Submissions for RWB #8 open until July 31st

Dear Poet,

Just to let you know, this year’s Red Wheelbarrow (Volume 8) is now open for submissions. We plan to publish and release Volume 8 on October 4, 2015. Our reading period ends on July 31, 2015.

Our submission guidelines are simple: we are looking for previously unpublished poems.

We also require that you’ve read poetry as a featured poet or at the open microphone at either of the following reading series venues: the William Carlos Williams Center in Rutherford, NJ or at the GainVille Cafe in Rutherford, NJ at any time from October 1, 2014 through July 31, 2015.

Please Note: reading at the Red Wheelbarrow # 7 launch in September 2014 or at the GainVille Cafe in the September 2014 Red Wheelbarrow # 7 launch party does not make a poet or writer eligible to submit work to Red Wheelbarrow # 8.

You can submit up to 7 poems, and/or 2 short prose pieces Poems can be of any length, style or genre. Prose pieces should be no more than two pages long. The work that you submit does not have to have been read at either of the above venues. We only ask that you as a poet or writer have read at either venue as a featured poet or open microphone participant at any time during the period October 1, 2015 through July 31, 2015.

How to submit: send an e-mail entitled Red Wheelbarrow # 8 Submissions followed by your name to Attach the poems that you are submitting for consideration to the e-mail as a Word document. The only acceptable file formats are Word 97-2004 (.doc) or Word Document (.doc.x).

Please do not paste your submission into the body of the e-mail. Please see Format for Submission Document below for how to present your work. We ask that you follow this format so that all work submitted will be viewed for consideration equally by our editorial staff. Following our format will also avoid any delay necessitated by having to re-contact you.

Simultaneous submissions are OK. Please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.

To Keep It simple: Do not send a bio or other information at this time. Just send your work. If your submission is accepted for publication, we’ll ask for bio info prior to publication.

Best Regards,
John Barrale
Managing Editor

Format for Submission Document:

Your name should appear only once at the top of the document.

Submit each poem with a page break in-between poems, but in one Word document. Example: Percy B. Shelly
“Ode to a Moonbeam”
” Skylarks”

Use Times New Roman as the font. Text size should be 12.

The only acceptable Word file formats are Microsoft’s Word 97-2004 (.doc) or Apple’s Word Document (.doc.x).

Attach your submission document as a file to an e-mail entitled Red Wheelbarrow # 8 Submission – followed by your name.
Example: Red Wheelbarrow # 8 Submission – Percy B. Shelly

* For Prose pieces: please follow the same format.


Marisa Frasca

        Marisa Frasca read this gripping poem during her recent feature at GainVille Café. It tells a terrific and horrific story of a Sicilian woman giving premature birth caused by bombs falling from an American air raid in World War II (the Nazis controlled Sicily until 1943). Raffaela is increasingly distraught as the runtlike baby will not nurse and is in peril of dying and she has no outlet for her milk. What I really like is the turn Frasca gives the poem at the end. The woeful story devolves into a whole series of positive things about the world, the yang to the desolate yin of war. She has told me, btw, that Raffaela is her mother and the runt her brother, who survived his difficult birth and is still alive today.—Mark Fogarty
Raffaela at Eighteen

Raffaela hid under the olivewood
                                   Farmtable made by ancestor sweat—

Squeezed hard her ears and legs
                                   But the bombs, the dread, the labor pain
Could not hold her firstborn in
He flew out from under the table’s woodgrain
                                   Weighed less than a head of cabbage
Raffaela later said her boy resembled a ferret—
                                   Hair covered all except palms and soles
Her husband kept the runt swaddled in gauze and total darkness
                                   Inside a cotton-covered dresser drawer
When his eyes rested—a moment of freeze—he asked his wife
                                   What is this thing?
More bombs fell on Vittoria’s rooftops—
                                   Stampedes and shrills stormed dustclouded streets
Mediterranean sea lanes opened for an Allied Armada of 2,590
And The US Liberty hit by enemy bombers exploded off Gela in l943
Raffaela’s back let down, but her silk-soft nipples could not
                                   Coax the limp mouth to eat
Some neighbors abandoned their homes, others sought shelter
                                   Through half swung doors
Raffaela sat silent and cross-legged, keeping vigil by the drawer
Eventually she rose
                                   There was sunlight in the courtyard
And a German rifle tracking movement from a tree
                                   All Raffaela could do is urge and urge
The bitch with litter—
                                   Could she borrow one hungry pup?
                                   Could it suck and suck until blood oozed
                                   Until its teeth erected her human nipples like cathedrals?
All she knew is somewhere a world away was no mania to destroy
But to feed—none whimpered and whined from hunger
Women drew water from wells to quench a stranger’s thirst—
                                   Garlic, onion, drying figs hung on kitchen walls
Somewhere frugal hands mended socks and celebrated love—
                                   Infants nursed and slept in cradles
Wind carried sounds from nearby villages
                                   Of men and women churning wheat
And delicate saffron crocus poked through black lava,
                                   Orange calendula grew in open fields
Where cows with thick hides and swollen udders
                                   Shook away bullet-ridden parachutes
And falling bombs
                                   Like flies

“Raffaela at Eighteen” has been published in 5 AM and also in Marisa Frasca’s collection Via Incanto: Poems from the Darkroom from Bordighera Press.

GV – Sonnets and Irish Fusion

The Magic Circle returns to GainVille Café in Rutherford, NJ on Friday, June 5 for the launch of MARK FOGARTY’s two new books of poetry: Sun Nets and Continuum: The Jaco Poems.  Sun Nets are short poems that catch the light, while Continuum collects a series of a dozen poems about bass legend Jaco Pastorius.

Our musical feature will be Irish piper BRENDAN FOGARTY.

The Red Wheelbarrow Poets’ Bring-Your-A-Game open mic will follow, with generous reading times.

$7 donation includes coffee/tea and dessert.
17 Ames Ave., 7 PM.
(201) 507-1800

RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – May 13, 2015

Richard Greene

Listening to Fats Waller

I think
this was the music of my mother’s youth.
She danced like a flapper, I suppose,
something it can be hard
to imagine one’s mother doing,
but she showed me the Charleston
when I was in my teens.
We danced it the only way you can,
mother and son,
between the sofa and the baby grand.

Blog –
Facebook –
Twitter –

RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – April 29, 2015

Janet Kolstein

Don’t Eat the Daisies

Quietly to myself,
I was humming Please, please don’t eat the daisies
the way old men whistle nameless tunes,

adding another mantra
to the long soliloquy
that spools itself in silence;
tumorous words, and worlds, lost
when the host dies:

haunted people holding films
that show their insides
stop-in for a cup of soup, a sandwich
before, or after, the portentous news
of the doctor’s views.

The shamans can see right through them —
through to the other side.

In my mind, I repeat mulligatawny as a crutch
until it just rolls off my tongue,

and I’m trying to be a saint,
to feel tough tenderness,
to celebrate, and elevate
the patterns of pedestrians
and the shapes shadows make
as the sun crawls across the city,
the life being given me,
trying not to cling
too desperately.

Blog –
Facebook –
Twitter –

RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – April 22, 2015

Claudia Serea

Questions for the Holy Ghost

Did she say yes?

And were you gentle
when you descended like dawn
upon a closed tulip?

Was she ashamed
when she opened her petals
just a little?

Was she afraid?

Did she ask why?
Why me?

Or was she happy
and humbled to be chosen
to wear her pain proudly,

a necklace of fire
around her neck?

Did you lie next to her
without a word, knowing
this cannot be undone?

And did you tell her
her son will die a violent death
to save some strangers?

And still, she said yes?

Knowing all,
how history unfolds,

would you do it again
for us?

Would she?

Blog –
Facebook –
Twitter –

WCW – Amy King

Amy King

Wednesday, May 6, 2015, 7 p.m.

Williams Center for the Arts
One Williams Plaza, Rutherford NJ

Plus the words of William Carlos Williams
and open readings from the floor

Is it possible to write something visceral by distorting grammar into a new language? Find out at May’s Williams Reading, when the Red Wheelbarrow presents Amy King, our featured poet for the month. From such a successful poet, you might be surprised to hear such daring and challenging work.

Of I Want to Make You Safe (Litmus Press), John Ashbery describes Amy King’s poems as bringing “abstractions to brilliant, jagged life, emerging into rather than out of the busyness of living.” Safe was one of Boston Globe’s Best Poetry Books of 2011. King teaches Creative Writing at SUNY Nassau Community College and serves on the Executive Board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.

King joins the ranks of Ann Patchett, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rachel Carson and Pearl Buck as the winner of the 2015 WNBA Award (Women’s National Book Association). She was also honored by The Feminist Press as one of the “40 Under 40: The Future of Feminism” awardees, and she received the 2012 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.

Contact: John Barrale –

Your mouth is full of noise and I live the anomaly.
That’s why I’m currently drinking. And making more
fuckworthy art. Because the rest is truly useless.
I cut myself and no one will recall the time the poet cut
her flesh or ripped her heart’s skin to tell them something.
Our limits may not be expandable, but before you say,
“Blood and sinew,” remember you’re making a mistake.
We are not edges of limbs or the heart’s smarts only.
We are kiss times kiss with tree-lined lungs
(yes, we are the fucking trees) that sprout with purveyors
of knowledge

RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – April 15, 2015

John Barrale

Cat in the Moon

The moon is curled up in the sky.
Tonight she is African, a leopard
with a tail of clouds.

I detect a smile on her golden face.

Is it because she knows
I’d leave it all for her?

Sexy cat. I smell rain.
Your cloud tail swishes yes.
Let’s get wet and romp
in the night sky jungle.

Are you hungry?

One by one and real slow,
I can feed you the small animals
that hide in my soul.

* * *

The Cat in the Moon wakes me
by reaching under the covers
and wiggling my toe.

Let’s hunt, she purrs.

I take her paw
and slip like a ghost
through the grass.

We catch and eat ten mice.

Now you know where the little ones hide,
she says.

In the morning, I remember everything
and regret nothing.

* * *

She is so bright, just to look at her
makes my eyes hurt.

Unhurried, she hunts me.
I am the mouse cut cold.

Her paws
fill the night.

Blog –
Facebook –
Twitter –

GV – A Look at Neptune and a Jack Bruce Tribute

The Magic Circle returns to GainVille Café in Rutherford, NJ on Friday, April 24 for the launch of ANTON YAKOVLEV’s new book of poetry Neptune Court.  Anton has a poem forthcoming in The New Yorker and has been published in The Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow, Instigatorzine, and other publications.

Our musical feature will be a tribute to the late great bassist JACK BRUCE, by frequent Magic Circle performer VICTORIA WARNE (The Victoria Warne Band) and poet/musician MARK FOGARTY, plus special guest CATHY VITA and a Victoria original written to be debuted this evening! .

The Red Wheelbarrow Poets’ Bring-Your-A-Game open mic will follow, with generous reading times.

17 Ames Ave, 7 PM.
$7 donation includes coffee/tea and dessert.
(201) 507-1800

RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – April 8, 2015

Janet Kolstein

An Early Spring Fog

The swirling blankness
is a resting place,
an excuse,
the cadence of a slow waltz.

I wonder how the fog seduces
with her chilly hand,
her command for silence.

Blog –
Facebook –
Twitter –

%d bloggers like this: