Stretch into Spring


Deep Beyond the Treeline
grows under
the darkest conditions
the poet
plants a sapling
heavy rain
strange season change
one day
that ringed tree
will stretch into spring
it might
outlive the poet
it might 
outlive the forest


Welcome Back

Like the trees now budding in the Northern hemisphere, editors Delisa and Karen have been hard at work creating beautiful new releases. Kelsay Books don't grow on trees, but they might as well be this spring!

This bloom wouldn't be possible without pollinators — or fellow gardeners — this metaphor has gotten away from me, but the editors are busy! help me out in the comments — I am referring to the poets and readers in our ecosystem. Thank you for bringing literature to life with us.  

Whew, now that I have your attention: Last we left off, Patricia Davis-Muffett gave a reading on moving on after change or loss, family, selfhood, and even an unpublished ode to her dog, at her chapbook launch for Alchemy of Yeast and Tears (Kelsay Books, March 2023). Powerful stuff! In case you missed it, click below to grab your copy.  
If you leave a comment asking nicely, I might be able to link you the Zoom recording so you can bear witness to Patricia's moving selections, including the never-been-published poem inspired by her family dog. But only if you pay the pet tax. Tag Kelsay Books in a photo of your furry friend on social media and I'll consider it.
While you're at it, you'll also want to let your freinds and followers know we now offer e-books and hard case versions of our classic paperback chapbooks! 
This subtle social media strategy is bound to move everyone in the poetry community to check out the links below.
March Releases 
  1. All Alive Together Sally Zakariya
  2. Unbroken Lynda La Rocca
  3. Going Places William Heath
  4. Seasonings Joanne Frazer
  5. The Quickening Light June Blumenson
  6. Toward the Terminal Marzelle Robertson
  7. Secret Offices Anthony DiMatteo
  8. Without the Water Lorraine Henrie Lins - Read the OBX Today announcement
  9. Lyrical Years Gary Grossman
  10. Common Places Don Thompson
  11. Beguiled by the Frailities of Those Who Precede Us Stephen Smith
  12. Alchemy of Yeast and Tears Patricia Davis-Muffett
  13. Bar of Rest Sara Epstein
  14. Old Age and Young Hearts Judie Rae and Ellen Reynard, editors
  15. Keeping Time: Haibun for the Journey Penny Harter
  16. Last Exit Dora Robinson
  17. Ember Harriet Ribot
  18. Coyote in the Basket of My Ribs Karen Gonzalez
  19. Notebook 19 Dennis Bernstein

  1. Eveningland Adam Chiles
  2. By Chance Emily Axelrod
  3. Sunshine Has Its Limits Lenny Lianne
  4. Before the Sun Peter Schireson

April Releases

  1. Built of All I Shape and Name Jessica G. Simon
  2. Pulled Pork in Paris Athar C. Pavis 
  3. Twenty Stories Michael Harty 
  4. Watershed (new Finger Lakes poems) Carolyn Clark  
  5. Washed by a Summer Rain: Poems from the Desert Janet McMillan Rives 
  6. The Love of Mortal Beings Batnadiv HaKarmi 
  7. Pink Typewriter Nancy Anne Miller - Read the press release 
  8. Precincts of the Passion Dragon Alfred Encarnacion 
  9. Life Goes On David Chorlton 
  10. Glimpse Victoria Twomey 
  11. The Sapphires Helen Ruggieri
  12. Winded from the Chase Linda Malm
  13. Olly, Olly Oxen Free Angela Hoffman

Stay tuned for upcoming events! First, Carolyn Martin, author of It's In The Cards, calls for proceeds from her book sales to provide financial aid to the family of poet Jerrice J. Baptiste. Details below!

Poetry Is More Than Words: Book sale raising funds for immigrant family

For the past two years, Jerrice J. Baptiste––a poet, educator, author, and Poet-in-Residence at The Prattsville Art Center in New York­­––has been struggling to get her uncle, aunt, and two cousins out of the horror that is Haiti. After so many disappointments and dead ends, she has finally found the legal advice and support she needs to bring the Laurore family to the U.S.

This family includes a 60-year-old father who is an engineer/poet, his 54-year-old wife who is a school administrator, a 25-year-old son who is studying law, and a 21-year-old who is studying accounting. The young men speak English and mom and dad have been tutored by an American volunteer via Zoom for the past several months. They just received their passports this past week and have found a sponsor in Brooklyn, NY. Two huge hurdles jumped! Now, they’ll need money for food, clothing, and rent.

Knowing the challenges Jerrice has faced and the bravery she’s displayed putting herself in the hands of strangers, I thought what better way to help another poet, but to have a poetry fundraiser. Kelsay Books is releasing my chapbook, It’s in the Cards, this month and it became apparent to me that it is in cards that this book provide some financial support for this family.

Here's the deal: If you’d like to purchase a copy of It’s in the Cards and contribute to this fundraising effort, email me at with a “Yes”! Add your name and mailing address and let me know if you’d like the book signed and to whom.

Then, when the book arrives in about three weeks, I’ll send you a copy with a self-addressed stamp envelop in it. You send a check made out to me for $15, a discounted price which includes shipping and handling. I decided to bypass PayPal and credit card companies because they would take a chunk out of the $15. This way, the family receives the total amount. I am proud to say we already have “yeses” amounting to $1000 and are still adding more every day.

Jerrice, the Laurore family, and I thank you in advance for helping to ease the burden of some kind, talented, and loving people who will find a new home in the United States soon. It’s in the cards!

Warmest regards,

Carolyn Martin

Powows Poets and Kelsay Books live reading! May 11th 6:30–8:00 p.m. at Emma Andrews Library, 77 Purchase Street, Newburyport, MA. Featuring: Rhina Espaillat, Midge Goldberg, Alfred Nicol, Don Kimball, Jean Kreiling, and Paulette Turco. 
Kelsay Books Poetry Reading at the Parkside Lounge, 317 E Houston St, New York, NY. Saturday, May 20th 3:30–5:30 p.m. Open Mic for all Kelsay Books poets. Sign up here!

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