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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. 
Single copy of current issue, mailed 1st class: $5
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)

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 normally read year-round, but editorial review and production is on hiatus in 2020. We recommend waiting for a "call for submissions" to be posted here and on the POETALK facebook page, otherwise we may be holding onto your work for an indefinite period of timeSend 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."

1791 SOLANO AVE. #A11
BERKELEY, CA 94707-2209



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

      Cover artwork by Clyde Always

     Cover artwork by Robert Eastwood

     Cover artwork by Paula Salemme

     Cover artwork by Janet Lee Butler

     Cover artwork by Jonathan Machen


The new (and long-awaited) issue of POETALK, 
2018-2019 Edition, has been released!

Current Issue
(as of October 2019) 

Cover Art: UC Jazz All-Star Ensemble (2013)
by Geores Buttner (1936-2018)

Dee Allen • David Alpaugh • Al Averbach • Claire J. Baker 

Jane Blanchard • Mike Bove • Geores Buttner (In Memoriam)

Patrick Cahill • Robert Cooperman • Deborah H. Doolittle

David Erdreich • E.P. Fisher • Craig Greenman  Jose L. Gutierrez

Don As Tauno Hagelberg • Blaine Hammond  Stephen Kopel

Judith Ann Levison • Lyn Lifshin  Nadine Lockhart • Wulf Losee

Adele Mendelson • Diane Lee Moomey  Tim Nuveen (In Memoriam) 

Zack Rogow • Deborah Schmidt  Sherry Sheehan

Robert Collet Tricaro  Julia Vinograd (In Memoriam)

Nancy Wakeman  Karma Tenzing Wangchuk  Jim Watson-Gove

Neal Whitman  Kath Abela Wilson • Cherise Wyneken

Poem from the current issue

                Poetry Is a Call to Being

                Poetry is a solitude without distances—

                A falling world arriving upside-down

                At the back of the eye.


                Poetry is a night at the crossroads—

                A mother’s voice in anguish

                From a dead-end in the heart.

                Poetry is a call to Being from the roots of words—

                An abstract phantasmagoria

                Of secret signs & sighs.

                Poetry is a choice that chooses you—

                An electric arrangement of shapes in a wink

                Courtesy of spring in a pulse.

                Poetry is a home for higher truths—

                A desert crossing, an ancient body of water;

                A book of ghosts, a crown of thorns.

                Poetry is a puzzle for the soul—

                Excalibur embedded in the mists of lost time

                At the intersection of yin & yang.

                Poetry is a game, a virtual reality

                Full of talking heads & panic;

                And death-by-the-numbers round-the-clock.

                Poetry is a constitutional right—

                Love’s answer to the bottom-line,

                A daydream as way of life.

                Poetry is René Char toting a gun,

                Kierkegaard for dummies

                With the eras of earth listening in.

                E.P. Fisher, Pine Bush NY

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