Category Archives: News & Reviews

Palm of the Hand Poems by Robert N. Taylor (a Red Salon Release)

Palm of the Hand Poems, a haiku collection by Robert N. Taylor, was originally released as a saddle-stitched chapbook back in 2011. That quaint little edition contained a total of thirteen poems for each of the four seasons plus a Sumi-E brush painting representative of each season. The paintings were executed by Taylor’s former wife, K. K. Taylor, whose work features more heavily in this new 230-page volume which contains fifty poems per season.

As a designer, and I’m beyond pleased with the presentation of the full-page images in particular and am looking forward to designing more books with larger images.

Palm of the Hand Poems pretty much “wraps it up” regarding Taylor’s decades of writing poetry. He continues to pen a tercet each day but is satisfied at this point that all of his poems are available in print.

Signed copies are available directly from the author:

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Posted by on November 3, 2017 in News & Reviews


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“Flashbulb Danger” – Poem by Jack Phillips Lowe

I love receiving physical hand-held mail from poets that we’ve published through Middle Island Press. Poet-friend Jack Phillips Lowe sent me a signed and numbered limited edition copy of “Flashbulb Danger,” which he refers to as an “Onzo Imprints broadside.” 🙂 Furthermore, it’s nice to be reminded now and then that there are poets out there who take their work seriously!

Flashbulb Danger

The night Ophelia left Tecumseh,
she didn’t say a fucking word.
She didn’t steal anything, either.

While Tecumseh was out whoring,
though, Ophelia did go
through his record collection
and switch every Bob Dylan disk
from its companion jacket
to another random sleeve.

So forever after, whenever
Tecumseh reached for Zimmerman,
he knew not what he’d get–
his ears might yearn
for Blood on the Tracks,
but taste The Freewheelin’ Bob instead.

But Tecumseh never bothered
to undo the chaos
Ophelia had wrought.
This crap-shoot, you see,
reminded him of
his long-gone girl and
the flashbulb danger
she’d brought.

Thank you, Jack! Your writing lightens my mood on this overcast day in West Virginia.

(Jack Phillips Lowe has two titles published through Middle Island Press, available at Amazon.)

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Posted by on November 3, 2017 in News & Reviews


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Get Published in Time for the Holidays

History has repeated itself year after year with authors wanting new material published in time for holiday gift-giving. I find myself extra busy usually beginning in October and running through December. It gets challenging to meet deadlines in December, so I recommend getting manuscripts together as soon as possible. Typically I can design a hundred pages in a day and have a cover or two designed in a few hours; the time-consuming part is waiting on the mail as it takes two weeks to receive a proof copy of one’s work and another two weeks for shipments to arrive, thereby stretching a few days over the course of a month. That said, the sooner, the better!

See my “Design & Publishing Services” page for specifics.

Also, for the love of poetry, a reminder of our poetry contest: For those who prefer to avoid design costs and roll the dice, we are accepting manuscripts for our first contest. Keep them coming! The $20 “reader’s fee” is actually what will pay the winner. See this page for more information.

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Posted by on October 29, 2017 in News & Reviews


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Middle Island Press Release: They Gave Us Life (edited by Robert Epstein)

Robert Epstein’s haiku anthologies are quite popular. Yet again we have a strong theme within his latest release: They Gave Us Life: Celebrating Mothers, Fathers & Others in Haiku (Middle Island Press, 2017). It’s a 252-page anthology that was inspired by the loss of Epstein’s mother and is full of what he calls “mourning haiku” and similar forms written and/or artistically expressed by many poets who understand how it feels to lose a close loved one.

This beautiful and touching book, edited and with a full-bodied introduction by Robert Epstein, is available at Amazon and elsewhere online.

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Posted by on October 29, 2017 in News & Reviews


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Vignettes by Frances McColl Stewart

I was thinking recently of some of the most charming poetry of living poets today, and my lovely friend Frances McColl Stewart was the first person to come to mind. When I say charming, I suppose I also mean formal plus feminine. Her Vignettes (Middle Island Press, 2015) is “…a series of poetic vignettes—brief evocative memories, descriptions, words of wisdom (playful and nostalgic in turn) woven with delicate crafting—each inspired by a different loved one; each a gift from the perspective of poet as sister, daughter, friend, great-grandmother.”

From page 35, “Music of the Spheres”:

An intricate score, God’s symphony, with no two notes the same
And yet – they resonate and echo. A living rhyme, no word repeated.
One kernel, seed, will generate till all the world sees bread.
Crescendo or a miracle, it’s all the same to God completed.

The theme of nature sings rhythm and blues’ massive score. First
Man’s Population then plant generation lead, then play rhythm in turn.
And God says, “I’ll feed you, here’s manna, here’s bread, there’s no
Time for the leaven, I need you removed from this land that I spurn!”

Our Savior needed daily bread, as you and I for life.
Christ, so hungry in the flesh, was tempted to take up the stone.
The inorganic’s crashing note would ring eternal discord.
A molecule just here and there, voila — ‘tis bread — but bread alone.

My tiny treble’s in this mix. Like Merlin’s harp, I resonate
When I’m in tune and — Joy — the music soars!
And when I’m off, Christ adds a trill — a haunting minor fugue — or
Some unheard of note will float me back with wings for oars.

Do this in remembrance of how I share your bread and life
Your lilting joy will share My everlasting, univocal song.
That bread for life’s sweet contrapuntal — becomes the main score
Elijah’s bread, then Christ, His loaves — Wait… it was all along.

One can never have too much of this kind of poetry!

(Vignettes by Frances McColl Stewart is available at Amazon.)

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Posted by on October 23, 2017 in News & Reviews


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Middle Island Press Release: Hearts of Glass by Loni Hoots

Hearts of Glass: Poems of the Fragile Heart (Middle Island Press, 2017; ISBN 978-0-9994939-1-5) is the fourth poetry book of Loni Hoots, an active young writer currently residing in Alaska. She pours her heart and soul into her words in a way that all lovers of poetry can relate to. Hearts of Glass “…dives into the world of the fragile glass-like heart, showcasing the passionate memories, somber moments, and devastating blows the heart receives throughout the course of life.”

Enjoy this read on a cool or rainy day, or in the evening when the mind tunes into the dark spaces where emotions and imagination come alive.

Hearts of Glass: Poems of the Fragile Heart is available through Amazon.

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Posted by on October 23, 2017 in News & Reviews


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Middle Island Press Release: Time Tacit by Rodney Nelson

It’s been a pleasure to work with one of North Dakota’s finest poets over the years, Rodney Nelson. He has many books of poetry in print (eight of which have been published through Middle Island Press) and Time Tacit will be his second book release in the year 2017.

Rodney Nelson’s unanticipated “late flowering” of poetry continues with Time Tacit. The components of his range remain unchanged in their changing: prairie, grove, woods, river, desert, canyon, mountain. But now there is a deeper sense of how they will be once people are gone and a more felt honoring of the moment the poet has been granted among them. Nelson thinks that Man arose to stem the overluxuriating of the planet. “You the Burner” is meant for whoever “know the geese/ are not other/ who have a gander/ within you and even so are meant/ and here to put all this to fire.” Yet despair does not come up.

Copies are available for purchase at Amazon.

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Posted by on October 20, 2017 in News & Reviews


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