Monthly Archives: March 2015

Frances McColl Stewart: A True Friend in Poetry

Stewart - Mac and the Princess Cover JPEGMac and the Princess by Frances McColl Stewart is a very special release for Middle Island Press. It’s a children’s story with coloring pages which made it a unique publishing project, but beyond that, Fran and I “go back,” so to speak. She lived in this tiny town of West Union, WV when I arrived here in 2005, and it was poetry (of which she’s a true patron) that brought us together. I might have considered her a “closet poet,” more capable than what she would humbly admit, though I saw the adeptness of her poetry which she balances with the meek humility of her spiritual being. So anyway…

Fran was the one who founded the annual West Union Fest and stirred up all kinds of activity, gathered vendors, residents and the Press, and really made this place “happen,” put it on the map alongside a few other movers and shakers. She attended town meetings and had one of my poems nominated as the official poem of the Town of West Union. I was so touched that I wanted to do something in return, so I decided to create a chapbook of area poetry to sell at the first annual event.

HillsHollows-CoverI gathered the work of twelve poets—Fran, myself and my husband included—and created Hills & Hollows: A Collection of Doddridge County Poetry. I came up with the title even before I had a press name. My Robert and I sat musing one night over a name and I was amazed when he spoke aloud what was floating in my mind: Middle Island Press. That sealed it, and so began what originated as a hobby and has flowered into a business that brings in just enough to keep the coffee flowing and leaves me with enough time to enjoy it.

Fran has since moved, but I hope to pour her a cup this year when she visits. I also wish to do a “Coffee with the Poets” interview with her (I remember that she takes her coffee with cream unstirred so she can enjoy the swirls, the poetry of coffee), and I hope for her that Mac and the Princess sells as well as Hills & Hollows has. Both are available via, and I hope to find time this year to reformat Hills & Hollows and make it available in perfect-bound form, perhaps as an expanded edition complete with acknowledgments to Fran and my husband. From dreams to reality, onward and upward!

Thank You, Fran.

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Posted by on March 13, 2015 in News & Reviews


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Terry Minchow-Proffitt’s Debut Poetry Collection Published in February

Minchow-Proffitt - Full Cover JPEG

“In a sense, Jesus is always living, dying, and living again. Terry Minchow-Proffitt’s poems compress the energy of that then-and-there, here-and-now event into language which cannot finally hold it. His words have their feet on the ground of pain, but they head for an unrealized but real hope.”

—Dr. Guy Sales, author, former pastor, and member of the religion faculty at Mars Hill University



Terry Minchow-Proffitt, poet and retired pastor from St. Louis, Missouri, published a comprehensive chapbook, Seven Last Words, wherein he presents seven poems based on the seven sayings from the Gospels. “Forged within the crucible of suffering, they have the capacity to awaken, to transform our way of beholding God and one another.” Also included in this already widely disseminated collection is an in-depth interview with Mud Season Review. “With brevity that begs to be savored, Seven Last Words renders a powerful portal into the love that continues to radiate during the darkest of times.”

Terry Minchow-Proffitt received degrees in Philosophy from Arkansas State University and Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has done further graduate study in English at the University of Mississippi and in Christian Spirituality at Washington Theological Union. He received certification in Spiritual Direction from The Haden Institute.

His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Arkansas Review, Big Muddy, Christian Century, decomP magazinE, Deep South Magazine, Desert Call, Freshwater, Hash, Mud Season Review, OVS Magazine, Oxford Magazine, Penwood Review, Pisgah Review, Prick of the Spindle, St. Ann’s Review, Tower Journal, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Wild Violet, Words and Images Journal and The Write Room.

Terry Minchow-Proffitt can be reached on Facebook or by email at

For more information visit his website at


Seven Last Words can be purchased via




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Posted by on March 4, 2015 in News & Reviews


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