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Valentines Day Issue 2023

Firstly we want to apologize for how long it took for this issue to be uploaded. But thank you to every single one of our contributors and supporters for being there for our EIC Florence during their sickness. Having children is great until they bring home every germ imaginable, and unfortunately, our EIC doesn't have a great immune system due to chronic illness and general hermit-like living. We will be making a post soon regarding the next 3 issues and submissions returning etc! We thank you for your continued support and your patience! You're all amazing and we are extremely grateful to every single one of you!

Yasmine Perez- is a freshman taking up BS Agricultural Biotechnology from the University of the Philippines Los Baños. She is a short lady with Arts 1 subject and is highly interested in flowers.


Thom Klodowsky-is a writer, and instructor at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. His work has appeared in Local Gem's Poetry Press' New Jersey Poetry Review, and dadakuku, and is forthcoming in Cold Moon Journal, and The Asahi Shimbun. When not writing, he's usually behind the wheel of his dream car, a 2016 Kia Soul. You can see what he's up to at


Zary Fekete- has worked as a teacher in Hungary, Moldova, Romania, China, and Cambodia…lives and works as a writer in Minnesota…has been featured in various publications including Zoetic Press, Bag of Bones Press, and Mangoprism…has a debut chapbook of short stories coming in February 2023 from Alien Buddha Press and a novelette (In the Beginning) coming out in May from ELJ Publications…enjoys books, podcasts, and long, slow films.


Strider Marcus Jones- is a poet, law graduate and former civil servant from Salford, England with proud Celtic roots in Ireland and Wales. He is the editor and publisher of Lothlorien Poetry Journal A member of The Poetry Society, his five published books of poetry reveal a maverick, moving between cities, playing his saxophone in smoky rooms.

His poetry has been published in numerous publications including: Dreich Magazine; The Racket Journal; Trouvaille Review; dyst Literary Journal; Impspired Magazine; Melbourne Culture Corner; Literary Yard Journal; The Honest Ulsterman; Poppy Road Review; The Galway Review; Cajun Mutt Press; Rusty Truck Magazine; Rye Whiskey Review; Deep Water Literary Journal; The Huffington Post USA; The Stray Branch Literary Magazine; Crack The Spine Literary Magazine; A New Ulster; The Lampeter Review; Panoplyzine Poetry Magazine and Dissident Voice.


Stephanie Holden- (she/they) is a Halloween-loving queer living in New Orleans, Louisiana. She writes about love, trauma, gore, and the self. Her interests are fantasy books, body modification, and the South. Find her work at or forthcoming in Martello Journal, Cloves, Soft Star Magazine, Karma Comes Before, Diet Water, The B’K, Hearth & Coffin, Bullshit Lit, Colossus, The Journal of the Wooden O, The Kennesaw Tower, and BEST SERVED COLD, or her narcissistic tweets at @smhxlden.


Steve Zmijewski- is a dad of three boys and at this leg of his life, that is what he leads with.

Eatontown, New Jersey is where he and the family currently reside.

Steve has been writing his sensitivity out, as a way to cope and make sense of all the stuff in and

around him, for quite some time now. He and his wife, Lindsey, run Two Key Customs.

Site, Shop and more can be found at


SOUM (Screams of Unfettered Minds)- is a newly-formed female trio whose poems lean towards the darker aspects of life through never-ending shadow-work. They describe their style as raw, unapologetic, unfiltered, cheeky, punching straight from the heart. They champion bringing awareness to mental health and social issues.


Sonia Nicholson’s- work has appeared in various publications including most recently Inspirelle, Literary Heist, Pinhole Poetry, Heimat Review, and Rivanna Review. Her writing regularly explores themes of identity, family, and place. A first generation Canadian who grew up in a Portuguese immigrant household, she was born and raised in Osoyoos, British Columbia. Sonia holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree (with Distinction) in French and Spanish from the University of Victoria, and continues to call Victoria home. Her debut novel, Provenance Unknown, will be published in Spring 2023 by Sands Press.


Shamik Banerjee- is a poet and poetry reviewer from the North-Eastern belt of India. He loves taking long strolls and spending time with his family. His deep affection with Solitude and Poetry provides him happiness.


SJ Korzelius- is a writer, photographer, and outdoor enthusiast. You can find her at the keyboard, behind the pages of a book, in the garden, on a bike, or playing ball, and always with a camera. Visit her on Twitter @SharonKorzelius and IG @sharonkorzwrites


Gina Carrillo, aka Black Widow- is a Spoken Word Artist from Franklin,TN.

Creator of The Prodigal Poets Poetry Collective

Author of Kaleidoscope, which can be found on Amazon & Barnes and Noble Websites.

Peace, Love & Poetry


Alyssa Hubbard- is an emerging Michigan-based writer who finds wonder in expressing the heart's soft whispers through a pen racing across a piece of paper. Hubbard is a sucker for writing and reading about love in all forms it takes. When she sets her pen down, Hubbard spends a lot of time cuddling with her cats, going on adventures with her partner, and trying to stay present in every moment of this seemingly too short life.



Rye Jaffe- is a neuroscientist who occasionally does writing, or alternatively, a writer who occasionally does neuroscience. In their spare time, they enjoy plotting world domination.


Samuel L. Rubinstein- is a writer and comedian from New Jersey. Often blending humor and poetry Sam writes on themes of growth, maturity, and mental health. In 2019 Sam released his first children's book "To the Spider in My House" Additionally Sam has toured with his multiple one man comedy shows. In 2022 Sam published his first full length collection of poetry "A Candle Regaining Strength." Most recently Sam released a chapbook through Two Key Customs titled "Self Diagnosis."


Sarah Meade- writes for children and adults. Her work has been published in Hop to It: Poems to Get You Moving (Pomelo, 2020), Babybug, Ladybug, Highlights Hello, High Five, and Phoenix English magazine, with additional pieces forthcoming. When not writing or reading piles of picture books, she can be found chasing her children around their local playgrounds in North Carolina


Ruth Nakamura- is from the high desert where she grew up very attuned to nature in the Rio

Grande valley. She co-wrote a book of poetry, titled Crow Moon, with her comadre Anna

Griego, with whom she has shared poetry and friendship for many years. The book touches on themes of healing, mysticism, and magical realism that are both cultural and universal. In 2021 Ofrenda Magazine published two of Ruth’s pieces, a creative non-fiction short essay titled “Ofrendas for Grandpa” and a poem, “Prayer”. In 2022, Ofrenda Magazine published her short essay titled “Poetry Is My Medicine, Our Healing”. may find and read these works online here at . Cordella Press published two of her poems, “Grandmother, Hummingbird” and “Fallen Body” in Issue 17, which can be found at The chapbook, Root Women, a collab with Anna Griego and Jerry

Martinez, was picked up for publication and is now available at You may find Ruth on Instagram @veranotaos and @blackberrybramblebooks for notification of upcoming work. You may purchase a copy of Crow Moon here


Ryan Keating- is a writer, teacher, and winemaker on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. His work can be found in publications such as Saint Katherine Review, Ekstasis Magazine, Amethyst Review, Macrina Magazine, Fathom, Vocivia, Roi Fainéant, and Dreich.


Richard M. Ankers- is the English author of The Eternals Series and Britannia Unleashed. Richard has featured in Expanded Field Journal, Love Letters To Poe, Spillwords, and feels privileged to have appeared in many more. Richard lives to write.


Rachel Orta- is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she lives with her spouse and their dog Mumford. She is inspired by the mysteries of nature and the complexities of family and regret. Along with writing poetry, she enjoys spending time outside and listening to local indie bands. Orta’s writing has appeared in Limelight Review, Fahmidan Journal, Moonflake Press, and Musing Publications. Follow her on Twitter @orta_rachel.


R.S.- is a denizen of Delhi, India who writes Poetry to find harmony in life. She had fallen in love with versing during her days as a student of literature. She rises early to feel inspired with the morning star and create new rhymes


R. N. Cogley- is an Irish writer. His work has featured in The Wexford Bohemian, With Confetti Magazine, Provenance Journal, and many more. He is the author of The Elemental Witches series. You can find out more at


Plazzybag- is from Liverpool. She does really bad tattoos and writes poems sometimes.


Olivia Omotajo- is a second year student at university with an unhealthy obsession with 'A House on Mango Street' by Sandra Cisneros. When times stops running and starts to amble, you will find her hobbies very much overlap with those of a cat: napping on warm floors, people watching from a tall vantage point, and kneading loaves. She can be found on all platforms as @gro0via.


Patricia Jeanelle C. De Manuel- is a new freshman from the University of the Philippines Los Baños, currently taking an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering. She primarily takes inspiration for her visual arts from socially significant norms and values prevalent in the ever-evolving society, such as the continuously emerging contemporary issues with political context and relevance. Additionally, she uses art-making as a form of relaxation and self-expression.


Munsif Husami- is an Indian-American multidisciplinary artist based in New Jersey. As a spoken-word performer, he shares his poetry and prose with audiences across the Tristate area. He writes about identity, mental health, personal growth and culture. His book of poems on mental health, titled “Honey, I Met The Shrink”, was published by Two Key Customs earlier this year. He has featured in Soup Can Magazine for a lighthearted poem on the military-industrial complex and its effects on veterans.


Moonmoon Chowdhury- is a poet and writer. Her work has been previously published or is forthcoming in Borderless journal, Tell Me Your Story, A second cup of tea by The Hive Publishers, The Pine Cone Review, Sylvia magazine, Sonic Boom Magazine, Amethyst Review, and elsewhere. She is currently based in Amsterdam.


Michael Hoff- grew up in Suburbia, South Jersey. He is an abstract artist, comedian, and poet. Mental health awareness is a central theme to his artistic and literary works. He has self published 4 poetry books and his work has been featured in numerous anthologies and magazines. Painting became a new creative outlet when the pandemic hit in 2020. An abstract artist, he loves getting lost in paintings for hours. If you like to follow Michael Hoff’s artistic journey, feel free to find him listed as @mikehoffcreates on all platforms.


Linda M. Crate- (she/her) is a Pennsylvanian writer whose poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has eleven published chapbooks the latest being: fat & pretty (Dancing Girl Press, June 2022), and three micro-chapbooks Heaven Instead (Origami Poems Project, May 2018), moon mother (Origami Poems Project, March 2020), and & so I believe (Origami Poems Project, April 2021). She is also the author of the novella Mates (Alien Buddha Publishing, March 2022).


Leslie Cairns (She/her): Leslie Cairns holds an MA degree in English Rhetoric. She lives in Denver, Colorado. She is a Pushcart Prize Nomination for 2022 in the Short Story category ('Owl, Lunar, Twig'). She was an honorable mention in Flash 405's call in Exposition Review (2022). Leslie has upcoming flash, short stories, and poetry in various magazines (Unconventional Courier, Tropico Line, Londemere Lit, and others).


Lawrence Moore- writes poetry from a loft study overlooking Portsmouth where he lives with his husband Matt and nine mostly well behaved cats. His poetry had been published at, among others, Sarasvati, Pink Plastic House and The Madrigal. His chapbook Aerial Sweetshop was released by Alien Buddha Press in January 2022.


Kelsey Lister- is an emerging poet residing in Alberta, Canada. She has work appearing or forthcoming in Maudlin House, Anti-Heroin Chic, Roi Fainéant Press, Parentheses Journa & others. You can find her on Twitter @stolencoat


KB Ballentine- began writing poetry so she could better understand how to teach it to her high school students. Since then she has been drawn to the light and spirit of poetry and has left that ill-fated novel in the bottom drawer – where it belongs!


Kelly Conroy- I am a children’s book writer and poet, a member of SCBWI and Poets’ Garage, and am represented by Sarah Stephens at Red Fox Literary. I was initially inspired to write by my cousins, Stan and Jan Berenstain, creators of the Berenstain Bears, and continue to be inspired by my two rambunctious sons and mini goldendoodle, Chewy. My poems appear in Pomelo Book’s THINGS WE EAT, THINGS WE FEEL, and WHAT IS A FRIEND?, on Better Than Starbucks, and in Bridget Magee’s 10.10 POETRY ANTHOLOGY and TWO TRUTHS AND A FIB ANTHOLOGY. I also have a board book coming out in 2025 that is yet to be announced.

You can find me at, on Twitter at @KellyConroy123, and on Instagram at @kellyconroybooks.


Joshua Merchant- (they / them) is a Black Queer native of East Oakland exploring what it means to be human as an intersectional being. A lot of what they’ve been exploring as of late has been in the realm of loving and what it means while processing trauma, loss, heartbreak. They feel as though as a people, especially those of us more marginalized than others, it has become too common to deny access to our true source of power as a means of feeling powerful. A collective trauma response if you will. However, they’ve come to recognize with harsh lessons and divine grace that without showing up for ourselves and each other, everything else is null and void. Innately, everything Merchant writes is a love letter to their people. Because of this they've had the honor to witness their work being held, understood and published or forthcoming in literary journals such as 580Split, Anvil Tongue Books, Heart Balm, Verum Literary Press, Corporeal, Spiritus Mundi Review, Snow Flake Magazine, Roi Faineant Literary Press, and elsewhere.


Joseph Byrd- His work has appeared in Fatal Flaw, South Florida Poetry Journal, DIAGRAM, and forthcoming work in WAXING & WANING and Tilted House. He’s a 2023 Pushcart Prize nominee, and was in the 2021 StoryBoard Chicago cohort with Kaveh Akbar. An Associate Artist in Poetry under Joy Harjo at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, he is on the Reading Board for The Plentitudes.


John Swain- lives in Montreuil, France. His most recent chapbook, On the Roof Terrace, was published in a bilingual edition. Further information may be found at


Bruce Reisner- is an artist/writer living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His poems, essays, fiction and visual art has appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Sleeve, The Gorko Gazette and The Ranfurly Review.

John Paul J. Tejada- his pen-name is emtee, is a freshman taking BS Civil Engineering in a university in the Philippines. His pronouns is he/him and he likes to dance and write any words when he is bored that could form a poem or even short story.


Gina Maria Manchego- is a multi-medium artist and poet. She has been penning since childhood, her goal is to create dynamic scenes with the written word. Gina lives in the wild mountains of Colorado, USA. Her other work can be experienced at:

Twitter: @GiUknit



Franchesa- is a writer with many voices and styles. She can be found performing on zooms around the world and traveling in person too. A member of The Prodigal Poets aka Cat Woman with Royal DNA ties.




Edward Hemstreet- is an artist & writer from the clay of New Jersey. His work has been featured in several past publications, but now focuses largely on visual art. Outside of art, he may be found exploring New Jersey parks, indulging in high fidelity audio, or making tea for people he loves.

Tinamarie Cox- lives in Northern Arizona with her husband and two children. She writes to escape her mind and explore the universe. Tinamarie has poems and flash fiction lurking in various crevices of the internet. You can keep track of her writing on Instagram@tinamariethinkstoomuch and Twitter@tinamarie_cox.


Emily Patterson (she/her)- is the author of So Much Tending Remains (Kelsay Books, 2022) and To Bend and Braid (2023). She studied English and Education at Ohio Wesleyan University and Ohio State University. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and is published or forthcoming in Rust + Moth, SWWIM, Mom Egg Review, Minerva Rising Press, Whale Road Review, and elsewhere. Connect with her on Instagram @emilypattersonpoet.


Dylan D. Macatangay- (he/him) is an engineering student both by day and by night. (College is demanding.) Reading and writing is his escapism, and has been ever since he learned to use MS Word. Lover of mysteries, fantasies, and romance.


Colin B Osborn- Based in South London, Colin B Osborn is a poet and Musician who blends quotidian observations with unnecessarily theoretical ideas to varying levels of success. His poetic inspiration comes as much from malfunctioning printers and greasy spoon breakfasts as Aristotle and the philosophical interpretations of the Panopticon.


Chris Wood- lives in Tennessee with her husband and several fur babies. She is a member of the Chattanooga Writers' Guild and her work has appeared in several journals and online publications, including Poetry Quarterly, Panapoly, and the American Diversity Report. Learn more at


Chris Dorian- was born and lives in the Garden State. He can be found spitting heartbreak into rusty microphones in dive bars across the state. Links to his media are at


Becky Terranova- is an elder emo, who does stand up comedy about small men's dicks, and poetry about sex and being a disaster to her family


Joe Barca- I am a poet from New England. I once met a girl at Penn Station, and the first words out of my mouth were: I love you. And she didn't run away. I love love poems by Pablo Neruda and by Clementine von Radics.

Atlas Booth- is a writer who lives in Cape Town, South Africa. He has been published in several lit mags. He enjoys an assortment of tea's and cold brew coffee. For more information on his work, visit his website:


Arianna Astuni- is an educator, author, publisher, and proprietor of a small school (IES test prep) and an art gallery (Bowery Art Collective) in Metuchen, New Jersey. Under her authorship, over a dozen books have been published in various test prep fields. Her love for writing is an intrinsic part of her, writing frantically in tiny notebooks profound things. If she had a second love, it would be travel. As a former journalist, she has lived and worked in Egypt, Lebanon, Paris, London, NYC, and various places up and down the east coast. She resided in Cairo, Egypt for 3 years to help start-up magazines get their footing. She worked as associate editor and lead writer for the well-known magazine Enigma. While poetry is her first love, she is working on a book called “Off Season Traveler”, a collection of prose pieces from travels over the last 20 years, and starting a bi-monthly event called Poetry In The Dark at the Bowery Art Collective. She was last published in for her story “The Artichoke Women”.


Annika- is the author of the book 'Grand Treacheries, Little Respites', which she has self-published by using NotionPress. She posts her poems regularly on Instagram, @annika_poetry being her Instagram ID. She finds much joy in creative activities like painting, cooking and especially writing poetry. She hopes to become a full-time author and an established artist in the future. Visiting various cafes around her city for a hot and sweet cup of coffee is one of her favourite things to do!

Ilana Drake- is nineteen years old and is a sophomore at Vanderbilt. When Ilana is not in class, she enjoys writing for change. Ilana's work has been seen in The Tennessean, Ms. Magazine, and PBS NewsHour.


Erin Jamieson (she/her)- holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Miami University of Ohio. Her writing has been published in over eighty literary magazines, and her fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is the author of a poetry collection (Clothesline, NiftyLit, Feb 2023).

Achlys (she/her)- I'm Achlys (she/her), 18 years old, and a student at the University of the Philippines. My interests are sports, Filipino poetry, music, food, and Kdrama. I used to be a student journalist who specialized in writing editorials in Filipino while also participating in sports. Additionally, I enjoy creating poems in our native tongue; before, I used to produce one every day.


Anna Griego- is writer of poetry and prose. Her work entails a sense of magic realism

and presses through the natural into a dreamlike realm. Her poetry is emotionally real and

visual and at times physically felt. Anna is a Native New Mexican residing in

Albuquerque. She received her BA in Creative Writing and minor in Chicano Studies

from the University of New Mexico 2007. She is a co-author of Crow Moon with her

section titled Moon: Illuminated. Currently she participates in a women’s writing group

where they have produced Crow Moon and a chap book titled Root Women published

with Bottlecap Press.


D.C. Nobes- is a scientist who, aside from 2 years on Vancouver Island, spent his first 39 years in or near Toronto, Canada, then 23 years based in Christchurch, New Zealand, 4 years in China, and has now retired to Bali. He used to enjoy winter, but admits that he doesn’t miss the snow or the cold.


K.G. Ricci- is a self-taught NYC artist who has been creating collages for the past seven years. In that time his work has evolved from the larger 24x48 panels to 7x10 books and most recently to a series of 18x24 collages on cardboard titled Incongruities. His work has been in gallery exhibitions throughout the country, and he has appeared in numerous on-line exhibitions. Many of Ken’s most recent “visual stories” have been featured in several literary magazines.


David Müller- is a Potsdam-based audio-visual Artist beeter known as VERFÜHRERVERGELTER his Death Industrial Noise pseudonym. He is exploring the further regions of sound and Vision since 2015. Since than he has played a washing machine, built Instruments out of trash and sex toys and finally recorded a Soundtrack(Sublime Retreat Records) for the classic movie „Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam“ by Paul Wegener. His Music is accompanied by his video and photo works like the „Erossuary-Komplex“ photo series. The first album of VERFÜHRERVERGELTER – [gelöscht] will be released by Produkt 42 Records on the 8th of march 2023.”


Brian Michael Barbeito- is a Canadian poet and photographer. Recent work appears at the Notre Dame Review.

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