September Spectacular

"September spectacular" in large glowing text hangs in the upper quadrant of the image, with autumnal leaves above it. Below, four fairies dance next to a leafy mushroom patch under the words "2023 Kelsay Books Blog" in smaller text .

Check out the new Poetic Excellence section to discover more of what makes our first blog of the ’bers so spectacular!

— Olivia Loftis, Kelsay Books Social Media Coordinator


I want to put you all on to something—including interesting reads that cross my screen between blog posts—because with everything our fourth industrial revolution entails, it's easy to suffer from 1. information overload and 2. disorganization or distrust of sources. Newsletter subscriptions eating your email storage is (I imagine) a common concern for those in the writing world.

If you're like me, you're definitely not in a hurry to buy more GBs from our tech overlords. I want to process the latest community, arts and culture news. I don't want the relevant info stacked up in an endless scroll, competing for my time and attention such that I can barely sort through it.

Social media uses algorithm to show us what we theoretically want to see, but at this point, who can say what fate has in store for us with Twitter–turned–X? Until its recent acquisition by Elon Musk, the once-called bird app pulled its weight, not without its share of critique, as a networking forum favored by publishers, editors, agents, authors and readers. This norm is changing along with the forms social media takes on (shoutout Ruth Wilson-Gilmore for that phrasing). Besides, not all who Substack are on TikTok, and vice versa and so on. An oversaturated inbox is more of an organizational issue than a problem that can be solved by algorithmic attention-conditioning via dopamine ladder.

Enter the RSS feed reader. The linked article explains how you can download a browser extension (I use Feeder) to organize the information you rely on, simply and conveniently. In folders, even! Not every website and news feed will be compatible with RSS, as with any format, but at least it offers a way to tidy up your inbox without losing track of anything in migration between platforms. Using a feed reader definitely spares me a barrage of emails every time I want to keep up with a resource. And yes, it works with our blog!

This isn't an ad, I just found it personally helpful for the purpose of having my information and reading it, too. Let us know if tips like this resonate with you.

Now, this isn't an ad, either, but it is very relevant:

Featured Book Launch – Julia Knowlton

You're invited to celebrate Julia Knowlton's Life of the Mind release with a virtual reading hosted by Kelsay Books.

Sunday, September 10 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time

Register in advance for this meeting:

Poetic Excellence

Word about Kelsay Books’ blog amplifying the great work our authors are doing has gotten around, thanks to your support as email list subscribers and editor Jenna V. Wray’s dedication to keeping our community in the loop. You know how finding one or two mushrooms wherever they might grow near you is evidence of a whole mycelium underground? The virtual equivalent to a patch of mushrooms exploding from the earth at the turn of the season happened in the making of September’s spectacular blog. Thank you for growing with us.

If you read the introduction, you know how I like to stay organized, so I'm hoping our new Poetic Excellence section will be a mainstay on the KBB. Editors love expressions of interconnection almost as much as we love singing the praises of the poetry in our desktop folders; please keep us posted on your wins! If your submission isn’t published in this blog, it will be featured in the next one.


Let’s say you have been paying attention, and you are outraged…might you still revel in an unseasonably warm autumn afternoon? For anyone informed enough to panic, but romantic enough to appreciate this beautiful world while we still can, this poem is for you. — New Millenium Writing's review of “Doldrums Near the End of Empire” from No Angels by Mary Makofske

Five Points SouthPoems from an Alabama Pilgrimage by Nancy Owen Nelson was honored as the 2022 Alabama State Poetry Society Book of the Year

The title poem in The Luster of Everything I'm Already Forgetting by Nicole Rollender won first place in Palette Poetry's 2019 Previously Published Prize – the poem was originally published in Gigantic Sequins

Gloria Heffernan's Peregrinatio: Poems for Antarctica was a finalist in Grayson Books' 2020 contest

“Cease Fire”, from Flight Patterns by Mary K O'Melveny, won the Raynes Poetry Competition, sponsored by Jewish Currents magazine, in 2017

Two poems from No Angels by Mary Makofske won first place: “Nasreen's Story” in the Atlanta Review’s annual contest and “Doldrums Near the End of Empire” in New Millenium Writing’s competition

Reviews and Features

New review of When You Get Here by Shutta Crum on Cervena Barva Press, written by Neil Leadbeater

The Dreams of the Gods by J.R. Solonche was featured in the Midwest Book Review

Jane Muschenetz, author of All The Bad Girls Wear Russian Accents, gave an interview on The Poetry Salon-cast

Verse Daily featured “Killing Time” from Daybreak and Deep (2023) by Jessica D. Thompson

Claire Matturo reviewed Talking Me Off The Roof by Laurie Kuntz for Southern Literary Review's August Books of Special Note


Alfred Fournier reads selections from A Summons on the Wind live in AZ

Friday, September 1: 6:00–7:00 p.m.

First Friday Poetry at Changing Hands (Tempe location)

Book signing and open reading follows

Attendees may bring up to two pages of poetry to share

Location: 6428 South McClintock Drive, Tempe AZ, 480.730.0205

Lana Hectman Ayers launches Overtures at Seattle's Open Books poetry shop

Open Books Poetry Bookstore
Presents the Book Release Reading for

by Lana Hechtman Ayers
At the Car Wash
by Arthur Russell

Saturday September 9th
12 Noon Pacific Time
3 PM Eastern Time

Register at EventBrite
for the Zoom link

Lynn Domina launches Inland Sea in Marquette, MI

Wednesday, Sept. 13, 7:00 p.m. Eastern
at the Peter White Public Library

Read more about Lynn Domina's inspiration behind Inland Sea on Northern Today  

Past Readings

Terry Allen reads “Waiting on the Last Train” and “Rubber Time” for 3rd Wednesday


Now available on Kindle!

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