A Community of Creative Contributors… Writers Tom Conlan and Nancy Hirschenberger

Summer is officially here tomorrow and let the reading begin!  If you haven’t had time to peruse the contents of Walloon Writers Review Fourth Edition, featuring amazing writers and photography inspired by Northern Michigan and the UP, you are in for a treat!  We have an exciting and eclectic collection of poetry, short stories, an elegy, creative writing and beautiful  and interesting nature photography by talented contributors.

Included in our Fourth Edition is Tom Conlan, who we got to meet in person at the Local Authors Night event hosted by Petoskey’s McLean & Eakin Bookstore this winter.  Tom’s poem North Woods Dream opens our Fourth Edition.  He is a second time contributor to Walloon Writers Review:  his short story Black Fly is published in Volume 3.

Tom Conlan lives, writes and tends his grape vines in the highlands of Northern Michigan.  He has captained a Coast Guard Cutter, sailed the world’s lakes and oceans, and now searches for the elusive brook trout in backwater streams.  Tom’s prose has  appeared in print in Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Issue #12, Tulip Tree Review, in the anthology The Water Holds No Scars, QU Literary Review and in Volume 3 of Walloon Writers Review.  (His) poetry has been included in The Avocet and Outlaw Poetry.   His work was chosen as a finalist for the Annie Dillard Prize in the Bellingham Review.

His lyrical memoir My Journey Begins Where The Road Ends…was released inn June, 2017 from Mission Point Press.  Tom attended the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte, and a Master of Science from the US Naval Postgraduate School of Monterrey, California.

Nancy Hirschenberger’s magical tale Why The Bull Elk Bugles captured our imagination and our hearts.  Nancy grew up on a farm near Flushing, Michigan.  She frequently traveled north to the family cabin near Atlanta, MI and experienced many adventures which shaped her love of nature.  One night in the Autumn, she experienced an amazing incident involving elk bugling.  This influenced her writing.

Nancy graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education.  After teaching Fifth Grade in Shepherd, MI for two years, she moved to Crooked Lake near Petoskey, where she and her husband resided with their two daughters and son.  She was a paraprofessional in the Petoskey Public Schools and obtained her Master’s degree in Reading.

Our Contributors Keep Amazing Us…Congratulations to Alan Basting!

We are still making our introductions of our Fourth Edition Contributors but, we are going to stop the digital presses for a moment and celebrate news from one of our Second Edition (Volume 2) contributors.  Alan Basting wrote and submitted “Up North Dancing”, which is now part of his soon to be released chapbook: HOME AND AWAY.  Here is the press release from his publisher:

Home Away Poems by AlanBasting

Home and Away, the newest chapbook of poems from Alan Basting, is his sixth published collection.

Alan Basting was born in Detroit and grew up in Maumee, Ohio.  He attended Earlham College and received his undergraduate degree from University of Cincinnati. Later he earned graduate degrees from Colorado State University and Bowling Green State University. He taught writing and literature at the University of Cincinnati and Owens Community College in Toledo. His chapbooks include Singing from the Abdomen, Stone-Marrow Press; What the Barns Breathe, Windows Press; Suddenly, Herons, The Writers’ Cooperative of Toledo; and Deep Time, Daily Habits and Events, from The Arts Commission of Toledo, Ohio. His collection, Nothing Very Sudden Happens Here, was published by Lynx House Press, Spokane, WA, in late 2013. Poems for the new chapbook, Home and Away, have appeared in The American Journal of Poetry; Birch Gang Review; Walloon Writers Review; Fungi Magazine; Blueline; and Common Ground Review.  He lives in the Manistee National Forest near Bitely, MI. More of Alan’s story, and poetry from nearly all of his chapbooks, can be found at www.alanbastingpoetry.com  Please visit him there.  The following is a poem from Home and Away:

Up North Dancing

Great news, Alan!  All the best – Your friends at Walloon Writers Review!

A Collection of Talented Contributors Capturing Northern Michigan & The Upper Peninsula

Welcome back from Spring Break. As we move through our wild Spring, April is National Poetry Month and many poets will enjoy increased attention to their careful capture of the world in their words. Be sure to take a moment to enjoy poetry.

Walloon Writers Review wishes to acknowledge all of the poets who have contributed wonderful and moving poetry to our magazine over the past four years. Thank you!

Our Fourth Edition includes poetry contributions from several writers. This includes:

Jesse Lincoln whose poem ” North” seemed to jump off the page in its embodiment of Northern Michigan. Jesse writes in his bio, ” Michigan has always been my home and I have always been enchanted by nature. I have a young son and the same seems to be true for him.” Jesse currently lives in the Lansing area and loves spending time with his young son.

Two wonderful poems by poet Phillip Sterling, ” The First Morning” and ” Another Day” are also included in our Fourth Edition. Phillip Sterling’s most recent collection of poetry is And Then Snow (Main Street Rag, 2017). New poems have appeared recently in The Georgia Review, Dunes Review, Split Rock Review, The MacGuffin and The Lake. He served as artist-in-residence for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in 2016.

Gerard Sarnat won the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorman Prize, has been nominated for the Pushcart Award and authored four collections: HOMELESS CHRONICLES (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014) and Melting The Ice King (2016). His work has been included in (to name a few): Gargoyle, American Journal of Poetry, Main Street Rag, MiPOeias, New Delta Review, Brooklyn Review, Voices Israel, Tishman Review, Eretz, Avocet, Bywords, Fiction Southeast, and Tipton Review and several others. His poem, “Lake Superior Sepia Seepage Circa 1952” is included on page 60 of Walloon Writers Review Fourth Edition. Gerard’s poem snapshots memories of simple images versus complex emotion. More details about this poet are available in the bio section of the Fourth Edition.

You can find Walloon Writers Review and Other amazing collections of great poetry, creative writing and photography at these independent bookstores:

  • Between The Covers Harbor Springs
  • The Bookman Grand Haven
  • Horizon Books Traverse City
  • McLean & Eakin Petoskey
  • Reader’s World Holland
  • Saturn Booksellers Gaylord

Local Writers

Last night, McLean & Eakin Booksellers and Mackinaw Trail Winery and Brewery hosted a local writers night event that showcased published local authors and invited others to share their writing in an open mike format.

What a great night for writing and writers.  We got to hear dynamic and subtle words crafted into stories, fiction and legend supported with well-researched facts, passionate poetry and a children’s story in progress.  Humor and grace, fantastic and soulful writing crossed the mike last night.  Super short fiction written with such searing precision left you speechless while your brain processed the images the writer unfolded in such efficiency.

Walloon Writers Review also said a few words about this literary magazine, as well.  The idea that I had hoped to share was that we have stories to share about Northern Michigan and the UP, poetry inspired by the moments that we all know so well that are inspired by the natural beauty around us:  the angry thrash of rushing snowmelt to the lake, the now all too familiar howl of winter wind bringing astonishing cold and beautifully sculpted drifts of our pure snow, summers sunsets and winters stars; the deer that just looked in my window hoping I’m going to fill that bird feeder again before I leave for the day so they can tip it over, like a bizarre Pez candy dispenser; or the still of the great forests; the ride across the ice bridge or the pull of the ferry as it leaves the dock.

Maybe your start is here, with Walloon Writers Review.  Maybe you just have a great story to tell – like Larry Parrott shared in Volume Three about Camp Michigania, or J.W. Jordan’s Drilling for Bats or a gentle legend, like Nancy Hirschenberger’s story, Why The Bull Elk Bugles. Maybe your passionate poetry soars like a kite in spring winds and captures that moment, crystallizes the rush of emotions that stirred while you flew across the field in your snow machine or paddled your canoe down the river.

Thank you for letting me share some of my passion about writing, and why I created a place to share your Northern Michigan/UP stories, tales, poems and creative writing, as well as photography.  These stories resonate our place on the map, our history, our natural spectacular setting.  The story or poem or tale or stunning photograph often grows from the experience we have by being here.  Sharing creative writing and photography, letting the world see through your eyes for a moment or read your unique perspective can be exciting and a little scary.  Here, between our covers, is the place where your story and poetry, creative writing and photography can be shared by an enthusiastic group of readers who, like you, share a passion for this place.

I also admitted my stubbornness in producing a print publication, one that you can leave on the table, hold in your hand while you rock, lay on your towel at the beach, sit on your favorite chair and dive in.  The book is meant to be shared because the contents were so carefully crafted and created to share.   Digital works great in most regards, but I personally like the feel of a book, an anthology, the weight of the paper, the cover, the dog-ears of where I last set it down and the joy of picking up where I left off.  Books have a place in our lives and supporting the local authors by buying and reading their books helps you as a writer and photographer see the world from another set of eyes.

What I hope those who could not attend will take from this is that Northern Michigan and UP writers have a voice, have talent and this magazine offers one aspect of that well to overflow.  I am so excited to read your really great “Northern Michigan and UP” stories and poetry this August when we start accepting submissions for our Fifth edition. I am just as excited to see the stunning photography you would like to share.

Thank you again, McLean & Eakin Booksellers and Mackinaw Trail Winery and Brewery.  That was fun!

– Jennifer Huder, editor

Our Fourth Edition Collection of Contributors – capturing Northern Michigan

Walloon Writers Review is honored to have such outstanding contributors share their work for our Fourth Edition.  Please get to know these two Michigan contributors.

Melissa Seitz  authored the powerful poem “Depth of Field”, accompanied by her other remarkable talent of photography,  serene Sunrise with Morning Moon” and the exquisite photo, “Milkweed”.  Melissa lives along the western shoreline of Higgins Lake, Michigan with her husband.  Her work has appeared in The Bear River Review, The Dunes Review, The Lake, The Prose-Poem Project, and various other journals.  Read her blog for essays on life, music and travel:  http://lifeirruption.com.

Robert Vivian created a literary experience in  “August Elegy” ,  which caught our breath and our imagination.  Robert Vivian is the author of The Tall Grass Trilogy, Water and Abandon, and two meditative essay collections, Cold Snap As Yearning, and The Least Cricket of Evening.  His latest book, Immortal Soft-Spoken, was just published by Awst Press.

Gaylord photographer Linda Gall captures Michigan elegantly in our Fourth Edition, as she did in our Volume 3 with stunning photography.  Bridge Wash connects us, and brings the blue we rave about.  Linda Gall is a lifelong resident of Gaylord and enjoys spending time with her family, boating, travel and photography.  She is the former Charlevoix Photography Board President and loves wildlife, landscape and macro photography.  She and her husband John have two married daughters and two grandchildren.

Walloon Writers Review Fourth Edition is available at several area independent bookstores throughout Northern Michigan, in libraries and along West Michigan shoreline.  Please visit Between The Covers – Harbor Springs; McLean & Eakin Booksellers – Petoskey; Saturn Books – Gaylord; Horizon Books – Traverse City; The Bookman – Grand Haven and Reader’s World – Holland to find your copy!  Also available on our site online – shipping fees apply.

Paul Doty on writer Jim Harrison and photography by Charles Rammelkamp

Walloon Writers Review is building a Community of Creativity as each edition is produced and new names cross your pages.  We are pleased to call attention to each contributor in hopes that you will look for their work here and in other publications!

Paul Doty presented “Two For Harrison” including Old Men Lunch Bags and Jim Harrison’s Fate in our Fourth Edition, referencing Michigan author Jim Harrison, most widely known for his novel “True North” and novella “Legends of the Fall” .  Paul Doty is a reference librarian at St. Lawrence University and resides in Canton, NY.  A long time Jim Harrison reader, he has also published an essay on Jim Harrison’s Sundog, “Life is Unbearably Vivid:  An Essay on Sundog by Jim Harrison and Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte” in the Great Lakes Review.

Charles Rammelkamp grew up downstate in Albion, Michigan and his family has owned property on Old Mission Peninsula for 100 years.  He presently lives in Baltimore, MD and comes to Michigan for two weeks every summer.  His photography focus for this edition was Grand Traverse Bay Morning Moon and Grand Traverse Bay Sunset.

You can find these contributors in our Fourth Edition which is available throughout Northern Michigan.   Join us!  Our Call for Submissions is starting August 1st!

More about our Collection of Contributors…

Andrea DeJean contributed “Secret Migration, Silent” for our Fourth Edition.  She writes:  The poem was inspired by my many years spent on Black Lake, between Onaway and Cheboygan, and by one winter in particular during ice-fishing season while visiting my parents (who built a home on the lake in 1978 after having rented summer cabins there starting in 1961).  And while my emotional attachment to Black Lake in particular and to the Northern Michigan region in general remains strong, I am a permanent resident of France and have been for the past 25 years.  I am the translator of a book on biodiversity and have published my own poetry and creative fiction and non-fiction in both independent and university affiliated journals

CJ Giroux’s rich poem, “Cloudburst” catches your breath and is found on page 38 of Walloon Writers Review Fourth Edition.  CJ Giroux is a lifelong resident of Michigan.  He teaches at Saginaw Valley State University where he serves as assistant director of its writing center and editor of the community journal, Still Life.

Artist Katrina Valuyeva shared her exquisite photograph, “Pictured Rocks Shore” for our Fourth Edition.  Katrina Valuyeva works in healthcare in parallel with a self-taught art practice with a focus on metalsmithing as well as occasional photography.  She was born in Russia, grew up in Brooklyn, NY and found a permanent home in Indianapolis, Indiana.