Out of stock

ISBN: 978-1-59948-453-2, Cover price $15.00 ($10 if ordered from the MSR Online Bookstore)

Released: December, 2013.

(OUT OF STOCK. Inventory on all copies of this title belong to the current publisher).

After a four-year hiatus, KAKALAK, the highly respected journal of Carolina poetry and art, is back, this time under the auspices of Main Street Rag Publishing Company, but with the same editorial team of Richard Allen Taylor, Beth Ann Cagle and Lisa Zerkle.

This year’s revival edition again showcases the creativity and skills of poets and artists in both Carolinas with award-winning poetry by JS Absher, Kimberlyn Blum-Hyclak, Jessie Carty, Maureen Ryan Griffin, Susan Lefler, Kit Loney, David Treadway Manning and Glenis Redmond; and award-winning art by Catherine Anderson, Jeannette Brossart, Mark Gordon, Steve Lautermilch, Karon Luddy and Kathleen Pompe.

All the poems and art images were selected by blind judging of contest entries and assembled into an eclectic sampler that will be remembered as delightful, serious, funny, thought-provoking, sensitive, evocative, sublime and quirky. The poems are what poems are always about: life, death, love, youth, aging, war and peace. Some are bold new retellings of old myths and Bible stories. Some explore the universe outside; others look inside. The artistic images—a mixture of photography of people and places and photography of art objects, shrink the world and enlarge the microscopic. The “Selected Artists and Poets” section begins with Sandra Merrill’s “Innocence” and ends with Coyla Barry’s “Gratitude.” These poems, and all in between, will be someone’s favorite.

CONTRIBUTORS and their Bios

Robert Abbate (Kannapolis, NC) teaches English and philosophy at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in Concord. His full-length poetry collection, Courage of Straw (Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2010) was a finalist for the John Ciardi Poetry Prize.

Anthony S. Abbott (Davidson, NC) is the author of two novels and six books of poetry, the most recent of which is If Words Could Save Us (2011).

JS Absher (Raleigh, NC) has published two chapbooks, Night Weather (Cynosura, 2010) and Burial of Anyce Shepherd (Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2006). He cohosts the Flyleaf Books poetry reading series in Chapel Hill.

Malaika King Albrecht (Ayden, NC) is the author of three poetry books including What the Trapeze Artist Trusts (Press 53, 2012) which received an honorable mention in the Oscar Arnold Young Award and placed as a finalist in the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Gilbert Allen (Travelers Rest, SC) has a new book, Catma, coming out from Measure Press in January 2014. He is the Bennette E. Geer Professor of Literature at Furman University.

Catherine Anderson (Charlotte, NC), a photographer and artist who teaches SoulCollage®,
photography and creativity classes in the US and South Africa, is the author of The Creative Photographer
(Lark Photography Books, 2011).

Katherine W. Barr (Charlotte, NC), a graduate of Queens University of Charlotte, is a retired high school librarian and author of the chapbook, Soft Focus (Mainstreet Rag Publishing Co., 2009). Her poems have appeared in Pinesong, Bay Leaves, and Slate & Style.

Lorri Ann Barrier (Mt. Pleasant, NC), author of essays “Faithfully” and “The F-word” (Brain, Child Magazine, 2013) lives with her husband and three children. She teaches English at Stanly Community College in Albemarle, NC.

Coyla Barry (Durham, NC) is the author of two chapbooks, Creature and Creature, an NC Writers’ Network poetry winner, and Swimming Woman: Poems from Montana (Finishing Line Press). She has a book forthcoming from Carolina Wren Press.

Fred Bassett (Greenwood, SC) is a retired academic. His latest books are The Old Stoic Faces the Mirror: A Life in Poems (Salt Marsh Cottage Books, 2010) and South Wind Rising: A Novel (ATTM PRESS, 2010).

Michael Beadle (Canton, NC), a poet, historian and touring writer-in-residence, is the author of three poetry chapbooks, a poetry CD, and three books on Haywood County history.

Libby Bernardin (Georgetown, SC) has published two chapbooks: Layers of Song (Finishing Line Press, 2010) and The Book of Myth (Stepping Stones Press, 2009). She is a past winner of The South Carolina Poetry Initiative contest.

Kimberlyn Blum-Hyclak (Lancaster, SC) has work published in Iodine Poetry Journal, moonShine review, Kakalak, Petigru Review, and Catfish Stew. When not writing, Kim attempts to garden. Her real-life daughter is fine, unlike the character in her poem.

Cheryl Boyer (Waxhaw, NC) has work in Kakalak, Iodine Poetry Journal, and The Main Street Rag. Her never-boring husband and kids often find themselves subject to her pen or lens.

Eleanor Dare Brawley (Charlotte, NC ), author of the chapbook A Short History of Music, received grants from the NC Arts Council and a fellowship at VCCA. She won first place for free verse in the Robert Ruark contest.

Beth Browne (Garner, NC) has always wanted to return to her previous incarnation as an otter and now owns a wetsuit and a sailboat. http://bbwomenswrites.blogspot.com

Peg Bresnahan (Cedar Mountain, NC) is the author of Chasing Light, (Isis Press 2000), and In a Country None of Us Called Home (Press 53, 2014).

Jeannette Brossart (Durham NC) has been a professional mosaic artist since 2003. She facilitates group projects, and creates mosaic murals, public art, and sculptural, garden, gallery and personal mosaics. www.mothernaturemosaics.com

Beth Ann Cagle (Charlotte, NC), a widely-published, award-winning poet, photographer, writing educator, and lover of muscadine wine, serves as an editor of Kakalak and senior editor of moonShine review.

Jessie Carty (Charlotte, NC) is the author of seven poetry collections including MORPH (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2013). She teaches in the First-Year Writing Program at UNC-Charlotte.

Ann Campanella (Huntersville, NC), author of What Flies Away and Young & Ripe (Main Street Rag, 2006 and 2009), homeschools her daughter and lives on a small horse farm.

Darien Cavanaugh (Columbia, SC) received his MFA from the University of South Carolina. His work has appeared in Memoir (and), The James Dickey Newsletter, The Dos Passos Review, and elsewhere.

Barbara Conrad (Charlotte, NC), author of Wild Plums (FutureCycle Press, 2013) and The Gravity of Color (Main Street Rag, 2004), is the Editor of Waiting for Soup: Writings and Art from Urban Ministry Center (Pure Heart Press, Main Street Rag, 2004).

Julie Ann Cook (Rock Hill, SC), between breakfast and bedtime stories, is a wife, author, artist, and webmaster. Her newest collection of poetry, Love Like Weeds, is available through MainStreetRag.com. Find Julie at www.julieanncook.com.

Beth Copeland (Gibson, NC) is the author of Transcendental Telemarketer, the runner up in the 2013 Oscar Arnold Young Award for best poetry book by a North Carolina writer.

William Lusk Coppage (Carolina Beach, NC), author of Fantasies of Men which won the 2012 Main Street Rag Chapbook Contest (Main Street Rag, 2013), is married to Missy. They have two dogs, Jolene and Townes.

Genie Cotner (Charlotte, NC) loves art, poetry, and anything chocolate. Her work has appeared in Iodine Poetry Journal, Kakalak, After Shocks, and elsewhere.

Steve Cushman (Greensboro, NC) is the author of the novels Portisville and Heart With Joy, and a story collection, Fracture City. His first poetry chapbook, Hospital Work, will be published this year. www.stevecushman.net

Debra A. Daniel (Columbia, SC), author of As Is (Main Street Rag, 2009) and The Downward Turn of August (Finishing Line Press, 2012), has also won the Guy Owen Prize.

Phebe Davidson (Westminster, SC) is a contributing editor at Tar River Poetry and a staff writer for The Asheville Poetry Review. Her newest book is Waking to Light (Main Street Rag, 2012).

Heather Dearmon (Columbia, SC) has won awards from the South Carolina Poetry Initiative and won the 2009 Kakalak Poetry Contest. She lives in Columbia with her husband and son.

Susanne Dutton, D. Min. (Charlotte, NC), author of The Apportioner’s Counsel – Saying I Do (or I Don’t) with Your Eyes Open (Lulu Press, 2013) writes fiction, poetry, and depth psychology.

Joel Ferdon (Charlotte, NC) is an MFA in poetry candidate at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA. He was a finalist for the 2013 Crab Orchard Review Allison Joseph Poetry Award.

Janice Moore Fuller (Salisbury, NC), Writer-in-Residence and Professor of English at Catawba College, has published three poetry collections. Her fourth book is forthcoming in 2014 from Cinnamon Press in Wales.

Blynn Field (Matthews, NC) has been devoted to poetry writing for the past twelve years. Her work has appeared in Iodine Poetry Journal, Kakalak, and Bay Leaves, among others. Her chapbook, Whale Watch Cottage, was published in 2011 by Main Street Rag.

Michael Gaspeny (Greensboro, NC) won the 2012 Randall Jarrell Prize and the 1998 O. Henry Short Fiction competition. His chapbook Vocation is available from Main Street Rag Publishing Co.

Mark Gordon (Wilson, NC) maintains a large clay workshop and gallery space next to his home, in a stand-alone 1927 residential building renovated as a studio. He teaches at Barton College. www.markgordon.com

Bill Griffin (Elkin, NC) co-authored Snake Den Ridge, A Bestiary with a woman who traps house bugs in a paper cup to release in the garden: she to whom turtles whisper.

Maureen Ryan Griffin (Charlotte, NC), author of Spinning Words into Gold (Main Street Rag, 2006) shares her love of WordPlay through a plethora of workshops, coaching, and critique services. www.wordplaynow.com

Tim Harkins (Charleston, SC), author of Chasing the Ineffable (Stepping Stone Press, 2007), is a technical writer by trade and a poet by calling.

Terresa Haskew (Greenville, SC) has recent work appearing in The Atlanta Review, The Main Street Rag, and moonShine review, and is the recipient of the 2013 Emrys Foundation’s Nancy Dew Taylor Poetry Award.

Justin Hunt (Charlotte, NC) retired in 2012 from a long business career in order to write. His poems have received awards from the NC Poetry Society and Charlotte Writer’s Club.

Charles Israel, Jr. (Charlotte, NC), teaches creative writing at Queens University. He has a chapbook, Stacking Weather, and has other poems and stories to be found in Crazyhorse, Cortland Review, Slipstream, Field, and Zone 3.

Alice Owens Johnson (Black Mountain, NC) has stories and poems in The National Story Project, edited by Paul Auster, and Kakalak. She has won numerous awards including, most recently, the 2012 International Merit Award from The Atlanta Review.

Pauline Dove Lamal (Charlotte, NC) is retired from the Art Department of Central Piedmont Community College and currently works as a freelance artist. Her work may be found in collections worldwide.

Steve Lautermilch (Kill Devil Hills, NC) has new work in The Antigonish Review, Chautauqua, and Nimrod. His chapbook Rim (2011) received the Jean Pedrick Award from the New England Poetry Club and an honorable mention from the North Carolina Poetry Society.

Melisa Kent LaVergne (Fort Mill, S.C.) is a marketing communications consultant. Her first published poem is in this issue. Find her online at melisalavergne.com.

Susan M. Lefler (Brevard, NC) won honorable mention for her poetry collection Rendering the Bones (Wind Publications) in The Poetry Council of North Carolina’s 2012 Oscar Arnold Young Contest for Book.

Suzanne Baldwin Leitner (Cornelius, NC) is the author of a poetry chapbook, String Quilt, and one novella, Sessions with a Cheater’s Wife (Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2005 and 2008).

Kit Loney (Charleston, SC) received the 2012 Carrie McCray Nickens Poetry Fellowship. Her poems have appeared in PSSC Yearbooks, Emrys Journal, Kakalak, Yemassee, Redheaded Stepchild, Qarrtsiluni, Waccamaw, and Poetry East. Sam Love (New Bern, NC) has published two novels, Snap Factor and Electric Honey. He teaches yoga and views his Social Security check as a grant to the arts.

Karon Luddy (Charlotte, NC) is a writer and visual artist who loves to fiddle around with images. She teaches at UNC Charlotte in the American Studies Department.

David Treadway Manning (Cary, NC) has authored several poetry collections, most recently The Girl Who Came Out with the Stars (Old Mountain Press, 2012) and Genes (Finishing Line Press, 2013).

Terri McCord (Greenville, SC), author of Descendants (2002), The Art and the Wait (2008), and In the Company of Animals (2008), received the South Carolina Arts Commission’s 2002 Poetry Fellowship.

Jamie McGraw (Charlotte, NC), is currently enrolled in Queens University of Charlotte’s MFA program. Her work has been featured in Beatdom and the APA journal Families, Systems, and Health.

Susan Laughter Meyers (Givhans, SC) is a frequent book reviewer and workshop instructor. Her collection My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass (2013) won the inaugural Cider Press Review Editors Prize.

Sandra L. Merrill (Greenville, SC) enjoys working and playing with words. A wife and mother of two, she is a twice-published poet and one-cat eccentric who finds inspiration in . . . everything.

Sally B. Miller (Charlotte NC) has received numerous awards in visual art and poetry. Her work has been included in many publications, corporate and private collections, and exhibitions. She continues her lifelong pursuit of images in paint and words.

Diana Mitchell (Huntersville, NC) works in marketing for a company based in Charlotte. Her poetry has been published in several regional literary publications.

Alexander Muller (Rock Hill, SC) is a senior English major at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina where he is the current editor-in-chief for their annual literary magazine, The Anthology.

Ione (Tootsie) O’Hara (Davidson NC) is the author of A Passing Certainty. She taught at UNC Charlotte and CPCC and was awarded an Arts & Science Council Grant and a writer’s residency at VCCA.

Frances J. Pearce (Mount Pleasant, SC) has published in the Poetry Society of South Carolina Yearbook, My South (Rutledge Hill), and Survivor’s Review. Her fiction has been shortlisted for two Faulkner-Wisdom awards.

Gail Peck (Charlotte, NC) is the author of six collections of poetry. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including The Southern Review, Nimrod, Greensboro Review, Brevity, and Kakalak.

Diana Pinckney (Charlotte, NC) has four collections of poetry, including Green Daughters (Lorimer Press, 2011). She is the winner of the 2010 Ekphrasis Prize and Atlanta Review’s 2012 International Grand Prize.

Kathleen Pompe (Seabrook Island, SC), Professor Emerita of Art from Francis Marion University, is a practicing artist living on a barrier island in the low country of South Carolina. Her art medium is photography.

Dannye Romine Powell (Charlotte, N.C.) has three collections from the University of Arkansas Press, two of which have won the Brockman-Campbell Award for the best book of poetry by a North Carolinian. She is also the author of Parting the Curtains: Interviews with Southern Writers.

David Radavich (Charlotte, NC) has published seven collections of poems, the latest called The Countries We Live In. His plays have been performed across the U.S. and in Europe.

James C. Raff (Greenville, SC) is a medical doctor practicing psychiatry in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Glenis Redmond (Charlotte, NC) author of Under the Sun (Main Street Rag, 2008) is The Poet-in-Residence at The Peace Center for the Performing Arts in Greenville, SC and The State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ

S. Craig Renfroe Jr. (Charlotte, NC), author of a poetry collection, You Should Get That Looked At, and a short story collection, Flirting with Ridicule (Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2004 and 2005), teaches at Queens University of Charlotte.

Cindy Rickey (Waynesville, NC), poet and photographer, is the author of A Year in the Life of an Unemployed Poet. To read more of her work, visit www.cindyrickey.com.

Leslie M. Rupracht (Charlotte, NC) has poems in all editions of Kakalak including an Honorable Mention in 2009. Kakalak 2013 marks Leslie’s first endeavor in decades to publicly share her visual art.

Wesley Satterwhite (Cullowhee, NC) lives with her husband and two daughters and is completing an MA in Writing at Lenoir-Rhyne University, Asheville Center for Graduate Studies.

Jane Shlensky (Durham, NC), is a career English teacher and holds a scarcely-used MFA from UNC-Greensboro. Her recent poems have been published by Writers Digest and Dead Mule, among others.

Mark Smith-Soto (Greensboro, NC), author of Our Lives Are Rivers (University Press of Florida, 2003), Any Second Now (Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2006), Berkeley Prelude (Unicorn Press, 2012), and Splices (Finishing Line Press, 2013), is the long-time editor of International Poetry Review.

Susan Finch Stevens (Isle of Palms, SC) is the author of Lettered Bones, a South Carolina Poetry Initiative chapbook competition winner. Her poems have appeared in various publications.

Elizabeth Swann (Charlotte, NC) is author of the chapbook Port Desire forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Her work has appeared in Atlanta Review, Chicago Tribune, and Southern Poetry Review.

Jo Barbara Taylor (Raleigh, NC) has contributed poems and academic writing to numerous journals, magazines, and anthologies. Her most recent chapbook is High Ground (Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2013).

Richard Allen Taylor (Charlotte, NC), Kakalak editor, is the author of Something to Read on the Plane and Punching Through the Egg of Space (Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2004 and 2010).

Lynda C. Ward (Fayetteville, NC) is a photographer who focuses on capturing the distinctive qualities and particularities of her subjects in order to reveal their uniqueness and inherent worth. www.Visual-Stories.com

Rebecca Warren (Greensboro, NC), recipient of numerous poetry awards, manages Sweetgum Puppets, LLC, in Greensboro. Her chapbook, Prayers for Someone Else (Hour Press, 2003) won Ruah’s poetry prize.

Philip Waff Whitley (Greenville, SC), a sculptor, is included in a collaboration of poetry and paintings by Helen DuPre Moseley, Hearing Helen (2013), Greenville County Museum of Art/Emrys Foundation.

Eric A. Weil (Elizabeth City, NC) teaches at Elizabeth City State University. Chapbooks: A Horse at the Hirshhorn (Finishing Line Press, 2002), Returning from Mars (Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2009), and the forthcoming Ten Years In (Main Street Rag Publishing Co.). Two of his one-act plays have been produced: “Enter/Exit” and “Hamlet, Act VI.”

Luke Whisnant (Greenville NC) is the editor of Tar River Poetry. His books are Street (poetry chapbook), Down in the Flood (stories), and Watching TV with the Red Chinese (novel).

Dede Wilson (Charlotte, NC) has five books of poetry: Glass, Sea of Small Fears, One Nightstand, Eliza: The New Orleans Years (now a one-woman play), and Near Waking (Finishing Line Press, 2013).

April Windland (Rock Hill, SC) has published poetry in Modern Haiku. She is currently working on a chapbook based on her experience as a 911 operator.

Lisa Zerkle (Charlotte, NC), Kakalak editor and past president of the North Carolina Poetry Society, has work appearing or forthcoming in The Ledge, Charlotte Viewpoint, Sixfold, and Nimrod, among others. Heart of the Light, her first chapbook, is available from Finishing Line Press.

Jessie Carty (First Prize)


Maybe the man in the pork pie hat has
his picture taken with the old labyrinth
because he is the one, the only one
who escaped: a living mythology, the minotaur.
Not dead, but pardoned by Theseus (the hero)
who (like a huntsman later) presents

the evil king with a hart’s heart. Presents
in a time before any average science book has
taught everyone how even a hero
has a body of layers like a labyrinth:
stone bones, mortar of organs. The minotaur,
besides, had an unknown anatomy as the only one

of his kind. Half man. Half bull. The one
made for someone else’s punishment. He presents
with a taste for human flesh making the minotaur
not quite cannibal. Not quite . . . He has
a great Russian-like beard: a mini-labyrinth
of curls. Could he, now, be our hero

with his terrific nose and girth? Can you be a hero
in mittens? He holds them out to me. One
slightly more worn. Itchy hair? A labyrinth
of untreatable skin conditions? In the other he presents
a 35MM camera. Of course he has
not bothered with digital. The minotaur

doesn’t duck face or Instagram. The minotaur
has stayed on the down low. A hero
perhaps because he’s the one who has
not tried to cash in on his name. The one
who could try for tabloid money, get presents
from competing journalists: Lechery in the Labyrinth

Tonight at 11. I take the camera, aim at the labyrinth
as the man in the pork pie hat, maybe minotaur,
spreads his arms in a languid line. He presents
himself as if to say, “I am the hero
of this space. I cover it. No one
else blocks this much area.” No one else has

traveled from labyrinth as monster to hero;
has you questioning man versus minotaur. No one
else presents such a cross of his body. No one else has.


Glenis Redmond (Second Prize)


     –for Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates


Some people got two good feet
and still don’t know what to do.
My smoothness makes the argument
for just one. My other leg be long gone
sacrificed to the cotton gin god.
They pinned my mangled mess down
to the kitchen table. Made me suffer more
under the hand of an unsterilized knife
with only a cotton bit to bare the pain.

I got up and spit out that terrible taste
of Jim Crow and pity. Spun my mama’s guilt
and worry into a dance that twists past
the neighbors’ prayer, gossip and stares
of how he gonna make do with just one leg?
I strap on my dreams with tux, tails and flair.
Turn can’t into can without losing time
not even in my mind. This Fountain Inn son
done good, I knock beats on wood.
I’m a worldwide showstopper all right.
Shout rings around all those two-footers.
I’m the master of my own fate,
when the world cut me at the thigh
I don’t shuffle off in misery,
I get up on my one good leg and fly.


Kimberlyn Blum-Hyclak (Honorable Mention)



In the night before,
as Abram prepared his sacrifice,
did he caress his son
like I cradle you?

Did he linger and watch,
burn Isaac’s image to memory

in the way I stroke your face,
trace with my finger –
eyes, ears, nose, delicate pink mouth,
rest my hand on your heart,
absorb each rise and fall?

Did he, too, gather his child to his breast,
a final embrace cheek to cheek, chest to chest?

I breathe in your infant scent
feel the warmth of your breath.
Our pyre of chemo ready,
no promises
of Abram’s scapegoat.

I raise you in offering,
hold your sleep dead weight.

SKU: 978-1-59948-453-2