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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)

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."

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



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

     Cover artwork by Robert Eastwood

     Cover artwork by Paula Salemme

     Cover artwork by Janet Lee Butler

     Cover artwork by Jonathan Machen


Current Issue
(as of August 31, 2017) 

Cover Art: Blocks by Clyde Always

Elizabeth Alford • David Alpaugh • Clyde Always • Al Averbach 

Bruce Bagnell • Claire J. Baker • Ruth Berman • Rose Black • Jo Bradley 

Scott Caputo • James A. Costello • Frank De Canio • Jan Dederick

Deborah H. Doolittle • Mike Faran • E.P. Fisher • John Grey

Marc Hofstadter  Dale Jensen • Stephen Kopel • Elana Levy

Richard Luftig • Jeanne Lupton  Carolyn Martin • C.O. McCauley

Mark J. Mitchell • Simon Perchik  Britt Peter • Juan R. Sequeira

Lisa Small • Jeanine Stevens  Gary Turchin • Julia Vinograd

Poem from the current issue

                        Since You Asked

                        A small unicorn

                        cupped in my hand

                        or the dead and missing

                        slowly strolling up my sidewalk

                        like it’s Halloween in January—

                        the rain playing something

                        by Duke Ellington

                        or a finger wrapped in cellophane

                        sent to me parcel post—

                        the garden rising up in anger,

                        a fence post singing “My Way,”

                        a change of seasons deep inside a trashcan

                        or a body floating down the river

                        with a flagpole skewering its stomach—

                        a dozen dancing lilacs,

                        a gingerbread man in a straitjacket,

                        a woman with three lips

                        and an archangel with none—

                        these are the incidents

                        I bring up

                        when someone asks me,

                        “What is wrong with you?”

                        That someone is

                        usually a bespectacled wading bird.

                        Once it was a hedgehog

                        with a beard.

                        John Grey, Johnston RI

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