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POETALK poetry journal

Editor Emerita: Maggie Morley (1998-2010)

Current Editorial Board
Al Averbach
Claire J. Baker
Jan Dederick 

Cover Price: $4
Subscription: $6 for two issues.
Sample copy (back-issue): $2

Also, consider BAPC membership: $15 basic annual dues
includes a 2-issue subscription to POETALK, 
plus discount on entry fees to BAPC's annual contest,
and in general your membership donation goes further to support
BAPC's non-profit activities. Thanks!
(see pdf attachment at bottom of this page for complete sample
issue of POETALK-Winter/Spring 2007)
UPDATE (June 2017): A new issue is near completion for a Summer 2017 release.

POETALK, appearing annually in recent years, is open to poets everywhere. We want to publish your best work. We welcome all forms of poetry, and look for imaginative language and perspective. No particular genre. Short poems (under 35 lines) are preferred. We always have a particular need for "shorties" (i.e. haiku, tanka, etc.) under 10 lines. Longer poems of outstanding quality accepted. Rhyme must be well done. We are also interested in translations.

POETALK is 36 pages, digest-sized, photocopied, saddle-stapled with heavy card cover.
Basic Submission Info: Poems are read year-round. Send 3-5 poems, typed and single-spaced, with self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) if you want your work returned, no more than twice a year. Manuscripts should be clearly typewritten and include author's name, mailing address & email address on every page. We prefer to correspond via email. Also, OK to submit via email--please paste poems into the body of the email message (rather than attachments). Accepts simultaneous submissions and previously published work, but must be noted. Contributors receive one copy. All rights revert to authors upon publication. Advice: "If you don't want suggested revisions you need to say so clearly in your cover letter or indicate on each poem submitted."
For complete guidelines, see the pdf attachment at the bottom of this page. You may also request by email or send SASE to PO Box address.
1791 SOLANO AVE. #A11
BERKELEY, CA 94707-2209



Covers of previous issues from recent years.
(No issues published in 2010).

     Cover artwork by Paula Salemme

     Cover artwork by Janet Lee Butler

     Cover artwork by Jonathan Machen


Current Issue
(as of January 2016) 

Cover Art: Things Past by Robert Eastwood

Sandra Anfang  Claire J. Baker • Bruce Bagnell • Ruth Berman 
Jerry Bolick • Larsen Bowker • Katy Brown • Janet Butler
Darren C. Demaree • Jeannette DesBoine • Paul Drabkin • Ralph Dranow
Robert Eastwood • E.P. Fisher • Jim Fisher • Erica Goss • Grace Marie Grafton 
John Grey • Jennifer Hammer • Steve Haskin • Marvin R. Hiemstra 
Daniel J. Langton • Judith Ann Levison • Jeanne Lupton • Antonio Machado
 Sandy McCord • Greg Moglia • Diane Lee Moomey • Michael S. Morse 
Sheryl L. Nelms • Britt Peter • Juan R. Sequeira • Allegra Jostad Silberstein 
Jeanine Stevens • Peter J. Tamases • TWIXT • Julia Vinograd • Joanna White

Poem from the current issue

            Star Jasmine

            Scent of star jasmine returns in the evening

            Blown from the trellis and wafting to wake me

            Camped on the roof with starmaps and legends

            Leaving my body to rise to the heavens

            Carried on sweet midnight scent of star jasmine.

            Curling through star crowns I cling to the arrow

            Strung from the bow of attuned Sagittarius

            Pointing his stars toward radio towers

            Beaming signals to south-flying Cygnus

            Carried on currents of dust clouds and gases.

            Shot from the towers I fall from the heavens

            Rejoining my body with breath of star jasmine

            Blown from the trellis to where I lie counting

            Legends that cling to fall constellations

            Carried on still rising blooms of the evening.

            Just as the trellis-twined vine of star jasmine

            Blooms in the evening and lifts me to heaven

            So shall these star verses cling to their lattice

            Rising to mingle with signals and gases

            Carrying into dreamtime their sweet fragrance.

            Jim Fisher, Kensington CA

The following appears on Page 1 of SUMMER/AUTUMN 2011


This issue of POETALK is dedicated to 

its now editor emerita, Maggie Morley.

THANK YOU Maggie for your thoughtful and 

skillful editing of this journal over the past decade.

POETALK’s new editorial board, and all those 

associated with this publication who appreciate 

the variety and quality of the poetry that’s been 

presented in these pages, honor you.

So before we move forward, this Page 1 

is all yours, Maggie. Cheers to you!




            All things unfold, and in their time progress

            toward less or greater unity of form;

            will never coexist in static state

            though they may cast a sense of permanence    


            on anxious souls requiring clean, clear ends.

            Illusion carves, for those who trust, a norm

            so clean, correctly curved, that it seems true,

            like hawk’s wing unfolding—like love between


            new lovers, seeing things as they alone will see.

            But we, from our detached remove, stand by

            a differing pattern guaranteed to shun

            all but its own predestined symmetry.


            In the life of lovers, unfolding’s not a thing,

            finally, but itself—like a hawk’s wing.


            Maggie Morley, Mill Valley CA 

Appreciation goes out to 
all the past editors of POETALK through the years 
(POETALK first appeared in the late 1970s 
in a newsletter format):

Maggi H. Meyer
Carter McKenzie
Lisa Wibble
Blaine Hammond
Dale Hermann
Mark States

and others who served on a temporary basis.

John Rowe,
May 30, 2009, 2:51 PM
John Rowe,
May 30, 2009, 2:09 PM