Monthly Archives: June 2015

The Nymph of the Unknown Forest by Loni Hoots

(A Middle Island Press poetry book release)

Hoots - Cover 1 JPEGThe Nymph of the Unknown Forest (ISBN 978-0-6924-6730-5) by Loni Hoots is a beautiful perfect-bound poetry chapbook that was released through Middle Island Press earlier this month.

From the Middle Island Press website:

In The Nymph of the Unknown Forest, the deep waters of the subconscious surface softly in this fantasy-full collection of narrative poems rich with the romance of youthful imagination, ethereal as whispers in wind and waves, yet clear and multi-sensory as a lucid dream that returns night after night… 

Browse several pages of this chapbook at It’s also available at the Middle Island Press website. Booksellers may contact me (Christina) directly at if interested in wholesale purchase.

(Middle Island Press supports living poets such as American traveler and writer Loni Hoots. Please consider sharing this page or penning a review.)

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Posted by on June 17, 2015 in Literary News


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Cross Point Road by Rodney Nelson

(A Middle Island Press book release)

Nelson - Cross Point Road Cover JPEGNorth Dakota poet Rodney Nelson’s Cross Point Road (ISBN 978-0-6922-6780-6) is his fifth Middle Island Press title, his second full-length poetry book that we’ve published in the past several months.

It’s a beautiful collection on a variety of subjects. His work in general possesses a quiet sort of panache–sophistication without pretense–and with much to offer readers and poets who genuinely seek to improve their own craft. Nelson has decades of professional literary experience, and he pens his own personal experience in Cross Point Road.

From the Middle Island Press website:

Poet Rodney Nelson’s home region, the Red River prairie, has been called a valley but is in fact a seabed with hidden beaches rimming it. The native and restored grassland of Felton Prairie is up on one of these. Nelson walks there often and has borrowed its name for this collection of poems.

Copies can be purchased through the Middle Island Press website, and elsewhere online.


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Posted by on June 6, 2015 in Literary News


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My View on Poetry Editing

(by Christina Taylor of Middle Island Press)

When I began publishing, I took more editing liberties than I do today. I changed words for the sake of sound, I shortened lines, even completely rewrote them. Most poets were in agreement with my changes and some were not, so the first quality that I recommend that poets look for in editors and/or publishers is EXPERIENCE.

Through experience, through reading many manuscripts while simultaneously getting to know clients more personally, we (editors) tend to soften our critiques, especially in this day and age in which the Internet allows a voice to everyone and we realize how passionately people desire to share something of themselves with readers. We (poets) fall in love with our own creations because we love ourselves; we value our personal experience and our expression.

That considered, I am an editor who believes that ALL poetry is worth sharing.

Whether people will listen isn’t guaranteed, but those who share their poetry share it from the heart or from the gut. Formal or structured poetry is a bit different as I personally see it, more often than not, as passion filtered more heavily through the mind; passion (or mere “content”) diluted to give prominence to structure for the sake of the structure’s merit. That’s okay, too, and much easier to critique or edit, because it resides in a world of poetic rules: iambs, feet, meter, structure.  As for the rest–those who come from the heart or the gut–I just let them speak their own way, and I’m happy for their courage to let their thoughts stand on their own without leaning on structure.

It’s not easy critiquing love letters. It’s not easy critiquing impassioned rants against the world except to illuminate facts. Yet in the professional literary realm, I must “clean up,” sweep commas, hang apostrophes (as “they” say), and I leave it at that whenever possible, because my voice isn’t anyone else’s voice, and poets have a need to share their own voice.


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Posted by on June 5, 2015 in Articles, Literary News


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Hills & Hollows: First Paperback Edition Available

(A Middle Island Press book release)

H&H First Paperback Edition Cover JPEGHills & Hollows: A Collection of Doddridge County Poetry (ISBN 978-0-6924-4773-4) began in 2008 as a saddle-stitched chapbook. It then became a Second Edition which was trimmed in size. From there, it “graduated” to a perfect-bound cover with a photo by Cheri Postlethwait, an area certified organic farmer and friend who loves taking photos. We also “padded” this First Paperback Edition with front-matter and the addition of one more poet.

The thirteen total contributors are: Olivia Bochicchio (my daughter), Cleo Swiger Horton, Laureen D. Kelley, Mari McColl, Gilbert W. Neely, Judy Neely, A. L. O’Prunty, Wanda Osborne, Norma J. Owens, Frances McColl Stewart, Larry Homer Swiger, Christina Taylor (myself), and Robert Taylor (my husband).

This collection of West Virginia poetry sells at the café on Main Street (Porter’s Grinds & Finds) as well as online via We’re proud to have seen this book into anonymous hands around America!

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Posted by on June 2, 2015 in Literary News


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The Sweet Surrender of Love and Nature by Mwati Mwila

(A Middle Island Press book release)

Mwati Mwila - The Sweet Surrender Cover 2 JPEGThe Sweet Surrender of Love and Nature (ISBN 978-0-6923-4953-3) was completed in 2014 and recently copyright-registered and made available for purchase.

It’s a 103-page book of poetry in which “…poet Mwati Mwila muses on love and society, expressing the longings of her soul for a world of balance and a life complete with love and peace. She finds respite in the quiet corners of the world as an objective observer, a subjective feeler, and an aspirer toward spiritual heights and the comfort therein. Her thoughts and emotions flow like rivers, at times serene, and at times breaking passionately around the cruel stones of life, yet always true to the inmost core of her wisdom through experience that has made her both delicate and strong.”

Middle Island Press works to support living poets in sharing their words and inspiring others. Pick up a copy of Mwati’s first full-length poetry book for yourself and a friend through the Middle Island Press website, (browse the book here), or the CreateSpace eStore.

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Posted by on June 2, 2015 in Literary News