Season of Change

Eastern skunk cabbage
By Robert Winkler via iStock

Season of Change

  • Print copies of The Orchards: Winter 2023  now available!
  • Delisa left her role at Kelsay Books to work as a religious educator! Olivia will assume her responsibilities.
  • Upcoming reading: Marc Frazier, author of If It Comes to That, with special guest Steven Ostrowski
  • Replying to your wonderful comments


Welcome to our second year of the Kelsay Books Blog. I’m so proud of our growth and excited to announce here, in case you missed it, that I’ll be stepping into a bigger role to pick up where our beloved Delisa Hargrove left off! While making that transition post-holiday-hiatus, this month’s blog post looks a little different. 

I selected skunk cabbage for the cover photo, the Eastern kind, because that variety is not only familiar to me but also purple (!!), to represent our January 2024 vibe. Skunk cabbage is the first plant to pop up towards the end of winter. But why is this gorgeously funky lil cabbage called skunk? Well, it stinks. Its scent attracts pollinators to usher in spring. But maybe you already knew the deal with skunk cabbage. Maybe, like me, you get excited at this first sign of better days.

As beautiful and exciting as it is to experience change, it kind of stinks. I’ve got emails on emails and tasks on tasks to catch up on now that I have a proper handle on the production process, thanks to Delisa, Karen, Jenna, and my B.A. in Publishing. It’s the coldest part of winter in much of the region we call home, we’re in the thick of it right now, but before long, the frost will subside, the skunk cabbage will emerge, and our stinky growth will herald a triumphant return to balance. Decent metaphor, right?

Next month’s blog will resume our regular Poetic Excellence content. We have a reading coming up on Monday, February 5th—details below—and I’m looking forward to connecting with our lovely poetry community! Finally, since Shopify doesn’t support its own comment reply feature (we need a paid plugin...ugh), I thought it would be a fitting celebration of KBB’s evolution over the past year to respond publicly the nice comments we’ve received from you along the way. 

We hear you, we see you, and we’re grateful for your patience during this transitionary season.

The Orchards: Winter 2023 Edition Is Here!

Considering submitting your manuscript to us? With over 90 contributors to discover, the latest issue of Kelsay Books’ biannual literary magazine is a great way to find your niche in the diverse ecosystem of traditional poetry. 

We invite you, and the lit mag lovers in your life, on a stroll through The Orchards.  

Monday, February 5th, 8:00 p.m. ET: Marc Frazier wsg Steven Ostrowski

Kelsay Books remote readings are always free to attend! Note: You must register with the same email address your Zoom account is under. Registrants will receive a confirmation email from Zoom with the link to the meeting.
Join us at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, February 5th to enjoy selections from both authors’ new books!
Marc Frazier has published poetry in over one hundred literary journals online and in print including Permafrost, Poet Lore, Evansville Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Another Chicago Magazine, The Gay and Lesbian Review, and Bloom. He is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Award for poetry and has been featured on Verse Daily. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has received two Best of the Net nominations. Marc has published three full-length poetry books with Aldrich Press (Kelsay Books), Glass Lyre Press, and Adelaide Books in addition to two chapbooks.
Marc, now a Fort Lauderdale, LGBTQ writer, is active on social media, particularly on his Marc Frazier Author page on Facebook, @mcfj24 on Instagram, and @marcfrazier45 on X.

Catching Up On Comments

  • Discovered you via the wonderful poem by C Wade Bentley posted on Rattle this morning. One thing led to another . . . a rich trove.


So glad you found us, Linda! A rich trove is exactly what we strive to evoke with the blog. It means so much (like finding the first skunk cabbage of the season!) that you discovered Kelsay Books organically. Thank you for letting us know.

  • I’m excited to share my recent interview on Rattlecast which features my talking about and reading from my newest book with Kelsay, Keeping Time: Haibun for the Journey, along with mention of and reading a few poems from my two other recent Kelsay books, A Prayer the Body Makes (2020), and Still-Water Days (2021). You can find the link in the Rattlecast archives. Look for: Penny Harter | Rattlecast 211 – YouTube

    Penny Harter 

Congrats, Penny! We love Rattle and the moment haibun is having.

We don’t love the hyperspeed that news in the book world tends to move at, which is why it’s always welcome and appropriate to promote your work in a comment like this. 

Send your recent announcements—those pertaining to the month (or so) of publication—to to feature it on the blog!

First, grab your copy of Penny Harter’s latest: 

  • Coming in with this Blue Moon, at the very end of August, I have had some wonderful poetry happenings. First, received contributor copy of The Wonder of Small Things: Poems of Peace and Renewal, edited by James Crews, and get to see my poem amongst so many amazing poets’ work! The next day, I received the mock up of Every Small Breeze, forthcoming with Kelsay Books, and got to see front and back cover and layout. So pleased!! Grateful. Looking forward.

    Marjorie Moorhead 
Cheers, Marjorie! Every Small Breeze is out now. Click on the cover to order your copy.
  • Things are looking great on your blog! As a poet who has a book coming out from Kelsay this fall, I’m paying close attention. Cheers!

    Kathleen Cassen Mickelson 

Kathleen, we’re delighted! For the people in the back, the book in question is Prayer Gardening, co-authored with Constance Brewer. Check it out below.

  • Had a fun reading of my new book, I Come from Immigrants, at the Art Alliance in Lemont with Marjorie Maddox, Steven Deutsch, and Mary Rohrer-Dann. Have others readings coming up this fall. Had new poems in Lothlorien and Verse-Virtual. 

    Margaret Duda 

Go, Margaret! Keep us posted on your wins.

Margaret shared family photos from her book at the December reading, making for a memorable performance. Here’s more about I Come from Immigrants:

That was a fun retrospective on just a handful of the excellent books we published in 2023. Keep your comments coming! Here’s to more in 2024.

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