing the concept of this book to life! It is atypical from many books we have read in the past, distinguished with a grim and grisly theme. We are impressed by the quality of the author’s writing, as each and every poem illustrates a specific scene, and not the simple scenes of apparitions and spirits on Halloween you may laugh at or take lightly… Ken’s creative and imaginative poetry compositions are hellishly real, with each individual poem granting access to an entirely foreign world; a sphere in which despicable corruption and death attempt to pull you into an inescapable web of shards and thorns. It is downright shocking!

There is absolutely no doubt that the author lived up to the title of the book in this publication. He crafts words with such skill and expertise, constantly finding various ways of describing scenes, characters, and emotions without losing sight of the essence of poetry. Questions arise about the unknown that you aren’t sure you really want answers to and in the end, all we can do is only pray you never encounter The Cellaring.

We rate this book 5 stars! Author Dronsfield is a gifted poet that will not only tell you poetry-tales of the darkness, he shows you…and it’s not too pretty.

Written By: Realistic Poetry


About the Author

Ken Allan Dronsfield is a published poet and author originally from New Hampshire, now residing in Oklahoma. He loves thunderstorms, walking in the woods at night, and spending time with his cats Merlin and Willa.

He is the co-editor of the poetry anthology titled, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze available at His published work can be found in reviews, journals, magazines, and anthologies throughout the web and in print.

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