Poetica  Publishing  Company


Poetica Publishing Company

2023 Miriam Rachimi Poetry
Micro Chapbook Award

Now Open for Submissions:
March 1st - May 31, 2023

Theme: From the spiritual to the sacred

2023 Edition is open for submissions!

Human methane is not an expression one hears every day. Certainly not one you expect to see in a book of poetry, but for Beth SKMorris it was something that was planted in her mind early in her post-9/11 experience as she worked as a volunteer for the WTC Ground Zero Relief Project, Spring Street Warehouse helping to stock-pile and deliver supplies to the firefighters and police at all the Ground Zero clean-up and recovery sites. These words appear near the beginning of In the Aftermath in the poem, Side Effects, uttered by a fireman who needs to change gear before rushing back to the chaos of “the Pile.” From there, Beth leads us on a journey through her volunteer days and the subsequent years with memories of a vast array of people whose lives were impacted by the horrors of 9/11: those who died, mourned, and survived; the first responders, those who cleaned-up and restored, volunteered to help. Those who prayed. My wife, my son, and I were privileged to volunteer at St. Paul’s cathedral adjacent to Ground Zero welcoming the recovery workers from “the Pile” with food, drink, and conversation. I will remember this for as long as I remain on this planet, and I am grateful to In the Aftermath for adding a much greater store of memories to the place in my mind labeled 9/11.”  —Bob Stevenson, 9/11 Volunteer, author of “How I Remember 9/11” READ ABOUT THE COLLECTION

De Profundis is a series of poems exploring the author’s progression in Fahr’s Disease in literal and figurative ways. The series of one-hundred-four poems represent the intense mental challenges of coming to terms with this disease. The book focuses on raw emotions and the effects of denial, anger, bargaining, despair, and acceptance of this incurable and inoperable disorder. The series of poems employs strong imagery, reflections from childhood, references to nature, and unique imagery to present the author’s internal dialogue of despair and reconciliation The author suffers from Fahr’s Disease, Primary Familial Brain Calcification: a syndrome that is caused by calcium deposits on the basal ganglia or cerebral cortex. Its physical manifestations consist of features like Parkinson’s: muscle tremors, muscle stiffness, diminished voice, dis-coordination of fine muscle movements, dementia, diminished memory, and other muscular, physiological, and psychological symptoms. READ ABOUT THE COLLECTION

You find an old rotary phone and answer its cry but instead of a voice, you are greeted by a swarm of bees. I find anxiety to be like that. This is a book for people who have anxiety, but also for people who don't. I like to think it's for everyone because some will feel that familiar ache of thoughts that run too fast and others will swallow lovely weird imagery as they appear. READ ABOUT THE COLLECTION

The poems in the collection were written over the last two decades. Some came all at once, dropping like manna, and others took years to finish and polish. Together they form a lyric memoir about a time in my life when I needed to reckon with my losses and possibilities. Reading Jack Keruoac's On the Road at age thirteen set me on a restless path of traveling – by hitchhiking, bus, car, train, subway, airplane – it didn't matter, as long as I got to where I was going. In retrospect, I see that it was all about the journey. Slowing down in one place, such as Oaxaca, Mexico where many worlds mingle and collide, I began to gain enough perspective to envision this slim volume of poems. READ ABOUT THE COLLECTION 

In Roots & Branches, a collection of brief and deeply personal essays on family, Bay Area author Adina Sara recounts intimate moments in her life—helping her mother with her beauty baths; sitting with her father as he sips his tea; traveling with her Ex to meet their first grandchild; losing to her 4-year old granddaughter in a high stakes game of Hide-and-Seek. “…Sara takes us through a full gamut of emotions, all the while allowing us to feel more deeply what it is to be a part of that strange consortium of souls we call family.”  “…She brings the world of relationships alive and one feels after reading her stories, reunited with the people who have mattered most.”


"How remarkable that in the span of forty-five pages, we are able to travel so deeply from near-despair to that area we call acceptance, which is the threshold of hope. Drawn in by Michal Mahgerefteh’s natural poetic gift, we find, on the one hand “songs of grief / for ancient places” rooted in a father’s passions, and on the other, a “tiny vial of happiness” in each of his daughter’s attempts to draw him to her, to a present of shared living. The poems revolve around two powerful characters—father, daughter—and the tension between them soon becomes our tension; we suffer with them and are ultimately uplifted by the fierce love underlying their relation. One of the most poignant verses (and there are many) is found in the penultimate poem: “So we both weep Kaddish for God the Father.” When understanding seems unattainable, the willingness to weep together will be the love that binds us. Bravo to this poet, for allowing us to share in a painful journey, that we might learn from it to bind our wounds and, more importantly, the wounds of those we love." Sofia M. Starnes, Author of The Consequence of Moonlight and other works Virginia Poet Laureate, Emerita

Korban Quest is a spiritual, “drawing closer” endeavor. The book navigates between friends, family, a culture, and a tradition, the natural world and the spiritual one. The Hebrew word Korban comes originally from the commandments in the Torah for sacrificial offerings. Doing homage in ancient times required great offerings, but after the catastrophic events surrounding the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, Jews turned to prayer for atonement (instead of sacrifices) and “to reach out” and draw closer to G-d. It is our responsibility, as writers, to profess to be good and sweet faithfulness - in the magic and mystery of our words. My hope is readers will find your own Korban journey as fruitful and phenomenal as mine.  Neil Spirtas    READ ABOUT THE COLLECTION

The quest to return to the land of Israel has been the vision of the Jewish people since the destruction of the 2nd holy Temple in Jerusalem. Our generation has witnessed this process of its miraculous return. As we await the final redemption, our eyes turn towards this yearning to return to Zion, in our heartfelt prayers, hopes, and dreams. The Torah as a blueprint for living remains etched in our souls even if we are not totally aware of its depths. In this poetry book: Faith and Dreams for Zion, l have composed poems that treasure each of the Jewish holidays and perspectives on the land of Israel which can deepen one’s understanding of their Jewish identity.
The sacrifice of Isaac is a well-known bible story—God’s command to Abraham to go to Mount Moriah and sacrifice his son Isaac as a burnt offering; Abraham’s journey there with servants who were left at the bottom while Abraham and Isaac ascended the mountain; Abraham’s building an altar of stones, binding Isaac and placing him on the altar, taking out a knife to sacrifice him; and at the last minute a call from an angel not to harm his son, but instead take the ram that has been caught nearby in a thicket. The poems in this series give interpretations of the story from the standpoint of many of the characters—Abraham, Isaac, the ram, the angel, God, the servants, Isaac’s mother Sarah and his wife Rebekah, even the bush and the stones of the altar. READ ABOUT THE COLLECTION

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